Asee peer logo

Progress Of The Asee Accreditation Activities Committee (Asee/Aac)

Download Paper |


2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ABET Accreditation of Multidisciplinary Programs

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1035.1 - 11.1035.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Joan Gosink Colorado School of Mines

visit author page

Joan Gosink is an Emerita Professor and former Director of the Engineering Division at CSM, the largest department or division in the School. Under her direction, the Division received various accolades, including designation as a Program of Excellence from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The program also expanded to include Masters and Doctorate degrees and an undergraduate specialty in environmental
engineering. Dr. Gosink twice served as a Program Director at NSF, and is an experienced ABET evaluator.

visit author page


Sherra Kerns Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

visit author page

Sherra Kerns is Vice President for Innovation and Research at the new Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. She is the Immediate-Past President of ASEE, a member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and an incoming member of the ABET Board of Directors. She is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of ASEE.

visit author page


John Weese Texas A&M University

visit author page

John A. Weese retired as a Regents Professor of Professor at Texas A&M. His BSME is from Kansas State University and his PhD is from Cornell. He held positions at the University of Denver, Old Dominion University, and the USAF Academy. He has worked for Allis Chalmers, Boeing, and Martin Marietta and was an NSF division director. Weese was ASEE’s 1999-2000 president.

visit author page

author page

Edwin Jones Iowa State University

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Progress of the ASEE Accreditation Activities Committee (ASEE/AAC)


Programs in General Engineering, Engineering, Engineering Physics, Engineering Science and Engineering Technology have in the past been designated “non-traditional” by ABET. These programs lacked formal affiliation with specific professional societies for accreditation purposesi. Consequently, the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) assigned Program Evaluators (PEVs) from diverse disciplines, usually according to the “specialties” or “areas of emphasis” identified by each program. In most cases, the assigned PEVs understood the unique features of the non- traditional programs and proficiently completed the ABET evaluations. Still, each of these evaluators had been trained for evaluations of programs in specific disciplines and such exceptional visits required that they suspend their experienced judgment and discipline-specific preferences during their assignments. Thus faculty and administrators in several “non- traditional” programs expressed dissatisfaction with program evaluations, especially in terms of PEV knowledge and experience. This dissatisfaction was one factor that led to an interest in the establishment of formal affiliations with appropriate professional groups for accreditation processes. Another important factor is that the negative definition “non-traditional” did not adequately describe the programs, which led the participants in such programs to request the designation “multidisciplinary.”

Development of outcomes-based criteria in the 1990s underscored the lack of society representation of such programs. The programs lacked formal representation in discussions regarding all aspects of the EC 2000 1 criteria. The non-traditional programs clearly needed an effective and responsive voice in the establishment of their own criteria and requirements. Without this voice, the non-traditional programs could be subject to external judgments and mandates.

Development of Interest in ASEE as a Lead Society

The origin of the idea to have ASEE seek designation as “Lead Society” for these multidisciplinary programs is not clear, but it certainly was suggested in the late 1990s if not before. For a while, there was little if any interest. Then, two entities concurrently proposed the establishment of the ASEE as lead society for multidisciplinary programs: the ASEE President and Board and the Multidisciplinary Engineering Constituent Committee. 1) ASEE Leadership ASEE is the largest engineering society in the world to include representatives from all engineering disciplines. The society’s activities, focused on improving engineering and engineering technology education, involve exchange of best practices across the corporate and academic sectors both nationally and internationally. ASEE members actively seek a voice in activities influencing excellence in educational practice. The society is a Charter Member of

i Such affiliation is known as “Lead Society” representation within ABET.

Gosink, J., & Kerns, S., & Weese, J., & Jones, E. (2006, June), Progress Of The Asee Accreditation Activities Committee (Asee/Aac) Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--848

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015