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So You Survived The Abet Visit… How To Continue A Sustainable Assessment Effort

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ECE Pedagogy and Assessment

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1134.1 - 11.1134.12



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Paper Authors


Sandra Yost University of Detroit Mercy

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Sandra A. Yost, P.E., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she teaches in the areas of control systems, digital and analog circuits and electronics, and design. She is currently serving on the ASEE Board of Directors as Chair, Zone II.

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

So You Survived the ABET Visit… How to Continue a Sustainable Assessment Effort

Abstract This paper focuses on the development of a sustainable assessment plan for the Electrical Engineering program at the University of Detroit Mercy. Other programs at the university have adopted variations of this plan, which requires coordination among departments. The paper will discuss the merits and shortcomings of this approach to the continuous assessment problem and explain why the adopted process was chosen.

Background and Preparation for First EC2000 Visit In the late 1990’s, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology’s (ABET) Engineering Accreditation Commission published new criteria for the accreditation of engineering programs, Engineering Criteria 2000.1 Criterion 3 calls for programs to define program outcomes and to measure student achievement of those outcomes.

The faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Detroit Mercy began a very modest initial preparation for evaluation under the EC2000 criteria before the 1998 accreditation visit by ABET by requiring instructors to define course outcomes and include these on all course syllabi. The college elected to be visited under the previous criteria in 1998. After the successful visit, the departments began to discuss plans for implementing outcomes based assessment on the program level.

The effort to formulate Program Educational Objectives (Criterion 2) and Program Outcomes (Criterion 3) intensified about three years prior to the 2004 accreditation visit. It was also during this year that the Electrical Engineering program faculty began to experiment with course and program assessment activities. While these ad hoc experiments did not provide the department with much useful assessment data, this period of experimentation was vitally important in getting faculty members to begin thinking about how they might assess student achievement of program outcomes. As many in the engineering and technology education community maintain, faculty buy-in is essential to the success of any ongoing assessment process that tracks continuous improvement.2-5 The time of experimenting with different processes allowed faculty to take ownership of processes they designed themselves rather than to resist compliance with processes foisted on them from above.

In the 2002-2003 academic year, Program Assessment activities began a transition from ad hoc to more formal. Once the Program Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes were created and validated by various constituencies, it was possible to begin to formulate and implement an assessment plan in preparation for the 2004 accreditation visit.

Assessment Process for 2004 Accreditation Visit Figure 1 depicts the overall evaluation and assessment process. Note that Outcomes Assessment takes place on an annual cycle.

Yost, S. (2006, June), So You Survived The Abet Visit… How To Continue A Sustainable Assessment Effort Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--258

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