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Successful ABET Accreditation of a Two-year Electronics Technology Program: Lessons Learned

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

TAC/ABET-related Outcome-based Assessment Methods and Models

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1208.1 - 25.1208.11



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Paper Authors


Anca L. Sala Baker College, Flint

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Anca L. Sala is professor and Dean of engineering and computer technology at Baker College of Flint. In addition to her administrative role, she continues to be involved with development of new engineering curriculum, improving teaching and assessment of student learning, assessment of program outcomes and objectives, and ABET accreditation. She is an active member of ASEE, ASME, and OSA, serving in various capacities.

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James Riddell Baker College, Flint

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James A. Riddell is the former Dean of engineering and technology at Baker College of Flint, Mich. He currently works at Jazan Economic City Polytechnic in Saudi Arabia. He is a member of ASEE, ASME, SME (Past Chair), and SAE (Past Chair).

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Successful ABET Accreditation of a Two-Year Electronics Technology Program: Lessons LearnedWhile ABET accreditation is a must for four-year engineering programs as well as engineeringtechnology programs, it can add value and act as a program differentiator for two-yearengineering technology programs especially in the case of programs offered by less traditionalinstitutions. Our school is a non-profit independent institution offering a combination ofBachelor and Associate level programs in engineering and engineering technology. OurAssociate of Applied Science in Electronics Technology program is the only two-yearElectronics Technology (ET) program to have been granted ABET-TAC accreditation in ourstate. This paper discusses the benefits and the experience gained from going through the processof ABET accreditation with the ET program. The process started formally in early 2009 and wasbased on the 2008-09 Criteria for Accrediting Technology Programs issued by the TechnologyAccreditation Commission of ABET. Under those criteria no differentiation was made betweenthe required Program Outcomes of two-year and four-year technology programs. A capstonedesign experience was required, which our program implemented in academic year 2009-10. Theprogram was successful in obtaining ABET accreditation during a cycle where the bar for two-year programs was set at a fairly high level. Even though the capstone design course has becomeoptional under current Criteria for Accrediting Technology Programs (2011-12), we believe itadds a valuable experience for graduating students in the program. Another important learningfrom the ABET accreditation process is that all curriculum related matters should be under thejurisdiction of the accredited program’s faculty. Our school is part of a multi-campus institutionwhere strong value is placed on standardization of the curriculum and the teaching and learningprocesses across all campuses. Our campus however is the only campus with ABET-accreditedprograms, thus giving our faculty more actual if not also formal responsibility in all curriculumrelated matters. The paper will address topics such as Program Educational Objectives, ProgramOutcomes and their assessment, curriculum, supporting resources, Advisory Board and others,and share our experiences.

Sala, A. L., & Riddell, J. (2012, June), Successful ABET Accreditation of a Two-year Electronics Technology Program: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21965

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