San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1225.1 - 25.1225.25
Kathy NewtonMichael DyrenfurthSteve ElliottMatthew StephensRagu Athinayaranan Synergies of converging ABET, ATMAE and Institutional Accreditation ProcessesAbstract: The challenges of achieving and maintaining accreditation for undergraduate programs inengineering technology disciplines such as those offered by the Accreditation Board for Engineering andTechnology (ABET) and the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)are well known, and are often made more complex when complicated by divergent requirements foraccreditation standards for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The challenges are to some degreemultiplied when a department is accredited by all three – particularly when those occur within a shorttime window of two years. Purdue University’s Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation (formerly namedIndustrial Technology Department) in the College of Technology faced this challenge and met itsuccessfully during the 2008 – 2010 time frame. During the accreditation assessment and documentionphases, some opportunities for synergism were found to have resulted in increased efficiencies inpursing the differing accreditation requirements. The purpose of the presentation is to share how theuse of shared learning outcomes and technology created some advantages for the accreditation process.Also discussed will be the disadvantages of managing multiple accreditation processes. The accreditation assessment and documentation phases were established so that assessmentmechanisms would “fit” for all accreditation standards. While not all outcome requirements wereexactly the same, it was possible build all of the accreditation requirements into a single set ofstandards, endin up with a richer, more comprehensive set of learning outcomes as a result. It isbelieved that this benefited faculty and students by creating a more consistent message for what wasimportant to our department, as well as a better for faculty learning, discover and engagementactivities. Additionally, communicating to both employers and alumnae (and seeking their feedbackabout our programs) was simplified by having a single set of learning outcomes to evaluate. The effortto meet multiple requirements with one approach (using a syllabi format for contents) was also found toengender useful conversations among faculty that was helpful to moving accreditation in a positivedirection. The use of technology was a critical element that ultimately provided efficienciencies for all 3accreditations. Constant contact was employed for conducting surveys from and communicating withconstituencies. Having a single location for all the survey instruments, e-listings, and survey resultscontinues to pay dividends years after beginng to use it. The use of central information archiving wasalso useful. Shared drives were essential for collection of individual course learning outcomes andsyllabi in standardized formats. Likewise, cloud computing mechanisms were used for loadingdocuments in draft form and allowing multiple editors to edit and track changes over time. We alsoused a website that enabled data input for institutional records that simplified reporting for allaccreditation requirements. While these efficiencies were important to us, and well worth the effort to utilize, the downsidewas that not all faculty were as equipped for technology use, which made training important.Investment in training, time and money was essential in achieving our accreditations. It must also be acknowledged that it was more expensive to go through multiple accreditationprocesses because each has its own assessment fee. However, it was believed to be a competitiveadvantage to having multiple accreditations. Employers and parents are better assured of a thorougheducation, and we believe there is a strong marketing message.
Dyrenfurth, M. J., & Newton, K. (2012, June), Synergies of Converging ABET, ATMAE, and Institutional Accreditation Processes Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21982
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