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Technology Education In The Next Century: Is The Proposed Tac/Abet Criteria Compatible?

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.546.1 - 3.546.4



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Amitabha Bandyopadhyay

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

Session 3257 Technology Education in the Next Century: Is the Proposed TAC/ABET Criteria Compatible?

Amitabha Bandyopadhyay State University of New York, Farmingdale,NY 11735


American higher education in the last decade of the twentieth century faces escalating costs, uneven demographics, faltering revenues, and serious erosion of public confidence [1]. This depressing picture of academia is emerging at a time when concern over the declining competitiveness of the products of American businesses and industry has made increased productivity a national obsession [2]. All national issues that emerge in American society sooner or later seem to surface on our campuses.

The ABET accreditation process is a voluntary system that assures that graduates of an accredited program are prepared for careers in engineering and technology. Engineering Education must contribute to the development of men and women who can face new and difficult engineering situations with imagination and competence [3]. The role played by ABET in standardizing engineering and technology education can not be denied. However, if it has fulfilled its stated objectives is questionable. ABET according to its own objective statement; should encourage new and innovative approaches to engineering and technology education. Critics maintained ABET's current way of accreditation is the biggest hindrance to "new and innovative" approaches to engineering and technology education.


The American Association of Engineering in the 1920's established the committee on Accredited schools and called for "more comprehensive and discriminating standards" for evaluating engineering schools [4]. Recognizing the importance of this emphasis on quality engineering education in the registration process, the National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners (now National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) and parallel activities in several major societies resulted in the formation of a Planning Committee. The committee drafted a plan for joint action in the development of the engineer that also called for the formation of the Engineer's Council for Professional Development (now ABET). The first statement of the Engineer's Council for Professional Development relating to accreditation of engineering educational programs was proposed by the council in 1933. It was subsequently approved by the constituent member organizations of ECPD. In 1944 the ECPD appointed a subcommittee on Technical Institutes. In October 1964, this subcommittee became a standing committee of ECPD and established a basis for accrediting programs of the technical institute type, now designated as programs in engineering technology.

Current TAC Criteria

Accreditation by Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET is based on satisfying minimum

Bandyopadhyay, A. (1998, June), Technology Education In The Next Century: Is The Proposed Tac/Abet Criteria Compatible? Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7470

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