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Toward Continuous Improvement of EAC/ABET Criteria 3 and 5

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Key Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession - and ASCE - Part 2

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35394

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35394

Download Count

94

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Paper Authors

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Norb Delatte P.E. Oklahoma State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1811-4335

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Dr. Norbert J. Delatte, Jr., P.E., is Professor and Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of Beyond Failure: Forensic Case Studies for Civil Engineers (ASCE Press, 2009). In addition, he is the Editor of ASCE’s Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice. Dr. Delatte is a registered professional engineer in the States of Oklahoma, Ohio, and Alabama and in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Stephen J. Ressler P.E. United States Military Academy

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Stephen Ressler, P.E. Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, F.ASEE is Professor Emeritus from the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. He earned a B.S. degree from USMA in 1979, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University in 1989, and a Ph.D. from Lehigh in 1991. As an active duty Army officer, he served for 34 years in a variety of military engineering assignments around the world. He served as a member of the USMA faculty for 21 years, including six years as Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering. He retired as a Brigadier General in 2013. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia, a Distinguished Member of ASCE, and a Fellow of ASEE.

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Audra N. Morse P.E. Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is a Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Her professional experience is focused on water and wastewater treatment, specifically water reclamation systems, membrane filtration and the fate of personal products in treatment systems. However, she has a passion to tackle diversity and inclusion issues for students and faculty in institutions of higher education.

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Camilla M. Saviz P.E. University of the Pacific

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Camilla Saviz is Professor and Chair of Civil Engineering at the University of the Pacific. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, an M.B.A. from the New York Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She joined Pacific in 1999 and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.

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Brock E. Barry P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Dr. Brock E. Barry, P.E. is Professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Dr. Barry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a PhD from Purdue University. Prior to pursuing a career in academics, Dr. Barry spent 10-years as a senior geotechnical engineer and project manager on projects throughout the United States. He is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Dr. Barry’s areas of research include assessment of professional ethics, teaching and learning in engineering education, nonverbal communication in the classroom, and learning through historical engineering accomplishments. He has authored and co-authored a significant number of journal articles and book chapters on these topics.

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Abstract

The ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC/ABET) General Criteria 3 and 5 were recently updated for the first time in two decades and went into effect in the 2019-20 review cycle. The previous major revision of the General Criteria was to adopt an outcomes-based approach, as specified in EC 2000. At this time, there appear to be no formal plans or processes for periodic review of the new EAC/ABET General Criteria 3 and 5. Criterion 2 requires systematic and periodic review of the Program Educational Objectives, consistent with the needs of the program’s constituencies; and Criterion 4 promotes the use of regular processes for continuous improvement of the program. Given the focus on continuous improvement in the General Criteria and considering rapid changes in the engineering profession and in the educational landscape, it would seem reasonable that the EAC/ABET General Criteria should also undergo systematic and periodic review, with particular attention to the needs of the EAC’s constituencies. From the authors’ perspective, the most recent revisions of EAC/ABET General Criteria 3 and 5 were compromised by a flawed development process. The organization charged with researching and formulating the criteria changes was an internal subcommittee of the EAC Criteria Committee. The subcommittee would have benefitted from including expertise of scholars, experts, and practitioners across the profession. And the subcommittee’s charge was an essentially backward-looking requirement “to clarify outcomes that historically programs had difficulty assessing, allow for more efficient assessment processes, emphasize applications in an engineering context, and add some elements of project management.” Consequently, the subcommittee missed a significant opportunity to address the future needs of the engineering profession. Based on these observations, the authors propose a modified process for formulating future changes to Criteria 3 and 5. Our recommended process is characterized by: (1) the establishment of a long-term schedule of systematic criteria changes, planned and implemented on a regular, predictable cycle; (2) for each scheduled criteria change, the establishment of a stand-alone task committee, external to the EAC and incorporating appropriate experts and representatives of the EAC’s constituencies; and (3) a task committee charge that emphasizes scholarly research to determine the future needs of the engineering profession, rigorous analysis, collaborative decision-making, and thorough documentation and communication of work products. The most important feature of this proposal is the predictability of the review cycle, which will facilitate planning for, and managing, changes in programs and curricula, supporting the long-term improvement of engineering programs By way of example, one ABET member society, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), has adopted a recurring eight-year cycle for review and revision of the Civil Engineering Program Criteria, with well-defined stages for developing background material and engaging community stakeholders. The ABET EAC criteria committee comprises representatives from member societies including ASCE, IEEE, ASME, AAEES, and others. In support of this paper, data were gathered from these societies about their current and future plans for Program Criteria review.

Delatte, N., & Ressler, S. J., & Morse, A. N., & Saviz, C. M., & Barry, B. E. (2020, June), Toward Continuous Improvement of EAC/ABET Criteria 3 and 5 Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35394

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