June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1280.1 - 15.1280.14
Transitioning a Technology Program to Outcomes-Oriented TC2K Criteria
This paper describes a program assessment process that was developed at a university in the Midwest to transition to the ABET outcomes-oriented TC2K criteria. It will also explain the approach used by the Engineering Technology faculty to evolve into this current assessment plan. Excel spreadsheets and templates used in this assessment model are shown.
The assessment of student learning has always been a part of the educational process. What has changed over the years is the mandating of assessment to effect positive changes in course design and delivery1. The federal government even intervened in 1988 when Secretary of Education William Bennett required federally approved accrediting organizations to show that their criteria for accreditation included institutional outcomes2. Over the years engineering and technology accrediting organizations have moved to outcomes-based assessment. With approximately two decades of intense activity on assessment by colleges and universities, the focus of assessment for continuous improvement appears to be shifted somewhat. Currently there seems to be more of an emphasis on refining existing models and embedding them into the departmental culture to maintain effectiveness and sustainability3. This is especially true for those technology programs that have undergone accreditation review under the TC2K criteria by the Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET and the engineering programs that have been reviewed using the Engineering Criteria (EC 2000)4,5,6.
Outcomes-based assessment requires ongoing program-level assessment. Most often this is the responsibility of the faculty in the program being accredited. The planning and documentation requirements can require significant investment of time on the part of faculty if not carefully managed. This can cause issues with faculty which can place the outcomes assessment plan in jeopardy7.
Even though numerous workshops have been offered over the years to educate faculty about assessment, some institutions still struggle when it comes to meeting the assessment requirements of their various agencies without over-burdening their faculty. It can often become a stumbling block in accreditation reviews because some faculty and administrators are still unclear about how to develop a sustainable outcomes assessment model by embedding it in the culture of their program.
Effective assessment is a means to continuously improve programs and show the public that the educational system is being held accountable. Recognizing this potential, the demand for assessment by administrators, government officials and the public continues to intensify, especially given the current context of tight budgets. This has caused a major expansion of interest and effort with regard to modifying current assessment models to make them more manageable and to place the focus on maintaining high quality assessment indicators8,9,10. As
Stier, K. (2010, June), Transitioning A Technology Program To Outcomes Oriented Tc2 K Criteria Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16873
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