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Union College Experiences Under Abet Criteria 2000

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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

3.595.1 - 3.595.6

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Thomas K. Jewell

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

Session 1615

Union College Experiences Under ABET Criteria 2000

Thomas K. Jewell Union College

INTRODUCTION Union College participated in the 1997 pilot program for the Engineering Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET, Engineering Criteria 2000. This paper discusses the preparation for, and conduct of, the Fall 1997 visit, from the perspective of the Civil Engineering Department chair. For those who are interested, the whole Civil Engineering Volume 2 Self- study can be found on the World Wide Web at This gets you to the Union College Civil Engineering Department home page. The report can be viewed by clicking on the 1997 ABET Report, V2 link. Volume 1 for the Institution, and the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Volume 2s, can also be accessed via the Web. PREPARATION Our status as a pilot school made our preparation somewhat atypical, but our experiences should still give schools with upcoming visits some help in what they should do to get prepared. We had other conditions that made our preparation different than usual. We were midway through developing and implementing an entirely new curriculum under a General Electric Foundation grant. The first year of the curriculum was implemented during the 1996-97 academic year, the same year that we were preparing for the visit. The second year curriculum was firmed up during the fall of 1996, but the third and fourth years were being developed at the same time we were writing our Volume 2 and preparing for the visit. Furthermore, the 1997 graduates whose transcripts would be reviewed by the visiting team, had followed a different curriculum from the one described in our Volume 2. Originally the Engineering Accreditation Commission, EAC, had planned to have three years of pilot visits, and we had asked to have our visit delayed until the third pilot study year. The delay of one year would have allowed us to have two years experience with the new curriculum, and would have allowed us to be farther into our assessment process, but it would not have eliminated the problem of having the graduates under a different curriculum. When EAC decided to limit the pilot visits to two years, we requested and were approved for a Fall 1997 pilot visit. Another unique aspect of the pilot program was meeting with our team six months before the visit. All of the pilot schools met with their respective teams and other ABET representatives in Atlanta in May of 1977. That meeting was designed to iron out procedures for the visit, not to act as a pre-visit to evaluate the program. The meeting gave us the advantage of meeting our team members and learning something about their personalities, and hearing what they would be concentrating on during the actual visit. For example, the civil engineering visitor told me that ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) was still very interested in the amount of design in courses listed as having “significant design,” and that he would be checking course material

Jewell, T. K. (1998, June), Union College Experiences Under Abet Criteria 2000 Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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