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Visions of Social Competence: Comparing Engineering Education Accreditation in Australia, China, Sweden, and the United States

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Accreditation and Outcomes-based Education

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

25.1463.1 - 25.1463.16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22220

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22220

Download Count

178

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Paper Authors

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Jens Kabo Chalmers University of Technology

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Jens Kabo works as a researcher at the Division of Engineering Education Research at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Xiaofeng Tang Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6279-9941

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Xiaofeng Tang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Dean Nieusma Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2711-3315

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Dean Nieusma is Assistant Professor in science and technology studies and Director of the programs in design and innovation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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John Currie University of Sydney

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John Currie is a Senior Fellow at the Australian Centre for Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering & IT, University of Sydney.

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Hu Wenlong Beihang University

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Hu Wenlong is a Ph.D. student at Beihang University (BUAA), working in the area of higher education research.

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Caroline Baillie University of Western Australia

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Caroline Baillie is Chair of Engineering Education at the University of Western Australia. She directs several programs on Engineering Education for Social and Environmental Justice, as well as Engineering Thresholds.

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Abstract

A cross-cultural comparison of engineering education accreditation in Australia, China, Sweden and the United States    In  this  paper  we  report  on  a  cross-­‐cultural  comparison  of  central  accreditation  requirements  for  engineering  programs  (such  as  ABET  in  the  US)  in  four  different  countries,  namely  Australia,  China,  Sweden  and  the  United  States,  in  relation  to  how  social  justice  issues  appear  (or  not  appear).  Our  emphasis  is  on  comparison  and  contrast  as  opposed  to  detailed  review  of  each  context.    First,  we  present  short  summaries  of  how  engineering  education  accreditation  is  structured  and  controlled  in  each  context  (i.e.,  Who  are  the  key  players?;  e.g.,  ABET  is  a  private,  not-­‐for-­‐profit  organization,  whereas  its  equivalent  in  Sweden  is  managed  by  the  state).    Then,  we  analyse  how  the  social  and  the  technical  are  represented  in  the  central  accreditation  documentation  for  each  context  (e.g.,  how  is  the  social  and  the  technical  described,  in  vague  or  specific  statements,  in  broad  or  narrow  scope,  etc.;  how  much  of  the  accreditation  requirements  is  dedicated  to  the  social  versus  the  technical).      Finally,  to  gain  broader  understanding  and  insight  we  compare  and  contrast  our  four  studies.  Understanding  how  the  social  and  the  technical  are  represented  is  a  first  important  step  toward  understanding  possible  barriers  and  opportunities  for  teaching  social  justice  in  engineering  in  terms  of  accreditation.    Overall,  there  appear  to  be  few  previous  publications  in  the  area  of  cross-­‐cultural  comparisons  of  engineering  education  accreditation.    The  major  exception  being  Lucena  and  co-­‐authors’  2008  JEE  paper  “Competencies  Beyond  Countries:  The  Re-­‐Organization  of  Engineering  Education  in  the  United  States,  Europe,  and  Latin  America”.  With  our  interest  in  the  representation  of  the  social  and  the  technical  in  engineering  accreditation  our  focus  is  quite  different  from  the  one  taken  in  that  paper  and  our  study  helps  to  expand  and  fill  this  somewhat  underexplored  niche  of  engineering  education  research.    

Kabo, J., & Tang, X., & Nieusma, D., & Currie, J., & Wenlong, H., & Baillie, C. (2012, June), Visions of Social Competence: Comparing Engineering Education Accreditation in Australia, China, Sweden, and the United States Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22220

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