What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a non-governmental, peer-review process that assures the quality of the postsecondary education students receive. It is a voluntary process. ABET is responsible for the accreditation of educational programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. The accreditation ensures that a college or university program meets the quality standards established by the profession. For example, an accredited engineering program must meet the quality standards set by the engineering profession. For more information see http://www.abet.org/the_basics.shtml.
What is ABET?
ABET is an organization founded originally for up building engineering as a profession. It was established in 1932 as the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD). In 1980, ECPD was renamed the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology to more accurately describe its emphasis on accreditation. It has been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation since 1997.
ABET will provide world leadership in assuring quality and in stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology education.
ABET serves the public through the promotion and advancement of education in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET will:
- Accredit educational programs.
- Promote quality and innovation in education.
- Consult and assist in the development and advancement of education worldwide in a financially self-sustaining manner.
- Communicate with our constituencies and the public regarding activities and accomplishments.
- Anticipate and prepare for the changing environment and the future needs of constituencies.
- Manage the operations and resources to be effective and fiscally responsible.
ABET Accreditation Criteria
ABET accreditation criteria are intended to assure quality and to foster the systematic pursuit of improvement in the quality of engineering education. It is the responsibility of the institution seeking accreditation to demonstrate clearly that the program meets the criteria.
Criterion 1: Students
The program must evaluate student performance, advise students regarding curricular and career matters, and monitor student’s progress to foster their success in achieving program outcomes, thereby enabling them as graduates to attain program objectives.
Criterion 2: Program Educational Objectives
Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve. Programs must demonstrate that alumni attain the educational objectives. The Industrial Engineering program has defined the following educational objectives:
- Be known as assertive, ethical, and independent critical thinkers.
- Make contributions to their organization based on experience that builds on their IE education.
- Adapt to changing needs in their profession.
- Achieve leadership roles in their organizations.
Criterion 3: Student Outcomes
Program outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire in their matriculation through the program. Programs must demonstrate that students attain the program outcomes. ABET has defined the following program outcomes:
- Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
- Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
- Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
- Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
- Ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
- Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
- Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
- Knowledge of contemporary issues
- Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
Criterion 4: Continuous Improvement
Each program must show evidence of actions to improve the program. These actions should be based on available information, such as results from Criteria 2 and 3 processes.
Criterion 5: Curriculum
Students must be prepared for engineering practice through a curriculum culminating in a major design experience.
Criterion 6: Faculty
The faculty must be of sufficient number and must have the competencies to cover all of the curricular areas of the program. There must be sufficient faculty to accommodate adequate levels of student-faculty interaction, student advising and counseling, university service activities, professional development, and interactions with industrial and professional practitioners, as well as employers of students.
Criterion 7: Facilities
Classrooms, laboratories, and associated equipment must be adequate to safely accomplish the program objectives and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning.
Criterion 8: Support
Institutional support, financial resources, and constructive leadership must be adequate to assure the quality and continuity of the program.
Criterion 9: Program Criteria
The program must demonstrate that graduates have the ability to design, develop, implement, and improve integrated systems that include people, materials, information, equipment and energy. The program must include in-depth instruction to accomplish the integration of systems using appropriate analytical, computational, and experimental practices.
For detailed information see Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs