About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7259-7268
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0653

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

MEASURING QUALITY OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN THE USA: EXPERIENCES FROM SUCCESSFUL ABET ACCREDITATIONS

J. Supernak

San Diego State University (UNITED STATES)
This paper summarizes the author's direct experiences with an accreditation process of three programs: Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) at San Diego State University (SDSU) by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). As a long-time Department Chair, he was responsible for four accreditation cycles - all assessed as very successful. Those experiences allow for a more general discussion about the American - and now also international - Engineering accreditation system offered by ABET.

The paper addresses the entire system of assessment process design and execution, preparation of Self Studies for each of the three programs, preparations for the ABET site visit, response to reviewers' questions, logistics of the actual visit by the program evaluators, ABET Initial Report, response to the ABET Initial Report, ABET Final Report, and plans for improvement and modifications in the new assessment cycle.

The following elements of the Self Study Report are discussed:
1) decision about the character of the program (research- or practice-oriented);
2) Mission of the University, the College, and the Department;
3) Process of establishing of the Program Educational Objectives and their approval by the relevant constituencies;
4) Process of developing Student Outcomes and their coverage and assessment in individual courses;
5) System of Continuous Improvement procedures measured by direct and indirect assessment tools;
6) Student-related issues such as pre-requisite checks as well as teaching and advising quality, and adequate number of units for Engineering and General Education in each program;
7) Infrastructure-related issues (classrooms, laboratories, equipment),
8) Institutional Support by the College and University administration.

The main reasons for success of the San DIego State University (SDSU) accreditation can be identified as follows:
1) strong emphasis on hands-on practical education valued by employers of our graduates;
2) long-term, well-established links with the local industry through frequent, structured interactions with the Industrial Advisory Board that had a significant impact on all programmatic decisions, timely responding to changing needs of the industry;
3) successful efforts to secure additional philanthropic funding for endowed professorial positions, student scholarships and internships;
4) careful planning and execution of all ABET-related assessment procedures and surveys, often exceeding the actual data-gathering exercises required by ABET.

The paper also offers a critical look at the ABET accreditation process in the USA, and offers recommendations for some improvements in the procedures, logistics and overall philosophy of Engineering accreditation for the benefit of the society served by our graduates.
@InProceedings{SUPERNAK2016MEA,
author = {Supernak, J.},
title = {MEASURING QUALITY OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN THE USA: EXPERIENCES FROM SUCCESSFUL ABET ACCREDITATIONS},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0653},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0653},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7259-7268}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Supernak
TI - MEASURING QUALITY OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN THE USA: EXPERIENCES FROM SUCCESSFUL ABET ACCREDITATIONS
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0653
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 7259
EP - 7268
ER -
J. Supernak (2016) MEASURING QUALITY OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN THE USA: EXPERIENCES FROM SUCCESSFUL ABET ACCREDITATIONS, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7259-7268.
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