Engineering Programs Undergo Accreditation Review
In October, following two years of preparation and extensive reporting, the School hosted evaluators from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET), who reviewed 11 of the School’s undergraduate programs. ABET is the nationally specialized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology. In addition, the Computer Accreditation Commission reviewed the School’s degree programs in computer science, computer engineering and computer science & engineering. Accreditation is akin to an academic seal of approval: it provides the assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.
The School’s programs were last reviewed for accreditation in 2001-02. At that time, the six bachelor’s degree programs reviewed – Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering – received the maximum accreditation. The newer undergraduate degree programs were ineligible for evaluation in 2002. However, they are undergoing ABET review this cycle.
The 2007 accreditation visit culminated two years of preparation that included a practice review by visiting external experts commissioned to assess each degree program. For each program detailed, expansive self-study reports were prepared for the reviewers, which included survey results and analyses, performance measures, goals and objectives, outcomes and other assessment material. In addition, each program surveyed its faculty, alumni, Industrial Advisory Boards and students to identify strengths and areas of concern; these results led to the development and implementation of an improvement plan for each program.
Thanks to our significant advance preparation, the two-day ABET review process proceeded smoothly. Final results will be announced during summer 2008.