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Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 1 Quality and Innovation in Technical Education An ABET Perspective Bill Clark
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 2 Overview ABETs structure and accreditation process Addressing quality and innovation through accreditation criteria Quality improvement for ABET Q&A
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 3 ABET Vision: ABET will provide world leadership in assuring quality and in stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology education.
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 4 ABET Mission: 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 serves the public through the promotion and advancement of applied science, computing, engineering, and technology education. ABET will:
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 5 ABET Background Accredits over 2800 applied science, computing, engineering & technology programs at over 550 colleges & universities Established 1932 Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD) Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 6 How is ABET Structured? ABET is a federation of 28 professional engineering & technical societies. Neither institutions nor individuals are Members of ABET ABET relies on the services of approx volunteers and 30 staff
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 7 ABET Board Applied Science Accreditation Commission 72 accredited programs at 54 institutions (+9%) Computing Accreditation Commission 261 accredited programs at 222 institutions (+9%) Engineering Accreditation Commission 1797 accredited programs 364 institutions (+2%) Technology Accreditation Commission 685 accredited programs at 230 institutions (+3%) Sept 2006
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 8
9 Team Chair Editor 1 Editor 2 Commission Meeting Team Member Societies (28) Program Evaluation Process* * For a visit Institution Self-Study Team Chair Team
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 10 Continuous Quality Improvement and Technology Accreditation The Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) has long history of continuous improvement emphasis Before EC2000 (outcomes-based accreditation criteria for engineering programs), technology accreditation criteria included specific language on outcomes assessment
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 11 ABET Criteria for Engineering Technology circa 1990 Highly structured – 11 pages of General Criteria – about 10K words Quantitative and qualitative elements Considerable specificity and guidance Path to compliance reasonably clear Evaluation relatively straightforward
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 12 ABET Criteria for ET circa 1990 Criteria virtually defined an Engineering Technology program Contrasted ET with engineering including typical job opportunities Quantified minimum standards for curriculum and faculty Encouraged experimental or innovative programs
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 13 ABET Criteria for ET circa 1990 Program goals shaped by institution goals, student body served; Industry Advisory Committees Programs goals with measurable objectives Demonstrate success through student outcome assessment Surveys of students, graduates, employers; standardized test results
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 14 Why Change?? 1992: ABET Board established Accreditation Process Review Committee (APRC) to consider engineering accreditation (EAC processes) Response to strong message that customer focus and continuous quality improvement essential for American industry to compete globally and that engineering education must also change ABETs rigid application of criteria a barrier to needed innovation
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 15 CQI and Accreditation 1994: Conclusions of the APRC: Accreditation criteria must be more flexible and include outcomes assessment Accreditation process must be constructive for the institution and educational for all involved Volunteer participation processes must ensure that the right people are doing the right jobs at ABET
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 16 CQI and Accreditation Criteria Reform Workshop findings: Criteria too long and very nature encourages a rigid, bean counting approach that stifles innovation Revised criteria should focus on quality and professional preparation, offer curricular flexibility, and be applicable to diverse spectrum of institutional missions and goals Outcome was EC2000
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 17 TAC Addresses CQI 1995: Mid-cycle commission meeting to improve processes in six areas, including the basis for accreditation (criteria) 1996: TAC Executive Committee appoints special Criteria Task Group
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 18 TAC Moves Forward 1997: Task Group presented initial version of new criteria to TAC Features compared to traditional criteria: New structure similar to EC2000 including graduate capabilities (Section 1, a.- k.) Shorter, about 2K words No quantitative elements for curriculum Faculty quantities and qualifications retained Goals, assessment, student outcomes, and industry involvement emphasized
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 19 TC2K Focus, Requirements Outcomes, not inputs Students, not faculty What is learned, not what is taught Demonstrate that constituents are directly involved in developing, assessing, and improving the program. Demonstrate that there is a formal assessment process in place and that its working to improve the program.
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 20 Quality and Continuous Improvement We know what we do. We do it well. We can prove it! Glass Manufacturing Plant Libbey-Owens-Ford (~1990) 20
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 21 ABET Initiates Own CQI Process 2002: Engineering Change: A Longitudinal Study on the Impact of EC2000 What impact, if any, has EC2000 had on student learning outcomes in ABET-accredited engineering programs. What impact, if any, has EC2000 had on organizational and educational policies and practices that may have improved student learning outcomes? Next cycle to include impact of TC2K.
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 22 Study Conclusion The weight of the accumulated evidence … indicates clearly that the implementation of the EC2000 accreditation criteria has had a positive, and sometimes substantial, impact on engineering programs, student experiences, and student learning. Executive summary available at
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 23 Customer Perspective Statistical results show positive change based on faculty and administrator responses, but changes have caused dissatisfaction in some areas Increased work content Uneven application of criteria among accreditation teams and members
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 24 ABET Responds with Changes Assessment expertise Added Gloria Rogers to staff Offer workshops, symposia for institutional representatives Provide assessment perspective to ABET commissions TEI Conferences for Engr Tech faculty Participation Project: Volunteer selection, training, evaluation, recognition
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 25 The Participation Project Design a comprehensive and effective program that optimizes the use of the expertise and experience of the volunteer professionals that participate in ABETs outcomes- based accreditation process. Participation Project Concept Paper
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 26 The Program Evaluator (PEV) is the Face of ABET
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 27 The Participation Project Enhance the value of accreditation Embrace publicly ABETs commitment to continuous improvement Align PEV process with vision of outcomes-based accreditation Complete the Reform Initiative begun in 1994
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 28 Design Team Products Competency Model – sets expectations Recruitment & Selection: Proactive recruiting processes Online application & references Selection process using new tools Training: Adult learning based training (pre-work/F2F) Opportunities to demonstrate competencies Performance Evaluation: Competency-based evaluation form Peer ratings
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 29 What are Competencies? Competencies are behaviors (which include knowledge, skills, and abilities) that define a successful PEV Set expectations Align with vision, values, and strategy Drive continuous improvement
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 30 Competency Model Competency Effective Communicator Interpersonally skilled Professional Organized Team Oriented Technically current Approved by ABET BoD Oct 2005
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 31 Recruitment & Selection Pilot Piloted with live applicants - ASME Recruiting s (targeted candidates) New competency-based application form New competency-based reference form Guide for Selection process Piloted on-line technology with mock applicants - IEEE
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 32 Pro-active recruiting yielded more applicants and more diversity Application Applicants put in the time to complete the lengthier application Applicants agreed to complete additional forms Open-ended questions yielded more valuable information References validated or changed selection team decisions Recruitment & Selection Pilot Key Findings…
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 33 Recruitment and Selection What is the same? Societies still make decisions re: WHO is recruited & selected & assigned. What is different? New tools: On-line competency based application On-line competency based references ABET will assist in Diversity recruiting & provide promo materials
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 34 Selection Selection Committee meeting is important to the process Evaluating candidates against selection criteria (i.e. the competencies) improved process Some applicants that would have been selected in the past were not chosen Recruitment & Selection Pilot Key Findings…
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 35 Evaluation Pilot Performance Appraisal forms: Describe how competencies are demonstrated pre-visit and during visit Provide performance metrics Require comments for below met expectations 360-degree feedback Decision framework Closed loop process
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 36 Evaluation What is the same? On-line form Executive Committees decision Member society input ABET manages logistics What is different? Competency-based 360΄evaluation Definable rubrics Closed loop process for recognition, remediation, removal
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 37 Institutions/Programs Role You are ABETs constituents Without your feedback ABET cannot improve Performance evaluations DO NOT affect the accreditation decision
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 38 Training Need standardized training where PEVs participate in a mock visit and are familiar with forms. How do we structure training so the necessary attributes and skills are made obvious during training (as a result of the training itself)?
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 39 Current Training Society Trainer Perspective… 6-8 hours of death by PowerPoint Limited interaction Little opportunity to ensure consistent knowledge of criteria and assessment process among participants No opportunity to demonstrate and assess PEV competencies
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 40
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 41 Training Pilot Pre-Work CD with Checks for Understanding Mentor Assigned Self-Study Complete pre-visit forms 1.5 days simulating campus visit Sunday team meeting Display materials and lab interview Draft statement homework Monday night meeting
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 42 Training What is the same? ABET Commissions oversee curriculum design and training process Member society recruitment for trainers Member Society trains on Program Criteria
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 43 Training What is different? Simulated visit based on adult learning methods Regional trainings commission specific Train-the-trainer Lead, Support Facilitators selected by Board-appointed Volunteer Training Committee Expanded Mentor Role Observers at Training PEV candidates only
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 44 Where Are We Now? Competency Model approved for inclusion in ABETs Rules of Procedure Design work and pilots completed Performance Appraisal Process approved by Accreditation Council for use cycle ABET BoD approved Steering Group to oversee implementation
Copyright © 2006 by ABET, Inc. 45 Summary ABET mission is quality assurance and innovation in technical education Completely revamped criteria to encourage this perspective Initiated its own quality assurance review Committed to continuous improvement through its actions
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