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Accreditation of Online BS Programs Harvey A. Gullicks, Ph.D., P.E. University of North Dakota.

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Presentation on theme: "Accreditation of Online BS Programs Harvey A. Gullicks, Ph.D., P.E. University of North Dakota."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accreditation of Online BS Programs Harvey A. Gullicks, Ph.D., P.E. University of North Dakota

2 ABET Accreditation UND does not approach accreditation of on- campus & distance deliveries as separate programs. Rather, the UND BSCE program is accredited as one program, which utilizes multiple modes of education delivery. It is critical that advising of distance students protects the rigor of your program. ◦ Ensure that credit is not given for algebra- based physics, statics, mechanics of materials, & engineering transfer courses. ◦ Do not waive course prerequisites without very good rationale.

3 ABET Accreditation Prepare for extra ABET distance delivery scrutiny: Proctor concerns ◦ Good proctors: library, church, community college, university, human resource personnel Delayed exam taking concerns ◦ Keep proctor access window short as reasonable ◦ Impress on students: ethical issues, importance for maintaining program accreditation for their graduation & future graduates, student consequences of cheating ◦ Restrict materials & technological devices during testing: cameras, cell phones, calculators, notes, books, etc.

4 ABET Accreditation Advising Concerns: Email Documentation ◦ Distance students = transfer students: Rigorous transfer credits & work experience waivers review. ◦ Enforce course prerequisites with academic advisement registration holds & course registration permission numbers system. ◦ Work & course load: <6 if working full time ◦ Advising must present options to take courses from other institutions for later transfer. Frequent requests to review courses for transfer acceptability. ◦ Faculty advising load: Distance students take 3 times longer to advise than on-campus students. Financial aid

5 ABET Accreditation Student Education Experience Equivalency ◦ UND’s experience: Distance students are your best advocates to speak to the rigor of your program & value of your program. Include them in most if not all program assessment tools. Faculty Buy-In ◦ Distribute the advising load uniformly ◦ Provide faculty overload pay opportunities from distance student course access fees ◦ Need summer advising compensation ◦ Encourage faculty-distance student interaction ◦ Prompt response to distance students

6 ABET Accreditation Admission: Expect many more applications for admission than will enroll in classes. Enrollment: Expect only about 30 to 40% of distance student admissions to actually take courses from campus distance delivery ◦ Biggest factor: math preparation of the student ◦ Successful calculus series transfer students typically do well. (No prior calculus often = no success.) Retention: Expect about 20-25% of admissions to continue after 1st or 2nd semester. Graduation: Variable 3-9 years to graduate

7 CE 482/483 Senior Design Course Sequence The senior design courses contribute to achieving many of the civil engineering program outcomes. However, these courses are particularly important for documenting the following outcomes: ◦ Designing a system or component ◦ Working in teams ◦ Communicating Effectively

8 Designing a System or Component 1. Distance students can contribute good ideas for realistic design projects based on their work experience. 2. Because of their work experience, distance students often bring important leadership and organizational skills to the design team.

9 Designing a System or Component 3. Distance students can obtain useful background data for the project such as site survey data, soils data, traffic data, etc. 4. Distance students may have specialized computer analysis skills and access to specialized software that they can share with the on-campus students.

10 Designing a System or Component 5. Distance students often have practical experience with the design process that they can share with the on-campus students.

11 Working in Teams 1. In order to utilize the experience and skills of the distance students, we try to include both distance and on-campus students on the senior design project teams. 2. Our experience has shown that distance students often bring valuable team working skills such as leadership, in- depth knowledge of the topic, and good work habits.

12 Working in Teams 3. Our experience has shown that on- campus students appreciate the team working skills of the distance students.

13 Communicating Effectively 1. Our experience has shown that having distance students on design teams can greatly enhance the communication learning experience. 2. We rely on Blackboard to provide the necessary communcation tools for the senior design projects.

14 Communicating Effectively 3. Each team is organized as a separate group on Blackboard. This facilitates emailing among team members and file sharing. 4. Blackboard has other tools such as the Wimba Classroom, Wikis, and server access that can enhance team communication.

15 Communicating Effectively 5. Generally, design teams with distance students make the best use of the communication tools available on Blackboard. 6. The Wimba Classroom is particularly useful because it allows teams to share voice, PowerPoint slides, and software applications in a web conference.

16 Communicating Effectively 7. The Wiki feature on Blackboard provides a way for teams to post text on the web in a secure location that can be accessed by the other team members. This feature is useful for posting team journal entries. 8. We can also make software programs available to distance students using the Citrix server which they can link to with Blackboard.

17 Communicating Effectively 9. In general, we have found that more distance students on a design team, the more use is made of the various communication tools on Blackboard.

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