All this and engineering too: A history of accreditation requirements

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This article traces the history of US engineering accreditation with regard to non-technical curriculum requirements from the founding of the Engineers' Council for Professional Development (ECPD) in 1932 up to the adoption of Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC 2000) in 1999. The activities of the ECPD, which became the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET, in 1980, took place in the larger context of the development of engineering as a profession and steps that industrial and academic leaders took during the 20th century to increase the quality and uniformity of engineering education. The story is not a simple, straightforward tale of how a homogeneous pro-business cadre of engineering educators designed a system of education for purely pragmatic ends. Buried in the volumes of old journals and annual reports is evidence that engineering educators and leaders indulged in a serious amount of organized introspection over the years.

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... Although students, teaching staff, graduates, curricula, institutional control and attitudes, and physical facilities were all targets for measurement, the word "laboratories" curiously did not appear. One assumes that the reason for this omission was that laboratories were so central to an engineering degree that no one could even consider teaching an engineering course without an accompanying laboratory [8]. Engineering programs required science and mathematics, but drafting and laboratory and fieldwork remained integral parts of the curriculum through the end of the Second World War. ...
... The colloquy convened in San Diego, California on January [6][7][8]2002. Some fifty distinguished engineering educators, representing a range of institutions and disciplines, attended. ...
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The function of the engineering profession is to manipulate materials, energy, and information, thereby creating benefit for humankind. To do this successfully, engineers must have a knowledge of nature that goes beyond mere theory—knowledge that is traditionally gained in educational laboratories. Over the years, however, the nature of these laboratories has changed. This paper describes the history of some of these changes and explores in some depth a few of the major factors influencing laboratories today. In particular, the paper considers the lack of coherent learning objectives for laboratories and how this lack has limited the effectiveness of laboratories and hampered meaningful research in the area. A list of fundamental objectives is presented along with suggestions for possible future research.
... 16 The equilibrium of most curricula is maintained on an 80/20 balance between the "hard skills" of technical expertise and associated emphases and the "soft skills" of communication and social science. 17,18 Furthermore, program chairpersons and faculty curriculum committees face the dual pressures of maintaining the 80/20 balance while facing the imperative to reduce rather than expand credit requirements from the competitive reality of the academic marketplace. 19 The changes being wrought by globalization at every level of industry and society, however, require immediate attention in the engineering classroom and laboratory. ...
... One of the unintended consequences of the 80/20 necessities of a technical education is the communication of a subliminal belief that all "real" problems can be addressed either through modeling and differential equations. If 80% of "life" for an [18][19][20][21][22] year old involves the calculator or the calibrator, it is a facile leap to a black and white worldview that allows little room for diversity and no quarter for deviancy. ...
... El reconocimiento de la importancia de los contenidos de ciencias sociales y humanidades en las titulaciones de ingeniería forma parte de un proceso iniciado en la segunda mitad del siglo xx (Stephan 2002). Si bien la propuesta es clara, los resultados de la materialización en los planes de estudio de las titulaciones de ingeniería distan significativamente de ser los que se esperarían del cumplimento en los acuerdos internacionales. ...
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Desde el ámbito filosófico cada vez más autores muestran interés por abordar la reflexión filosófica de la ingeniería. Del lado de la ingeniería, existe una demanda definida por las sociedades profesionales y los organismos de acreditación de las titulaciones de ingeniería de inclusión de las ciencias sociales y humanidades en la formación de los ingenieros que, sin embargo, presenta deficiencias en su implantación. El objetivo del presente trabajo es justificar la inclusión de la reflexión filosófica en la formación de los titulados en ingeniería y, para mejorar la situación actual, presentar una propuesta de asignaturas que muestre cuál pueda ser su espacio. La propuesta consiste en la inclusión de una asignatura específica que relacione la ingeniería y la sociedad, donde la reflexión filosófica juega un papel significativo, como complemento a la inclusión de la reflexión filosófica sobre problemas concretos en asignaturas específicas de corte tecnológico.
... • Only now may the curriculum and all other aspects of the program be developed to ensure that the desired body of knowledge and understanding is imparted to the graduates. The organization of the curriculum usually is in the form of prescribed course requirements but could, potentially, be achieved in any one of a number of innovative ways [15]. It should be noted that Criterion 4: o Specifically only mentions "The faculty must ensure that the program curriculum devotes adequate attention and time to each component." ...
Conference Paper
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[SW, affiliation Milwaukee School of Engineering] He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri in 1990 and has 20 years of experience across the corporate, government, and university sectors. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin. He teaches courses in control systems, electronic design, and electromechanics. [EAD, affiliation Milwaukee School of Engineering] He did his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, receiving the Ph.D. degree in 2002. He teaches courses in both computer and software engineering and does consulting work involving signal processing, genetic algorithms, and hearing aid algorithms.
... Commentators suggest that this "responsibility" was seldom monitored during ABET site visits. 2 The Engineering Criteria changed the situation. Assessment now targets students' acquisition of skills, rather than the curriculum's coverage of them. ...
... The humanities and social science (HSS) part of the curriculum is no longer a major concern for the leaders in engineering education. Others take a slightly less pessimistic view of the changes, claiming that what is certain about the new criteria is not that it will reduce the HSS course requirements, but that they will "throw the responsibility for nontechnical education of engineering students squarely upon the shoulders of the engineering schools themselves" 3 . No longer will it be sufficient for engineering schools to simply outsource their quota of humanities courses to departments across campus and remain ambivalent as to what their engineering students are learning in those classes. ...
... Quality education is a principle that is central to the integrity and advancement of the engineering profession. To ensure quality education, engineering programs seek national and international accreditations from relevant accreditation agencies [1]. ABET, a non-profit and non-governmental accreditation agency for academic programs in engineering and applied sciences, has provided an initial set of eleven Student outcomes (SOs) labeled (a) through (k) for computer engineering programs [2]. ...
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Accurate and simple assessment frameworks are of essential need in technical higher education. Although accurate results in most cases demand complicated setups, good compromises can lead to the desired assessment with simplicity. In this paper, we propose a unified framework for the assessment of student outcomes based on senior design experiences of undergraduate computer engineering students. Senior design experiences provide unique opportunities for students to demonstrate their abilities, skills, and experiences that are attained throughout a bachelor of engineering program. The proposed framework is built upon capstone design projects and senior design courses. The learning outcomes of senior design courses can be carefully designed to map to all student outcomes. Accordingly, senior design courses can lead to accurate assessments at the program level and within a simple setup of senior courses. The proposed framework allows for sound evaluations of student performance and project qualities. The developed framework comprises criteria, indicators, extensive analytic rubrics, and a summative statistical formulation. The framework is supported by evaluative and comparative analyses of course and student outcome assessments within a pilot study.
... Different assessment and evaluation processes can be implemented to monitor students' performance. The challenge is that mostly these assessment and evaluation processes are very gruelling and need intensive data gathering [20]. In this study, a robust assessment and evaluation framework is presented, which intends to enhance students outcome-based learning. ...
... During the nineteenth century, with the Industrial Revolution as an important driver, engineering education was predominantly practical, with an emphasis on laboratory instruction [1]. Subsequently, the engineering accreditation process that started with the the American Institute of Chemical Engineers around 1925 and the Engineers' Council for Professional Development (ECPD) in 1932, led to more emphasis on theory than practice, with laboratory practice being understated and more of an implicit part of engineering education [2]. ...
... (Grayson, 1993) Moreover, teaching engineering without laboratory assessment of an experimental work, it cannot compare the results between the theory and practice. (Stephan, 2002) The previous researchers proposed that teaching students of concrete compressive tests in large group could help them enhance self-learning, but (Dieog, Manuel and Miguel, 2016;Abdulwahed, and Nagy, 2009) presented in a large group of students can disturb teaching and students' learning. According to their presented, in this study students were divided into six small groups with three learning stations in order to easy the experts teaching and students learning in Laboratory-based learning section. ...
This paper presents the evaluation of laboratory-based learning in civil engineering study on the topic of a single pullout test of an anchor embedded into concrete according to ASTM E488/E488M standard. In this study, the authors developed the laboratory handout and designed a series of learning approaches for the students to make them to understand the consequences. A total of 55 students, currently studying at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, in Civil Technology Education program, was joined in this study. Evaluation tool used in this research was descriptive questions to evaluate the competency in this topic in three different stages, before learning (pre-test), after giving a full lecture in the classroom (post-test 1), and after giving a full lecture and laboratory-based learning (post-test 2). All the questions were proved by index of item objective congruence (IOC) from the three experts in this field of study. To discuss and compare the results, all the queries were analyzed as follows: the average (x ̅), standard deviation (SD), and t-test value. The results showed that students' learning achievement increased scores for the pre-test (29.25%), post-test 1 (60.10%), and post-test 2 (88.30%). The results indicated that students' knowledge was significantly improved after laboratory-based learning. Their knowledge and skill were developed, including theory and practice through this learning method, so that it should be proposed for teaching and learning in civil engineering.
... Quality education is a principle that is central to the integrity and advancement of the engineering profession. To ensure quality education, engineering programs seek national and international accreditations from relevant accreditation agencies [1]. ABET, a non-profit and non-governmental accreditation agency for academic programs in engineering and applied sciences, has provided an initial set of eleven Student outcomes (SOs) labeled (a) through (k) for computer engineering programs [2]. ...
... ECPD criteria for accreditation of engineering included students, curricula, physical facilities and graduates; but the labs were not. This can be explained by the fact that labs were so central to an engineering degree, that no one could ever consider teaching an engineering course without an accompanying lab [3]. After World War II, most inventions were developed by scientists rather than engineers. ...
Engineering is an applied science; it makes science come alive through experiments and labs. Students can only gain practical knowledge that goes beyond mere scientific theory in the educational labs. This can be done using three different types of educational labs: Augmented reality labs, Virtual labs and Traditional labs. It is crucial to pre-specify the learning objectives associated with each experiment in order to be able to meet them no matter what the method of delivery is. This paper focuses on an empirical study that compares the three types of labs after specifying the associated learning objectives.
... Then laboratories and fieldwork were [22]. Further the engineering accreditation process increased the quality of delivering engineering modules; these accreditations define a set of learning objectives that need to be achieved [23] [24]. The first among the engineering education accreditor was the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 1925, and then followed by the Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD) in 1932, which is now known as ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) [25] [26]. ...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents a concept of knowledge-based education (KBEd) framework and method in capturing, mapping, reusing and automating the knowledge of on-campus engineering laboratory instructor for imparting and assessing practical skills in engineering distance learners. The concept of distance learning in engineering science subjects like mechanical and automotive is still in its infant stage. As laboratory plays a vital role in engineering curriculum, delivering these programs and evaluating them have been the two major challenges for universities offering distance learning engineering courses. In order to overcome these challenges; an instructional system automated through experts knowledge with more granularity in monitoring the learners transition throughout the learning process is required.
Almost as soon as engineering programs were founded in the mid 19th century, educators and employers started working on assessing the quality of the new programs and on devising standards for their accreditation. At present, bodies that engage in accreditation of programs in Engineering, Technology and Computing (ETC) operate in more than 40 countries. In this paper, we review some of the key definitions, aims, uses and misuses of program accreditation in ETC, as well as various models used over the years for quality assurance and quality control. Observations are made on trends in program accreditation, and on expected and desired changes in the practices of program accreditation in ETC.
The need for the reassessment of the teaching of history across the engineering curricula by the education departments is discussed. The changes in ABET criterion move toward a more integral approach to teaching the humanities in the engineering curriculum. By introducing and exploring important historical topics in a history of technological course, these topics can be included in all the courses in the engineering curriculum. Such an education will be interconnected and coherent rather than an amalgam of only loosely related subjects.
For five generations American engineering education has rested upon a practical model of drawing a broad range of students with certain mathematical skills and wide technological interests into a large-mouthed pedagogic funnel, gradually compressing their training into evernarrower frames of specific, skill-sets and acumens. The result has been to standardize the endproducts emerging from the apex of the educational funnel. Examinations and re-toolings of engineering education have usually merely redirected the funnel with recommendations of new methods and protocols for fine-tuning the relevance of contemporary technology to the classroom and laboratory. One canon remains constant: engineering education has maintained an approximately 80/20 1 curricular equilibrium between technical/non-technical requirements and emphases. Conventional wisdom and practical experience stress that this emphasis upon technical proficiency has assured American domination of engineering education for most of the last century. A seismic shift in technology, manufacturing, and economics is occurring as we enter the new millennium. Global currents once far removed from the engineering classroom have become irrevocably intertwined with both the process and product of engineering education. A paradigmatic readjustment equal in impact is necessary to meet the global challenges faced by today's engineering students. The Challenge: The core competencies, created and honed in the 80/20 funnel of engineering education, must be retained to assure technical competency. Simultaneously, engineering education must introduce more of a 50/50 balance in the final educational outcomes of the graduate between the technical and nontechnical competencies, i.e., the educational process must embrace much broader parameters of global/professional/personal competencies without compromising up-to-date technical expertise. This can only be accomplished by adopting creative concurrencies in curricular development. The personal and professional skills necessary to compete on the global stage of 21 st century engineering must be included as aggregates (packet aggregation) to technical skill development. The tube of the funnel must be widened. If the fundamental principle of the first five years of the millennium was multi-tasking in a lean manufacturing and professional environment, multi-identity competence (in the surge rather than in the wake) of globalization must be the foundation of the coming years. Preparing the next generation of engineers to enter this world with a competitive advantage requires inventive, resourceful, and continuously evolving methods to instill parallel intercultural communication, global resource management, and interpersonal professional training alongside the requisite and non-negotiable technically related subjects of the discipline. 2
The function of Engineering Management & System Engineering (EMSE) profession is to employ and utilize manpower, materials, money, methods, minutes, and information, thereby creating benefits for humankind. An inclusive goal of EMSE education is to prepare students or trainees to practice engineering and to deal with the forces and materials of nature in real-world systems and problems. In order to be successful, engineers must have knowledge of nature that goes beyond mere concepts, theories, and especially learning experiences that are traditionally gained in academic laboratories. This paper describes the history of some development of engineering academic laboratory, and then explores in some depth detail of the major characteristics influencing the development of EMSE academic laboratories in the near future. In particularly, the goal of this study is to investigate and study a possibility to adapt the concept of "serious gaming" for implementing an EMSE academic laboratory at Frank Batten College of Engineering & Technology, Old Dominion University (ODU), and to determine whether an option of offering both traditional lecture and educational laboratory classes would be a preferred alternative that compatible with the specialty of EMSE profession and the current or future EMSE curriculum (e.g. risk and vulnerability critical infrastructures, use of simulation computer game, particularly SimCity 2013, for emergency planning and management, etc.).
Conference Paper
This paper examines the synergy between senior-level capstone design courses and the fulfillment of ABET accreditation requirements under Engineering Criteria 2000. Also, specific examples of design projects in the power engineering area are presented. Assessment results are used in a course feedback process to improve metrics.
This article presents a general-purpose educational software applied to electromagnetics engineering education. The program presented allows the students to obtain the RCS, current density, and near held distributions of perfectly electric conducting (PEC) canonical geometries being illuminated by arbitrary incident plane waves. The electromagnetic analysis is based on an accurate three-dimensional implementation of the method of moments (MM). Through the numerical simulation and the graphical representation, it has been designed to provide the students with an interactive and visual learning environment that facilitates the comprehension of the behavior of electromagnetic waves. (C) 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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