Accreditation.org compiles articles directly related to the process, history, or impact of engineering and computing program accreditation globally:
Outcome-based education (OBE) is a paradigm in which instructional and assessment/ evaluation are explicitly designed for ensuring the attainment and mastery of predefined learning outcomes. OBE is now the underlying paradigm followed by global accreditation efforts such as the Washington Accord (ratified in 1989). The shift to OBE is so pronounced that some education experts identify the shift to outcome-based education and accreditation as one of the top 5 major changes of the last 100 years. OBE is starkly different from the previous content-based educational approaches in shifting the aim from covering the content to a student-centric mastery that is driven by exit-outcomes and educational objectives. And while OBE is often criticized for straitjacketing education, and resisted by hesitant faculty members suspecting additional burden, studies show that the OBE movement, on the whole, has helped in improving the educational standards and outcomes by helping ensure proper planning of curriculum and assessment and their alignment with the program objectives and desired outcomes. OBE is also flexible in the sense that it does not dictate the choice of specific education strategies or teaching methods. New OBE schemes have also diversified in response to early misgiving about OBE (related to excessive paperwork, and bean-counting-like auditing) and now admit diverse types of evidence (including qualitative and quantitative, formative and summative, formal and informal assessments). In this paper, we present—as a geographically dispersed set of academics from Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States of America, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia—a global international perspective on OBE accreditation standards, practices, and attitudes. We will trace the historical development leading to the great shift to OBE in recent times and also synthesize insights from our diverse transnational experience in meeting accreditation requirements in different countries.
The Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is adopting specific criteria for accrediting engineering programs. It is the responsibility of the institution seeking accreditation of an engineering program to demonstrate clearly that the program meets the following criteria: Students, Program Educational Objectives, Program Outcomes and Assessment, Professional Component, Faculty, Facilities, Institutional Support and Financial Resources, and Program Criteria. This paper outlines the procedures followed in the construction engineering program at the American University in Cairo, to establish Program educational objectives, program outcomes, and courses outcomes to conform to Criteria two and three, Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes. The procedures are based on mapping the university mission and objectives with the Program mission, objectives, and outcomes. The program outcomes are mapped into the courses outcomes that are identified separately for each course.
Engineering education accreditation bodies that advocate on international and national scales provide formal recognition programs that meet or exceed certain criteria. These bodies and their memberships are summarized for the purposes of understanding their function, scale and interrelatedness. Then, for comparison's sake, the single graduate attribute/criterion of communication and its explanations are analyzed and discussed for the purpose of clarifying differences and areas of confusion to allow international and national accreditation bodies to better formulate agreements on criteria related to communication and language. Results indicate that two of the main international accreditation bodies, the International Engineering Alliance accords and the EUR-ACE Framework Standards have similar communication criteria; however, specifics in regard to international outlook, multicultural understanding, and languages are areas which could be clarified. This could facilitate understanding and cooperation between internationally accredited universities and provide more opportunities for collaboration and improvement of engineering education programs.
The Washington Accord is one of seven mutual recognition agreements managed by the International Engineering Alliance. Signatories to the Washington Accord recognize the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by the signatory bodies. Signatories to the Washington Accord agree to make every reasonable effort that licensing bodies in respective countries recognize this substantial equivalency. Despite 25 years of the Washington Accord, only a minority of US state licensing boards acknowledge the Washington Accord in their statutes. This paper compares Engineering Council guidelines for accreditation with ABET criteria – both are signatories to the Washington Accord. This paper concludes that there are substantial similarities in the accreditation criteria of the Engineering Council and ABET. This should give confidence to US state licensing boards to acknowledge Engineering Council accredited programmes in their statues explicitly if not through the Washington Accord. A number of key differences in the accreditation criteria of Engineering Council and ABET are also highlighted. Both ABET and Engineering Council accredit programs at various level. This paper recommends the International Engineering Alliance clarifies the correspondence between the various levels of accredited programs of the signatories.
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