ABET

Accreditation Criteria, Policy and Procedure Changes for the 2012-2013 & 2013-2014 Review Cycles and Forward

Please note that this alert does not identify all revisions to the 2013-14 accreditation criteria or the 2013-14 Accreditation Policy and Procedure Manual (APPM), but it highlights revisions that may noticeably affect programs in the upcoming cycle. Each program should review the applicable criteria and APPM documents to insure compliance.

Issue

Changes to the ASAC, CAC, EAC, and ETAC General Criterion 2 Program Educational Objectives and Criterion 4 Continuous Improvement.

On October 27, 2012, the ABET Board of Directors voted to approve, effective for the 2013-14 review cycle, changes to the harmonized General Criteria-Criterion 2: Program Educational Objectives and Criterion 4: Continuous Improvement for Criteria for Accrediting Applied Science Programs, Criteria for Accrediting Computing Programs, Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs, and Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Technology Programs. The ABET Board voted to suspend the normal one-year review and comment period for criteria changes, based on feedback from accredited programs, institution representatives, the ABET Academic Advisory Council (AAC), and ABET’s four Accreditation Commissions.

In summary, the change to Criterion 2 removes the requirement for a program to have a process for the “review and revision” of its program educational objectives (PEOs). The new language requires a documented process that is systematically utilized and effective, involving the program’s constituents, for periodic review of the PEOs so that they remain consistent with the institution’s mission, the constituents’ needs, and the criteria.

Further, the change to Criterion 4 removes the requirement for a program to demonstrate graduate attainment of program educational objectives. This change removes the stringent requirement for assessment of program educational objectives as is required for a program’s student outcomes.

Programs Scheduled for Reviews in the 2012-13 Cycle

For programs in the 2012-13 review cycle for which a shortcoming has been identified regarding the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained, the four ABET Commissions will:

  1. Document any shortcoming relative to the accreditation criteria applicable to the program in the 2012-13 cycle.
  2. Recognize that instruction from the ABET Board of Directors concerning implementation of this change renders moot in the future a shortcoming regarding the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained.
  3. Not consider shortcomings regarding the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained in any accreditation decision taken by the Commissions at the 2013 July decision meeting.

Programs Scheduled for Interim Reviews in the 2013-14 Cycle

For programs scheduled for interim reviews in the 2013-14 review cycle, as a result of a previous IR, IV, SCR, or SCV accreditation action, that are providing reports that address a shortcoming regarding the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained, the four ABET Commissions will:

  1. Recognize that instruction from the ABET Board of Directors concerning implementation of this change renders moot in the future a shortcoming regarding the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained.
  2. Not require any response from a program regarding a shortcoming relative to the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained.
  3. Not consider shortcomings regarding the assessment and evaluation of the extent to which program educational objectives are attained in any accreditation decision taken by the Commissions at the 2014 July decision meeting.

The 2013-14 accreditation criteria, Accreditation Policy and Procedure Manual (APPM) and Self-Study Questionnaire templates are posted.