ABET

Module 2: Draft and Final Statements

The Draft Statement (DS) is the initial report of findings following the visit (or, in the case of an IR or SCR, the reading of the report) to the program. The DS describes the program within the context of the institution, and details the shortcomings as determined by the visit team (or by the Team Chair in cases of IRs and SCRs). There is a detailed template, complete with instructions, in your TC documents folder in the CAC Workbook. Please use it, and follow the instructions contained therein.

Here are some pointers and reminders to keep in mind as you work on the Draft Statement:

Overall format:

  • Introduction (institutional characteristics, programs evaluated, etc.)
    • Indicate any institutional strengths, if they exist (at the end of Section I)
  • Separate section for each program evaluated; these should be provided in alphabetical order by program name.
  • Summary (program by program summary of shortcomings)

One section for each program:

  • Description (faculty, students, etc.)
  • Strengths (only if one truly exists); in the case of joint or simultaneous visits be more lenient
  • Status of Shortcomings from the Previous Review (cut-and-paste from Summary of previous Final Statement; only if it exists)
  • Shortcomings from current evaluation

Observations (omit if none); these are not common

There can be at most one Deficiency, one Weakness, and one Concern per criterion.

  • A shortcoming may have multiple factors that contribute to the shortcoming.
  • There may be both a Deficiency and a Weakness; or both a Weakness and a Concern, for example, but there cannot be multiple Weaknesses, nor multiple Deficiencies, nor multiple Concerns per criterion. If there are multiple criterion reasons associated with a single shortcoming, they should be itemized as separate factors that contribute to the single shortcoming for that Criterion.
  • Shortcomings in program-specific criteria should be merged into the appropriate overarching criterion.

Observations

  • DO NOT relate to findings relative to criteria
  • Are provided in the interest of general program improvement
  • Should not appear prescriptive
  • Have no consequences relative to accreditation if ignored

Summary

  • Briefly recaps the shortcomings for each program
  • You are NOT copying and pasting prior material but succinctly providing an overview of the shortcoming(s)
  • Clearly identify the problem in each shortcoming, not just the observed state that caused the problem
  • In general, is much briefer than the shortcoming statements in the findings but detailed enough to be useful for the next review
  • Remember that one of the customers may be a fellow TC

Style/English-usage notes

  • Criteria (italicized) denotes the criteria document
  • If you are referring to a collection of criteria, including all criteria, do not italicize (or capitalize)
  • Refer to the Style Guide document in your TC Workbook

Draft Statements (DS) for IRs and SCRs

  • Previous evaluation resulted in at least one weakness (IR) or one deficiency (SCR)
  • In the report submitted by the program, they only need to address the shortcomings in the criteria identified in the previous review; they do not need to address all the criteria
  • In the DS quote the shortcoming in question exactly as written in the previous Final Statement summary
  • The criteria used for evaluation is the criteria in effect at the time of the previous review
  • New shortcomings can be cited if they become evident during the IR/SCR review
  • Changes to DS format:
    • No introductory paragraphs about institution and program
    • You address the actions taken to resolve the shortcoming(s) and your evaluation of those actions in the “Status of Shortcomings from Previous Review” section of the statement
    • Follow the instructions in the DS template – they really help!

Draft Statements for IVs and SCVs

  • Previous evaluation resulted in at least one weakness (IV) or one deficiency (SCV)
  • In the report submitted by the program, they only need to address the shortcomings in the criteria identified in the previous review; they do not need to address all the criteria.
  • In the DS provide the shortcoming in question exactly as written in the previous Final Statement summary.
  • Visit is focused on the criteria with the shortcomings in them from the previous visit.
  • The criteria used for evaluation is the criteria in effect at the time of the previous review
  • New shortcomings can be cited if they become evident when conducting the review; this can include the changing of a weakness to a deficiency for a particular criterion
  • The DS will follow the same format as one for a general visit
    • You will address the actions of the program to resolve the shortcomings in the “Findings from the Current Review” section
    • Make sure to separate your evaluation from the summary of the actions taken by placing things in their proper template sections
  • Follow the instructions in the DS template – they really help!
  • Be sure to use the correct template depending on when their last General Review was (2013-14 or 2015-16)

Final Statement

Once the Draft Statement has been sent to the program, the program has 30 days to file a Due Process Response (DPR). In the DPR, the program should explain what corrective actions it is taking to resolve the shortcomings identified in the DS. It is your role as TC to evaluate the program’s response, decide if the steps the program has taken have changed the level of shortcoming, and incorporate the response and your evaluation into a Final Statement (FS).

Please note that a program is not required to submit a Due Process Response.

Here are some pointers and reminders to keep in mind as you work on the Final Statement (FS):

  • A template is produced by ABET HQ from the DS sent to the institution (after editing) with wording changed to indicate that it is a FS and headings inserted for due process response and due process evaluation for each shortcoming. It will also contain a special page heading inserted at HQ.
  • Use the template sent from HQ; do NOT modify a previous DS.
  • TC adds the due process actions and evaluation to the template (received from HQ) to produce a draft Final Statement.
    • For each due process response, summarize the statement and evidence provided by the program – do not simply copy and paste from what is sent to you by the program.
    • In the Due Process Response section, do not evaluate – your evaluation is presented in the next section.
    • Make sure to provide justification for your finding in the Due Process Evaluation section.
    • If the evaluation is either a weakness or a deficiency and the potential action is NOT an NA, the TC also adds instructions regarding the expectations regarding the preparation of documentation with respect to the shortcoming for the next review. These instructions are not included if the potential action is NA.
  • Should NOT have a due process response in a shortcoming from a previous visit – the actions from the previous visit are either resolved or carried forward in the current visit
  • If there is no due process response for a shortcoming:
    • Due-process Response: “No response was submitted.”
    • Due-process Evaluation: “The weakness/deficiency/concern remains unresolved.”
      • Retain the appropriate shortcoming level (weakness, deficiency, or concern) and remove the two other levels from the above sentence.
    • If there is no due process response at all and the Draft Statement had no shortcomings other than concerns, then the DS will be converted to a Final Statement at ABET HQ without further involvement from you or your editors. However, if the DS  had a weakness or a deficiency (it is possible), then ABET HQ will add the due process sections to each shortcoming and send it to the TC for editing. The TC then adds the following to each shortcoming: “The institution did not submit a due process response.” The TC then forwards the FS to the Editors.
  • Draft Final Statement is sent by TC to Editor 1 using FS naming convention (please change DS to FS in the file name):
    • Copy to HQ (cac@abet.org)
    • Attach updated RAF and PET files
  • Editing process is the same as for the DS
  • Some Final Statements may require post due-process handling (response and evaluation)