ABET

Pre-Visit Preparation Module 3: CAC

A. CAC Leadership

Adjunct Accreditation Director

  • Art Price

2016-17 Executive Committee

  • Chair – Jim Aylor
  • Past Chair – Lois Mansfield
  • Chair-Elect – Donna Reese
  • Vice-Chair, Operations – John Schnase
  • Public Member –  Cheryl D. Cardell

Seven Members-at-Large

  • John Estell
  • Stephen Itoga
  • Cary Laxer
  • Shari Plantz-Masters
  • Rajendra K. Raj
  • Srinivasan Ramaswamy
  • Pearl Y. Wang

B. CAC Exit Statement Format

The exit statement for each program must follow the format described on page 9 of the document “C351 PER – Program Evaluator Report.” The format is patterned after the Draft Statement format. If there is only one PEV for the program, this exit statement will cover the entire Draft Statement section for the program. If there is more than one PEV for the program, this exit statement contains only what the PEV reads during the exit meeting (including all or nothing about the program). Text will be copied from the PEV exit statement sections and pasted into the PAF to be left with the institution.

For CAC there can be at most one each of deficiency, weakness, and concern per criterion. A shortcoming may have multiple factors that contribute to the shortcoming.

C. CAC Draft Statement Format

Example Draft Statements can be found in the PEV Workbook. The Team Chair will compose the institutional overview as well as the summary section, and the program sections will be taken from the PEV exit meeting statements. As indicated previously, if there is only one PEV for a program, the team chair will paste the PEV’s entire exit meeting statement for the program into the draft statement. If two PEVs draft different parts of the exit meeting statement for a single program, the Team Chair will merge the exit statement sections composed by the two PEVs. In all cases, the Draft Statement findings must be consistent with—preferably identical to—the exit meeting statement and the PAF.

D. Application and Interpretation of CAC Criteria

A complete summary of changes in criteria and in policies and procedures since 2011 – 2012 can be found in Keep up with Accreditation Changes. Those who have not recently participated in a program review should review these changes.

The following selected comments may be useful in applying the new criteria on your visit this cycle.

Comments on Criterion 1:

  • The criterion no longer contains the phrase “Students can complete the program in a reasonable amount of time,” however Criterion 8 requires an environment in which student outcomes can be attained.
  • The requirement that students must have ample opportunity to interact with their instructors is no longer in this criterion, although “student interaction” is referenced in Criterion 6.

Comments on Criterion 2:

  • The word “published” has replaced “documented.”
  • Note the word “measurable” is no longer in the criterion.
  • The constituencies (e.g., faculty, students, alumni, employers) must be involved in reviewing and revising the PEOs.
  • The PEOs should be published somewhere in addition to the self-study itself, ideally in a manner that makes them available to the program’s constituencies.
  • What if the PEOs sound like outcomes instead of objectives? If PEOs are not PEOs as defined in the criteria, there is a Criterion 2 shortcoming.
  • What if PEOs are ambiguous or reflect outcomes retooled to apply after graduation? Use team judgment – do they meet the intent of the Criterion?

Comments on Criterion 3:

  • Note “measurable” is no longer in the criterion.
  • The SOs must prepare students to attain the PEOs. That is, the important relationship is between SOs and PEOs.
  • For CAC each program is expected to define its own outcomes – it is acceptable for a program to use any of attributes (a)-(i) as its outcomes, but not necessary.
  • If an attribute (a)-(i) is not a program outcome, then the program must demonstrate how students are enabled to attain it.
  • If one of (a)-(i) is included in a program outcome, then the assessment process should be able to demonstrate whether students are enabled to attain it.
  • If you identify a shortcoming in Criterion 3 then your written description of the finding should make it clear whether any of (a)-(i) serve as the program’s student outcomes. This clarification will be of benefit to all readers and editors of your statement.
  • Remember Criterion 3 says that the program must enable students to attain certain characteristics; it does not demand that all students attain them.
  • Beginning in 2014-15, characteristic (a) requires the ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics which is appropriate to the program’s student outcomes as well as to the discipline.

Comments on Criterion 4:

Programs must assess the extent to which the student outcomes are being attained. Appropriate assessment for outcomes usually implies:

  • Measures based on actual student performance for outcomes
  • A priori establishment of performance goals, but those goals are not necessarily quantitative.
  • There is no requirement that program improvements have been made.
  • However, the results of evaluations must be systematically utilized as input for continuous improvement.

The use of data/ideas from sources other than the assessment of outcomes achievement can also be used to improve the program.

Comments on Criterion 6:

  • The words “current and active” have been removed.
  • The faculty responsibility has been changed from managing the curriculum to implementing a program of study that fosters the attainment of student outcomes.

Comments on Program criteria for Information Systems: 

Beginning in 2015-16 following changes in the IS program criteria take effect:

  • Criterion 3 IS characteristic (j) now requires students to be able to support the use, delivery and management of information systems within an Information Systems environment.  Previous wording indicated only an understanding of these issues.
  • Criterion 4 has changed to remove coverage of the fundamentals of a modern programming language.  This criterion has added the fundamentals of application development and security of information systems.  In addition, the description of the IS Environment now says that this is a “cohesive set” of topics that provide “an understanding of” an environment in which the information systems will be applied professionally.

Comments on Program criteria for Information Technology

Beginning in 2015-16 the following changes in the IT program criteria take effect:

  • Criterion 3 IS characteristic (j) now lists the core information technologies of human computer interaction, information management, programming networking, and web systems and technologies.

E. The IS Environment

PEV’s evaluating programs under the IS Program Criteria should review the requirement of the IS Environment. These requirements are described in document “C123 IS Environment Advisory” contained in the PEV Workbook.

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