Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC)
The ABET Computing Area Delegation recently approved the release of Program Criteria for Data Science and Similarly Named Computing Programs for public review and comment through June 15, 2021. This gives the CAC an opportunity to get constituent feedback while ensuring the proposed changes, revisions and criteria are as clear, effective and inclusive as possible.
Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)
The Engineering Accreditation Commission is busy this cycle with virtual visits to 526 undergraduate engineering programs at 116 institutions around the world. To accommodate additional preparation time needed for these virtual accreditation reviews, the majority of the visits have shifted several weeks from their usual fall timeframe. The EAC will conduct half of its visits in November this year with many scheduled for the first three months of the new year.
Work continues in the criteria committee on an important issue. Member societies are considering how to reflect more robust Diversity, Inclusion and Equity principles into the engineering criteria. The EAC is working closely with the Accreditation Council’s Cross-Commission Working Group to move this initiative forward in a deliberate, consultative manner.
Criteria discussions have also begun on the inclusion of safety standards into the criteria. Centered on the safety guidance provided by the ABET Policy and Procedures Manual (APPM), the discussions are considering what type of safety language might be appropriate in the criterial for the societies and institutions to consider.
Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC)
The ETAC has made modifications to Criterion 5, Curriculum, in the 2020-2021 Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Technology Programs. These changes modify the Discipline Specific Content section and added a new section, Other Content (both shown below). It’s our expectation that communicating about the criteria, its changes and common shortcomings can provide information and feedback to programs that help them in their accreditation efforts.
The Discipline Specific Content Section E was modified to focus on student preparations for their career and professional development. The Other Content section was created to emphasize that topics of professional and ethical responsibilities, diversity and inclusion awareness, quality and continuous improvement could be addressed in courses outside of the Discipline Specific Content portion of the curriculum. Also note the criterion was expanded to include “diversity and inclusion awareness.”
Excerpt from the 2020-2021 Criteria with modified areas in orange.
Discipline Specific Content The discipline specific content of the curriculum must focus on the applied aspects of science and engineering and must:
A. Represent at least one-third of the total credit hours for the curriculum but no more than two-thirds of the total credit hours for the curriculum;
B. Include a technical core preparing students for the increasingly complex technical specialties later in the curriculum;
C. Develop student competency in the discipline;
D. Include design considerations appropriate to the discipline and degree level such as: industry and engineering standards and codes; public safety and health; and local and global impact of engineering solutions on individuals, organizations and society; and
E. Combine technical, professional, and general education components to prepare students for a career, further study, and lifelong professional development.
Other Content: The curriculum must include topics related to professional and ethical responsibilities, diversity and inclusion awareness, quality, and continuous improvement.