An inside view on ABET engineering accreditor training

Joseph T. Wunderlich, Elizabethtown College


This paper presents a view of ABET engineering accreditor training from the perspective of an engineering professor from small comprehensive college who is helping prepare a Computer Engineering program for accreditation. The foundation of the paper is based on the author's observations while participating in an ABET accreditor training course at an ASEE conference where 95% of the participants were ABET accreditors. A comparison of ABET evaluation standards as they have changed from the prescribed requirements of the past to the more self-determined measurements of the newer ABET standards yields much insight into the accreditation process. A plan for organizing required documentation, resources, and people is included. The degree to which an engineering program has matured to an "ABET-ready" status must be established to spare a department and college from the financial and emotional costs of planning, funding, and facilitating an ABET accreditation review before a program is ready. Such specifics as having clear objectives, verifiable outcomes, and a fully developed comprehensive curriculum are also discussed. Principles such as self-evaluation, continuous improvement, and life-long learning are critical.