Accreditation Of Ece Programs


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Accreditation Of Ece Programs

  1. 1. Accreditation of ECE Programs Information for the Upcoming Accreditation Renewal Visit October 16-18
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>ECE has two accredited programs, Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Engineering (CP) (with Computer Science). The programs were last accredited about 6 years ago and are up for renewal this year </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation is meant to give you a brief introduction to the accreditation institution, ABET, a brief history of accreditation of our programs and a summary of how we are trying to meet the accreditation requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>The reason this is of concern is that the ABET evaluators who will be here October 16-18 and will want to interview some of us. They will want to know whether we understand what the Department is doing in regard to the processes in place necessary for accreditation, among other things. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>The handout of this presentation will pretty much cover the essential information – if you familiarize yourself with it you should be okay. In addition, a number of you are on Course Oversight Committees this term; that will help too. </li></ul><ul><li>For those who want to know what is being done in more depth, please see the self-study that was submitted to ABET on June 30. A copy is in the ECE Undergraduate Office and Prof. Davis in CMSC has one also. </li></ul><ul><li>The stuff that you should be well aware of is in red – expect questions on it if interviewed. </li></ul><ul><li>The stuff you should be cognizant of but not necessarily well familiar with is in blue-green </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>ABET , the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology in the U.S. It is a federation of 30 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Matters relating to EE and CP have been driven by IEEE and ACM, respectively. The objective of ABET is to encourage and assist schools to develop the best possible programs. </li></ul><ul><li>ABET currently accredits some 2,700 programs at over 550 colleges and universities nationwide, including schools such as Georgia-Tech, M.I.T. and Berkeley. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Introduction <ul><li>Essentially, prior to 2000 programs were accredited if they were teaching the right material and could demonstrate that they had the staff and facilities to do the job. </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2000 the emphasis has changed to requiring programs to demonstrate that the students are actually learning the right material (“EC 2000” standards). This was a major change and it has required a number of years for everyone – universities and ABET – to figure out the ramifications. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Introduction <ul><li>We elected to go under the new EC 2000 rules in 1999 for the EE and CP programs (the latter in 2000) and we got our accreditation (after revamping the Capstone Courses), but our self-studies for 1999 and 2000 would hardly pass muster today, for numerous reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Since mid-2002 we have been working on developing processes that would meet the much tighter requirements for accreditation; these were presented to the ECE faculty in May, 2004, at the retreat. </li></ul><ul><li>I believe that as a result of our developing processes for accreditation we have come up with a system that can make a real difference in the quality of our undergraduate programs, which is what really counts. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What Does EC 2000 Require <ul><ul><li>A program must have a set of Educational Objectives tied to a Mission Statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Educational Objectives are defined as what the program expects of its graduates 3 – 5 years after graduation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Educational Objectives should reflect the needs and inputs of the program’s constituents: students; faculty; industrial and government bodies that hire our graduate. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What Does EC 2000 Require <ul><li>A department must have a set of Program Outcomes for each program which, if the students achieve them, ensures that the Educational Objectives will be met </li></ul><ul><li>3. A department must do a quantitative assessment of student achievement of the Program Outcomes and use the information derived to improve itself on a continuous basis </li></ul>
  9. 9. What Does EC 2000 Require <ul><li>4. ABET with IEEE (for EE) and ACM (for CP) has defined a set of 11 Program Outcomes - the ABET a-k outcomes - that all students are supposed to achieve at a satisfactory level (defined by the department) </li></ul>
  10. 10. What Does EC 2000 Require <ul><li>Therefore, to be accredited a program must have in place processes whereby: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational Objectives can be developed and modified and their attainment evaluated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The level of achievement of the Program Outcomes by the students can be assessed quantitatively and the results used to improve the program on a continuous basis (what ABET calls “closing the loop”) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Mission Statement <ul><li>The Mission of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is: </li></ul><ul><li>To advance the public good and to serve the citizens of the State of Maryland, and of the country as a whole, by providing an excellent education in Electrical and Computer Engineering to undergraduate and graduate students; to ensure that its graduates are prepared to engage in the engineering profession in a way that lives up to the highest ethical standards and that keeps them abreast of the latest technological developments; and to conduct world class research. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mission Statement <ul><li>The Mission Statement was created by the UAC and approved by the Faculty last spring </li></ul><ul><li>It would normally be reviewed infrequently, but if the Chair or the UAC thought that it was appropriate, changes would be “vetted” by the Department Council and voted on by the Faculty </li></ul>
  13. 13. Educational Objectives (EE version; in the CP version substitute computer for electrical) <ul><li>Technical Knowledge : Graduate engineers trained in the fundamentals of electrical engineering and relevant specialties so they are prepared to succeed in graduate school and/or be productive engineers in government or industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratory, Design, and Research : Graduate engineers who can design and perform experimental projects to solve diverse problems, with special emphasis on exploiting diverse technical knowledge and skills so they can engage in design work or research. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation for Further Study : Graduate engineers who have the educational foundations and skills necessary to engage in lifelong learning in every sphere of their life. </li></ul><ul><li>Professionalism : Graduate engineers who have the professional skills they need to succeed in their chosen profession and are prepared to fulfill their professional responsibilities as engineers which include their ethical obligations to society, employers, employees, and fellow engineers. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Educational Objectives <ul><li>The processes now in place for Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes are basically what were adopted at the May, 2004 Faculty Retreat. They have been modified and improved since then. The vehicle for doing this has been the Undergraduate Affairs Committee (UAC). </li></ul>
  15. 15. Educational Objectives <ul><li>The Educational Objectives were drastically revised by the UAC from the 1999 versions and were approved by the Faculty in 2004, after being vetted by our Advisory Board and the Department Council </li></ul>
  16. 16. Educational Objectives <ul><li>The Educational Objectives are reviewed every three years by the UAC as part of a long term feedback loop. </li></ul><ul><li>If it seems appropriate to make changes in the Educational Objectives, the UAC will make recommendations to the ECE Chair </li></ul><ul><li>If the Chair approves of the UAC’s recommendation, the modifications will be considered by the Department Council and then put up for approval by the faculty </li></ul>
  17. 17. Evaluation of Educational Objectives <ul><li>Information about graduates is sought from the graduates themselves and from employers and from graduate schools </li></ul><ul><li>This information is used by the UAC to determine whether the Educational Objectives are being met </li></ul><ul><li>Note that the process for evaluation contains processes for improvement of the system: </li></ul>
  18. 18. Program Outcomes <ul><li>Every program developed by an educational institution has a number of desired outcomes – what it is the students will have learned by the time of graduation so as to meet the Educational Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>ABET – with input from IEEE and ACM - has developed a set of outcomes that represent the body of knowledge graduates of EE and CP programs should have if they are going to be effective engineers </li></ul>
  19. 19. Program Outcomes <ul><li>To be accredited all programs must show their students achieve these outcomes at a satisfactory level </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, a program must demonstrate that student achievement of outcomes is assessed in a quantitative fashion and the results used to improve the quality of the program </li></ul><ul><li>ABET does not accept grades as evidence of achievement of Outcomes (because of the “all our students are above average” syndrome) nor does it accept results of student surveys except as strictly secondary sources of information. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Program Outcomes: The ABET Set <ul><li>a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering </li></ul><ul><li>b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data </li></ul><ul><li>c. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs </li></ul><ul><li>d. an ability to function on a multi-disciplinary team </li></ul><ul><li>e. an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems </li></ul><ul><li>f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>g. an ability to communicate effectively </li></ul><ul><li>h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context </li></ul><ul><li>i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning </li></ul><ul><li>j. a knowledge of contemporary issues </li></ul><ul><li>k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice </li></ul>
  21. 21. Program Outcomes: Additional Outcomes Added By ECE <ul><li>l – Disciplinary Foundation Content </li></ul><ul><li>m – Specialization Content </li></ul><ul><li>The program outcomes for ECE have been re-written in a different and more intuitive way – these were presented at the Faculty retreat and have been slightly modified since then (next slide). For accreditation report purposes we are using the ABET definitions (to make life as simple as possible for the ABET evaluators). The ECE Outcomes map to the ABET Outcomes and vice-versa. </li></ul>
  22. 22. The ECE version of the Outcomes <ul><li>1. Broad Foundation: Ability to apply relevant mathematical, scientific, and basic engineering knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Disciplinary Foundation: Ability to apply core electrical engineering technical knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Specialization: Ability of students to apply the skills and concepts within one or more of the specializations within the ECE electrical engineering program. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Laboratory: Ability to employ standard experimental techniques to generate and analyze data as well as use state-of-the-art software and instrumentation to solve electrical engineering problems. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Design: Ability to engage in the creative design process through the integration and application of diverse technical knowledge and expertise to meet customer needs and address social issues. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The ECE version of the Outcomes <ul><li>6. Communication Skills: Ability to communicate effectively both through oral presentations and the written word. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Interpersonal Skills: Ability to interact professionally with others in the workplace, to engage effectively in teamwork, and to function productively on multidisciplinary group projects. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Engineering Ethics: Ability to explain an engineer’s responsibilities to employers, society, and their fellow engineers as well as an ability to recognize potential and actual ethical problems, analyze critically those situations, and formulate sound ethical decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>9. Engineering & Society: Ability to explain the symbiotic relationship between engineering and society – specifically, how engineering artifacts are shaped by and incorporate human values as well as the ways in which engineering solutions impact society – and the larger social obligations this entails for engineers. </li></ul><ul><li>10. Life-long Learning: Skills necessary to engage in life-long learning and an understanding of the need to continually exploit those skills in refining and updating one’s knowledge base. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Table 3.1: EE-to-ABET Outcomes Mapping (From The 2005 Self-Study) ● 10. LL Learning ● ● ● 9. Eng. & Soc. ● ● 8. Eng. Ethics ● 7.Interpersonal ● 6.Communication ● 5. Design ● ● 4. Laboratory ● ● ● ● ● 3. Specialization ● ● ● ● ● ● 2. Disciplinary F. ● 1. Broad Found. (m) (l) (k) (j) (i) (h) (g) (f) (e) (d) (c) (b) (a) EE l-m ABET Criteria a-k EE Outcomes ▼ EE -TO- ABET O UTCOMES M APPING
  25. 25. Program Outcomes <ul><li>The program outcomes are reviewed by UAC every few years (whenever the Educational Objectives are reviewed). </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, the Program Outcomes are taken into account every year as part of a short term feedback loop, to see whether any problems students have achieving them is due to issues with the Outcomes (unlikely). </li></ul><ul><li>The process for making modifications in the Program Outcomes is essentially the same as that for Educational Objectives. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Program Outcomes <ul><li>After the 2004 Faculty retreat the UAC developed a process for doing quantitative assessment of student learning based on three things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) the establishment of rubrics that define criteria for levels of achievement of the program outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) the use of a spread sheet program to map student performance to a four level comprehension score based on criteria for performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3) the use of Course Oversight Committees to monitor what is going on in every course (eventually), to monitor the assessment processes and to make recommendations for improvements in courses and curricula </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Program Outcomes
  28. 28. Program Outcomes <ul><li>Assessment of student learning is done through courses – the courses themselves are not assessed – at least not for accreditation purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>What is assessed is the program outcomes – note a given outcome will generally depend on what is learned in several courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment will not be done in every course every term </li></ul>
  29. 29. Program Outcomes <ul><li>Here is what ECE is doing about assessing achievement of Program Outcomes (processes). This is mostly done by the UAC. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing rubrics to define criteria for student performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Course Oversight Committees to monitor assessment of outcomes done through courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using a spread sheet program for analysis of student performance on exams, on homework and on laboratory work based on an evolving set of criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>analyzing results of the assessment to make recommendations to the ECE Groups and to the Curriculum Review Committee for changes in the programs </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Program Outcomes <ul><li>All courses will eventually have a Course Oversight Committee which will be responsible for the teaching of the course (seeing that the course is taught to the published syllabus, e.g.) and collecting assessment data. This term all the 100 – 300 level and the 408 courses have committees </li></ul><ul><li>The Course Oversight Committees are the primary vehicles for program improvement </li></ul><ul><li>The time required for the Course Oversight Committees is typically an hour or so at the start of a term and an hour or so at the middle of a term. A brief report is submitted to UAC at the beginning and the end of a term. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Program Outcomes <ul><li>Criteria for student performance have been developed; more are needed and these must be carefully looked at by the faculty (via UAC and the Course Oversight Committees). </li></ul><ul><li>Probably we will need to have a faculty working group to help the UAC review criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually, it would be a good idea to have a faculty member responsible for keeping an eye on how well our students are doing achieving and how well we are assessing achievement of each outcome </li></ul>