Information for Programs Seeking Initial Accreditation

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1 Iformatio for Programs Seekig Iitial Accreditatio Aswers to Frequetly- Asked-Questios (from Assurig Quality l Stimulatig Iovatio

2 This documet iteds to aswer may of the questios that idividuals ivolved with programs seekig iitial accreditatio ask. There are may steps that, if take early, ca make the accreditatio process a easier, less mysterious, ad much more positive experiece for the program. Welcome ew programs ad programs ew to ABET accreditatio. We hope the followig iformatio is helpful as you begi the process of accreditig your program. About ABET ABET accredits academic programs at istitutios preparig graduates for etry ito professioal disciplies of applied sciece, computig, egieerig, ad egieerig techology. Fouded i 1932, ABET is a specialized accreditatio agecy that accredits post-secodary degree-gratig programs. Note that ABET accredits programs at various levels; ABET does ot accredit departmets, colleges, or istitutios. ABET is a private, o-profit orgaizatio comprised of 31 professioal ad techical societies spaig the professioal disciplies listed above. ABET accreditatio is coducted by four accreditatio commissios at the degree levels idicated: Applied Sciece Accreditatio Commissio (ASAC) accredits the program at the associate s, bachelor s, or master s levels. Computig Accreditatio Commissio (CAC) accredits programs at the bachelor s level. Egieerig Accreditatio Commissio (EAC) accredits the program at the bachelor s or master s levels. Egieerig Techology Accreditatio Commissio (ETAC) accredits the program at the associate s or bachelor s levels. ABET curretly accredits over 3,200 programs at more tha 670 colleges ad uiversities i 24 coutries. Some iitial evaluatios of programs outside the U.S. may be deferred for oe or more years if the demad for evaluatios exceeds ABET s resources. Istitutioal Eligibility ABET accepts Requests for Evaluatio (RFEs) of postsecodary programs housed i degree-gratig istitutios oly. The first step i attaiig ABET accreditatio is to establish the istitutio s eligibility. I the Uited States, this eligibility is geeral satisfied if the istitutio is accredited by a regioal or atioal accreditatio agecy. For istitutios outside of the U.S., establishig eligibility begis with the istitutio s completio of a Request for Approval (RFA). Each appropriate accreditatio agecy i the istitutio s coutry completes the RFA, ad the istitutio submits them to ABET by Jauary 31. I additio, programs requestig iitial evaluatio must have graduates prior to the academic year of the scheduled accreditatio visit. Program Eligibility Programs requestig iitial review must have graduates prior to the academic year of the scheduled accreditatio visit. Programs housed withi a istitutio without previously ABETaccredited programs i a give commissio are required to complete a Readiess Review by submittig a prelimiary Self-Study Report before the Request for Evaluatio for a give commissio is accepted. For the review cycle, a prelimiary Self-Study Report for a give commissio review is due February 15, 2013.

3 For the review cycle, a prelimiary Self-Study Report for a give commissio review is due November 1, Laguage ABET accreditatio will be offered oly to programs that are able to prepare for ad receive a visitig team coductig its evaluatio activity i Eglish. The Self-Study Report ad other documets provided to the evaluatio team must be i Eglish. All visit activities will be coducted i Eglish. Commissio Desigatio Each program seekig accreditatio will be assiged to a specific commissio or to commissios based upo the literal ame of the program, i.e., the program ame show o the graduatig studet s trascript ad i the istitutio s literature. Although the selectio of program ames is the prerogative of the educatioal istitutio, the proliferatio of program ames is discouraged because differet ames for essetially the same program cofuse ad mislead the public, icludig studets, prospective studets, ad potetial employers. A istitutio may ot use the same program ame to idetify both a ABET-accredited program ad a program that is ot ABET-accredited. Accreditatio Criteria There are two types of criteria: Geeral criteria apply to all programs accredited by a ABET accreditatio commissio. Program criteria are additioal criteria that apply to all programs havig ames that fall withi the applicability sectio of the program criteria. Program criteria esure that the program ame accurately idicates the competecies of the program s graduates. Program Names The program s title must be properly descriptive of the program s cotet ad be show exactly o the graduatig studet s trascript ad i the istitutio s literature. Some program ames imply a specializatio withi a broader discipliary area, ad program criteria have bee developed for may such areas of specializatio. If a program ame implies a specializatio (or multiple specializatios) for which program criteria have bee developed, the program must satisfy all appli - cable program criteria i additio to the geeral criteria. For example, a mechaical egieerig program will eed to satisfy the geeral criteria for egieerig ad the mechaical egieerig program criteria. Further, if a program ame implies specializatios that spa disciplies accredited by more tha oe commissio, the program must satisfy all applicable criteria for those commissios. For example, a computer sciece ad egieerig program must satisfy the Egieerig Accreditatio Commissio s geeral ad computer egieerig program criteria as well as the Computig Accreditatio Commissio s geeral ad computer sciece program criteria. A program seekig accreditatio must provide the program ame i Eglish. Eglish traslatio of a program ame should be based o the techical cotet, ot the literal traslatio of the program ame, so that the applicable criteria ca be properly determied. Helpful Documets Early i the process, it is recommeded that the followig two documets be reviewed by the program s admiistratio ad faculty members: 1) Applicable accreditatio criteria: Criteria for Accreditig Applied Sciece Programs Criteria for Accreditig Computig Programs Criteria for Accreditig Egieerig Programs Criteria for Accreditig Egieerig Techology Programs 2) Accreditatio Policy ad Procedure Maual Both of these documets, alog with other forms ad iformatio, are available at Helpful Meetigs, Workshops, ad More If your istitutio is cosiderig accreditatio, it would be useful for at least oe idividual associated with your program to atted oe or more of the followig meetigs. There is a cosiderable degree of overlap amog these meetigs; therefore, it is geerally ot recommeded that idividuals atted all of these evets. Program Assessmet Workshops This oe-day workshop helps participats broade their uderstadig of the cotiuous quality improvemet of studet learig through the desig of assessmet processes, developmet of measurable learig outcomes, ad applicatio of data collectio methods. More details are available at

4 Istitute for the Developmet of Excellece i Assessmet Leadership (IDEAL) This four-day istitute provides a professioal developmet opportuity for those who lead the developmet ad implemetatio of a program assessmet pla to improve studet learig ad documet program effectiveess. IDEAL egages participats i workig with colleagues to develop ew kowledge ad skills that eable them to be effective assessmet leaders. Although IDEAL s primary focus is developig soud assessmet practices, participats lear how to lead others i the process by applyig facilitatio tools ad basic chage maagemet priciples effectively. See to apply for the ext sessio of IDEAL. ABET Symposium This evet is held every April. The symposium offers more tha 80 peer-review sessios touchig o subjects such as accreditatio processes, assessig programs, preparig Self- Study Reports, plaig for visits, ad more. Additioal iformatio about the symposium is available at symposium/. Istitutioal Represetative s Day This meetig is geerally held durig the secod half of July. It is specifically iteded for istitutioal represetatives who have programs beig visited durig the followig fall ad provides a opportuity for the istitutioal represetative to meet ad coverse with the assiged team chair. Nevertheless, this evet is ope to the public. Iformatio about ABET meetigs ad evets is provided o the ABET website at Cosultats Cosultatio services regardig programs for which Requests for Evaluatio (RFEs) have ot yet bee submitted are provided through the ABET Foudatio (ABET Foudatio, Ic.) a idepedet etity that is distict from ABET. Iquiries regardig programs for which RFEs have already bee submitted should be directed to the ABET Accreditatio Departmet at ABET does ot allow curret members of its accreditatio commissios or Board of Directors to cosult o accreditatio matters because of potetial coflicts of iterest. However, the ABET Foudatio does maitai a list of past ABET commissio members who are available to assist programs ad istitutios i preparig for accreditatio applicatio. The esuig arragemets are strictly betwee the istitutio ad the ABET Foudatio ad do ot ivolve ABET. Recommedatios thus obtaied reflect the cosultat s experiece ad do ot reflect a official ABET positio. Receivig cosultatio or other services from the ABET Foudatio does ot guaratee achievig ABET accreditatio. Cotact the ABET Foudatio at for more iformatio. Evaluatios ABET s policies require a comprehesive reevaluatio of each accredited program at least every six years. These comprehesive evaluatios are referred to as geeral reviews. If the criteria are ot fully satisfied, additioal focused evaluatios may be required betwee the six-year comprehesive evaluatios. These focused evaluatios may require either a report or a visit. Accreditatio Costs There are two types of costs associated with ABET accreditatio: review fees (due withi 30 days of ivoice issuace for U.S. programs ad 45 days for o-u.s. programs) ad aual maiteace fees (due withi 30 days of ivoice issuace for U.S. programs ad withi 45 days of ivoice issuace for o-u.s. programs oce ABET accreditatio is achieved). If a campus visit is required (which is always the case for a iitial accreditatio ad for geeral reviews), the review fee is based upo the team s size. Geerally, the miimum team size is three for a sigle program, i.e., oe team chair ad two program evaluators. For visits ivolvig more tha oe program, the team size will typically be oe team chair ad oe program evaluator for each program. The aual maiteace fee covers the cost of maitaiig the updated records of accreditatio status. For programs i the U.S. ot aliged with a lead professioal society ad all o-u.s. programs, a additioal curricular fee is also assessed o a aual basis. For programs that are required to complete a Readiess Review, please visit for associated fees. The Typical Iitial Accreditatio Sceario Whe a program thiks that it is ready to seek iitial accreditatio, the followig steps should be take: 1) Each program requestig evaluatio should submit a completed Request for Evaluatio (RFE) form, alog with oe official trascript from the most recet graduatig class, to ABET by Jauary 31 of the year i which a evaluatio is desired. Istitutios outside of the U.S. are also required to provide a Request for Approval (RFA) completed by each appropriate recogitio/accreditatio agecy o later tha

5 Jauary 31. The RFE form ad RFA form are available at All documets must be provided i Eglish or come with a certified/official Eglish traslatio. 2) The program should prepare a Self-Study Report. This report should follow the Self-Study Questioaire format for the appropriate accreditatio commissio(s). These questioaires are available for dowload from accreditatio-criteria-policies-documets/. A copy (CD, flash drive, or paper) of the Self-Study Report must be provided to ABET by July 1 followig submissio of the RFE. The istitutio must also provide copies of this report to the evaluatio team members whe directed. 3) ABET will assig a team chair for the evaluatio visit. This will typically occur i May. A istitutio must be willig to accept the assiged team chair. The oly acceptable reaso to reject a team chair is a documeted or perceived coflict of iterest. The istitutio will be provided with the opportuity to reject the assiged team chair if a coflict of iterest is idetified. 4) ABET expects prompt paymet for all accreditatio services. Visit fees are ivoiced May 1 ad must be paid withi 45 days. Maiteace fees are ivoiced October 1 ad must be paid withi 30 days. All paymets are to be made i U.S. dollars. No-paymet of fees may result i cacellatio of the visit, withholdig of the Draft ad/or Fial Statemets to the istitutio, ad/or removal from the list of accredited programs. 5) The visit dates will be egotiated betwee the ABET team chair ad the istitutio. The visit will geerally occur i the September-through-December period while the program is i sessio. 6) Program evaluators are typically assiged by the ed of July. The team chair will provide iformatio about the assiged program evaluators to the istitutio. A istitutio must be willig to accept the assiged program evaluators. The oly acceptable reaso to reject a program evaluator is a documeted or perceived coflict of iterest. The istitutio will be provided with the opportuity to reject a assiged program evaluator if a coflict of iterest is idetified. 7) The evaluatio team will usually arrive o campus o a Saturday or Suday. The campus visit will ormally be coducted o a Moday ad Tuesday, cocludig with a exit meetig with the istitutio s chief executive officer, dea, ad other appropriate officials. The exit meetig is iteded to covey to the istitutio a summary of the results of the evaluatio at that time. 8) After the visit, there will be a seve-day period durig which the istitutio may respod to perceived errors of fact i the material that the team preseted durig the exit meetig. 9) Followig the seve-day period, the ABET team chair will prepare a Draft Statemet to the istitutio. This Draft Statemet will udergo a extesive editorial process ad will be provided to the istitutio several moths after the visit. 10) Upo receipt of the Draft Statemet, the istitutio will have a 30-day period i which to respod to issues idetified i the evaluatio. This period is referred to as the due process respose period. 11) Upo receipt of ay due process respose, a Fial Statemet to the istitutio will be prepared. 12) The etire commissio reviews the Fial Statemet to the istitutio at its aual meetig i July followig the visit. The commissio will cosider ay additioal material related to issues idetified i the evaluatio if the istitutio provides it to the commissio with eough time for the commissio to effectively review it. 13) The commissio will determie the fial accreditatio actio, which will be commuicated to the istitutio o later tha August 31. Retroactive Accreditatio ABET accreditatio ca be grated oly if at least oe studet has graduated from the desigated program. Retroactive accreditatio may be grated to cover studets who graduated durig the academic year prior to the evaluatio visit. Typically, these are the studets whose sample work ad trascripts have bee evaluated. Thus, if a ew program desires to have its first graduates covered by accreditatio, the program s iitial visit should be arraged for the September-December time period immediately followig the academic year i which the first studets graduate. Other Questios Please cotact ABET at with questios ot addressed above. Assurig Quality l Stimulatig Iovatio A015 11/29/12

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