A PLANNING MODEL FOR ABET ENGINEERING CRITERIA 2000

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1 A PLANNING MODEL FOR ABET ENGINEERING CRITERIA 2000 M. Dayne Aldridge and Larry Benefield College of Engineering Auburn University, AL Introduction ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 provides a new basis for accrediting engineering programs in the United States [1]. Conceptually, the new basis is straight forward with each program being required to have education objectives along with processes that demonstrate the objectives are met through learning outcomes and an ongoing commitment to improvement. Despite the simplicity of the basic concept, initial implementation is proving to be difficult because of the inherent freedom provided by the new criteria for each program. ABET has been reluctant to provide specific examples of how a program can satisfy the new criteria for fear that the examples will become viewed as standards and inhibit faculty from taking advantage of the freedom that is intended to be available. This document presents a model to help faculty and program administrators plan their transition to the ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 in a structured manner. This model is presented from the perspective of what the faculty and administrators within a program should consider in order to comply with ABET Engineering Criteria Although the model does not deal with the methods and procedures that ABET may employ in the accreditation process, the model should help each program anticipate what will be needed to prepare for the general review process. Throughout this document the ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 will be referred to as ABET Because of potential confusion over the use of new terminology, a glossary of the terms used here is presented in Appendix A. Many terms are taken from ABET 2000 and are used here with the same meaning as they appear to be used in the criteria. However, because most of these terms have not come to have standardized meanings within the engineering education community, several terms are defined in detail in the glossary. Thus, the reader is encouraged to compare terms as they are used in the criteria with the definitions presented in the glossary. Two Complementary Perspectives ABET 2000 addresses the effectiveness of engineering education programs from two different but complementary perspectives a process perspective and a resource perspective. Criteria 2 and 3 deal almost exclusively with the process perspective through processes that respond to constituencies by setting educational objectives and outcomes and assuring that they are achieved. The remaining criteria deal with the resources without which the program can not achieve its objectives. Both perspectives are necessary in evaluating a program for accreditation as depicted in Figure 1. Figure 1. The Two Perspectives of ABET 2000 During the past 40 years engineering accreditation criteria have used a resource perspective. Although the criteria have included references to curricular objectives and a few processes, the accreditation process itself has focused almost exclusively on resources. Thus, the new process perspective has occupied center stage in the discussion surrounding transition to ABET The process perspective will be presented first in this paper. But the reader is cautioned to take note of the concluding sections that point out how ABET 2000 accreditation processes must look at both perspectives and how the final accreditation decision can hinge on the compatibility of the accreditation findings from the two perspectives. The Process Perspective -- Two Major Feedback Systems The ABET 2000 criteria can be viewed as requiring two different major feedback systems as shown in the Process Perspective in Figure 1. One system focuses on the Program Education Objectives while the other system focuses on the outcomes that the graduates are required to demonstrate. These two systems are the Educational Objectives (EO) System and the Learning Outcomes (LO) System, respectively. The EO System interfaces with external

2 constituencies and deals with long term issues. In contrast, the LO System deals with issues that must be considered on a day to day basis by the faculty and administrators. The interface of the two systems deals with the requirements of criteria two and three to demonstrate the ultimate success of the program. Criterion 2d requires that a system be in place of ongoing evaluation that demonstrates achievement of these objectives and uses the results to improve the effectiveness of the program. Similarly, criterion 3 requires that there be an assessment process with documented results with the results applied to the improvement of the program and must demonstrate that the objectives of the program are being measured. Judgment of program success for internal development and improvement hinges on the successful interface of the two major feedback systems. expectations and not necessarily their real needs, especially as it relates to their future needs. The together. Educational Objectives System Processes Each engineering program is required to have in place detailed educational objectives and a process based on the needs of the programs various constituencies in which the objectives are determined and periodically evaluated. This process is the heart of the EO System. The Program Educational Objectives must be determined through this process. Thus, the various program constituencies such as employers, alumni, students and faculty must contribute to the selection of the Program Educational Objectives. Although the criteria do not directly address who should be responsible for the final selection of Program Educational Objectives, it is clear that the faculty must take leadership for this critical function. Ultimately, the institution is responsible for the Program Education Objectives but knowledge and expertise that are required to make this decision must rest with the program faculty. The processes within the EO System which are depicted in Figure 2 should include the following: 1. Constituency Needs Process. Constituencies should be divided into logical groups around their commonality of needs and expectations. Constituencies may need to be partitioned for practical analysis. For example, some analysis may need to be performed at a college and/or institutional level whereas other analysis would be necessary at the program level in order to get information that would be program specific. The graduates of most engineering programs are hired by employers that recruit on a national and international level and by other employers who hire only on a local or regional basis. Thus, the gathering of information at a national and/or regional levels may be found more practical by institutions working Methods to assess the needs of each constituency group must be developed. Note that such methods usually determine the groups perceived needs and Figure 2. The Educational Objectives System Processes methods used should be credible to the constituencies. Overt efforts should be made to avoid the appearance of the methods being biased toward the preconceptions of the faculty or administrators of the programs. Methods should be developed to measure the relative importance of the needs identified within each constituency. 2. Composite Needs Process. Constituencies can have competing and incompatible needs. A formal process for resolving these problems is necessary to establish a rational set of objectives that one educational program can attempt to satisfy. 3. Program Educational Objectives Selection Process. Program Educational Objectives should be broad general statements that describe how the program will satisfy constituency needs in the most general terms possible. At the same time, these statements must be sufficiently specific to implicitly establish what the program is NOT attempting to achieve. For example, the Program Educational Objectives for an electrical engineering program should be sufficiently explicit for the reader to recognize that the program is not mechanical engineering. A process must be developed to establish the Program Educational Objectives in ways that satisfy the different constituencies yet meet the needs of the institution and program s educational mission. For example, a state supported institution cannot focus the Program Education Objectives of an engineering program on meeting the needs of a single employer. Similar argument can be made for a private institution where students expect to receive an education

3 with sufficient breadth to qualify them to work for a variety of employers or to attend graduate school for specialized education. 4. Program Outcomes Selection Process. Each engineering program must establish a set of Program Outcomes that describe what the program s graduates will be expected to know and be able to do upon completion of the program curriculum. There must be a clear set of relationships between the Program Educational Objectives and the Program Outcomes. These relationships can be described by a matrix that demonstrates how each Program Education Objective is to be achieved through one or more Program Outcomes. Each Program Educational Objective must relate to one or more Program Outcomes. Each Program Outcome must relate to one or more of the Program Educational Objectives. Although each program is expected to have its own unique combination of Program Educational Objectives and associated Program Outcomes, Criteria 3 requires that all programs have Program Outcomes that satisfy eleven Specified Accreditation Outcomes. Additionally, the Program Outcomes provide the link to the curriculum and the assessment processes that the program chooses to use within the Learning Outcomes System. 5. Program Educational Objectives Evaluation Process. This process is focused on the performance of graduates in the work place in relationship to the Program Education Objectives under which the graduates were educated. Criterion 2(d) requires a system of ongoing evaluation that demonstrates achievement of these objectives and uses the results to improve the effectiveness of the program. 6. Program Education Objective Improvement Process. All of the processes described above must be repeated on a periodic basis, probably on the order of three to six years. Little value will be gained in repeating these processes too often because constituency needs are not expected to change rapidly and the impact of significant changes in objectives will take two to four years to be realized. Because of the time it takes for changes to be implemented and their effect to be measured in student and graduate performance, major change in the Program Educational Objectives should be considered only on an infrequent basis. However, adjustments in the Program Objectives and the associated Program Outcomes may need to occur on an annual basis especially during the first few years of implementing ABET Engineering Criteria Learning Outcomes System Processes Learning Outcomes processes must work at three different levels: 1. Program Outcome Level. Each Program Outcome must be achieved through one or more Learning Objectives. 2. Curriculum Level. Learning Objectives must be achieved within a curriculum of study. Curriculums are usually expressed through a combination of courses that each student is expected to complete. The relationships between the Learning Objectives and the curriculum can be expressed as a matrix of courses and the complete set of Learning Objectives needed to satisfy all Program Outcomes. 3. Course Level. Students achieve Learning Objectives within individual courses. Thus, each course instructor bears the responsibility of designing the course syllabus to challenge each student to achieve the specific Learning Objectives assigned to that course. Additionally, the instructor is responsible for determining if each student has achieved a minimum level of performance for each assigned Learning Objective. There are two sets of processes that must be operating at each level one set for setting and adjusting the Learning Objectives and one set for assessing if the Learning Objectives are being achieved and how the educational program can be improved. In the paragraphs that follow the processes for setting the Learning Objectives are described first for each level beginning at the Outcome Level and working down to the Course Level. These will be followed by a description of the assessment processes beginning at the Course Level and working up to the Outcome Level. Figure 3 depicts the Learning Outcomes System processes. Setting Learning Objectives Process A Learning Objective describes specific knowledge and/or skills that a student is expected to acquire and confirm. Learning Objectives can be stated with great detail or in broad general terms. In the context of this paper, Learning Objectives are expected to be sufficiently detailed to fulfill two requirements: 1. each Learning Objective can express a student s mastery of one or more topics contained within a single course, and 2. achievement of one or more Learning Objectives can provide the basis for demonstrating the satisfaction of one Program Outcome. Thus, the content of a single course will usually address several Learning Objectives which should be associated with one or more of the Program Outcomes. The structuring of Learning Objectives will involve trading off the detail

4 Figure 3. Learning Outcomes System Processes needed to evaluate students mastery of the knowledge and skills involved, and the complexity of the system used to demonstrate how the curriculum and assessment activities assure that the Program Outcomes are achieved. The processes used to set and adjust Learning Objectives will be inherently iterative, especially between the three levels described below. However, differentiation of processes at three levels is important to assure that the on going activities required for accreditation are given appropriate attention. 1. Outcome Level. The evidence for demonstrating the achievement of Program Outcomes is provided by Learning Objectives. For each Program Outcome there must be one or more Learning Objectives that, when achieved, provide the basis for certifying that a student has achieved the required Program Outcome. Learning Objectives provide evidence for the achievement of a Program Outcome in any one or a combination of the following groupings: SINGULAR Group the achievement of one singular Learning Objective certifies achievement of the group. SERIAL Group the achievement of one Learning Objective that is the last in a series of Learning Objectives that are indicative of the student s growth and development. However, the student need only confirm achievement of the final Learning Objective to certify achievement of the group. AND Group the achievement of each of two or more Learning Objectives is required to certify achievement of the group. OR Combination the achievement of only one of the two or more Learning Objectives in the group is required. Achievement of one Program Outcome is determined by the achievement of the Learning Objectives Groups in combinations as specified for the Outcome. 2. Curriculum Level. The program curriculum is normally designed as a set of courses of study that provide for the logical development of the student s knowledge and skills. Each course in a curriculum should contribute to the required Program Outcomes. Thus, each course should include one or more Learning Objectives that support one or more of the Program Outcomes. From this perspective the curriculum can be viewed as a tool for organizing and operating the education program. Learning Objectives are assigned to specific courses where the responsibility for achievement is centered. 3. Course Level. The Learning Objectives are achieved at the Course Level. The responsibility for achievement rests with the students and the instructor within each course. The instructor bears the responsibility for developing a detailed course syllabus and selecting teaching materials, instruction techniques and methods for certifying that the students achieve the Learning Objectives. The students not only bear the responsibility for learning the required knowledge and skills, but also for confirming that the required learning has been achieved. Both the learning and confirming activities require cooperation between the student and the instructor. The Learning Objectives assigned to a course should not be expected to encompass every detail that the students may learn, or the instructor would like for the students to learn, within the course. Rather, the assigned Learning Objectives should be viewed as the most important knowledge and skills the course includes relative to the Program Educational Objectives and the associated Program Outcomes. Thus, the assignment of Learning Objectives should not become an excuse to focus all aspects of a course or its associated examination methods only on assigned objectives. In other words, the basic design of an existing course syllabus and the modes of delivering class room instruction are not necessarily altered by this plan. The instructor may be required to adjust course content and/or classroom delivery to accommodate the assigned Learning Objectives. Just as any examination never fully measures what a student has learned or not learned about the topics covered, the confirmation methods that are employed by the instructor for the assigned Learning Objectives can never be claimed as being fully complete as a measure of the student s accomplishments. Just as the course content will not be expected to focus exclusively on the assigned Learning Objectives, the examination and grading methods should not be focused only on the objectives.

5 Assessment Process Assessment is used in the criteria with two specific provisions. Criterion 3 requires that there must be an assessment process that 1) demonstrates that the outcomes are being measured, and 2) the results are applied to the further development and improvement of the program. These two provisions have slightly different ramifications that must be taken into account in the design and operation of the required assessment process. Two different tracks of assessment are defined below to differentiate how these two requirements are met. Each assessment track is described in terms that, by necessity, provide one example framework of how assessment can be accomplished. The framework provided here was designed for minimal impact on the operation of a traditional curriculum and faculty. This minimal design was chosen as a simple vehicle for demonstrating the fundamental features of assessment that appear to be required by ABET The faculty members at each institution should design their own framework for assessment that is practical and meets the unique needs of each program at that institution. Program Outcomes Assessment Track Criterion 3 requires that engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have eleven different outcomes. It further requires that the outcomes important to the mission of the institution and the objectives of the program, including those listed above.. are the focus of the assessment process. These statements implicitly permit a program to have Program Outcomes that are broader in scope than the eleven listed in Criterion 3. Thus, assessment involves measures to support two different arenas of judgment. One arena is for demonstrating that the graduates of the program have the eleven outcomes specified for the purposes of accreditation. Another arena is for the purpose of supporting the requirement of Criterion 2 (c) and (d) that there be processes and a system of evaluation that demonstrate achievement of the Program Educational Objectives. Since the Program Outcomes are selected to demonstrate how the Program Educational Objectives are to be achieved, the system for certifying that each graduate has achieved each Program Outcome should fulfill the requirements for the two arenas of judgment described above. However, Criterion 3 requires that the outcomes are measured. Thus, a system of metrics must be specified to provide a measurement of the Program Outcomes. This system is described here as the Program Outcomes Assessment Track. Assessment in this tract is driven by the decision whether each Learning Objective is achieved by each student. This decision must take place at the course level. By utilizing the system described here this decision can be integrated with the normal grading process in a way that the needs of both assessment tracks are addressed. Each instructor must not provide a passing grade for a course to any student who does not meet minimum requirements for ALL of the Learning Objectives assigned to the course. This requires the instructor to design an examination and grading system for each course that demonstrates whether each student meets minimum requirements for the assigned Learning Objectives. The method described above for establishing Learning Objectives and certifying their achievement provides a system where the receipt of a passing grade for each course within a program curriculum assures that the required Program Outcomes have been achieved by each student. Achievement of a Program Outcome by a student is certified by the achievement of the required combination of Learning Objectives for the Outcome. Completion of the program requires the achievement of all required Program Outcomes. For programs that have options within the curriculum, some Program Outcomes may be associated with specific options. For this case, each optional combination of Program Outcomes must include the outcomes required for accreditation in Criterion 3. Program Improvement Track Criterion 3 requires that the results of the assessment process must be applied to the further development and improvement of the program. Criterion 2 (d) requires there be a system of ongoing evaluation that uses the results to improve the effectiveness of the program. The data and information that must be gathered to provide the basis for program improvement are not necessarily the same as that needed to determine that the students have achieved the Program Outcomes. The part of the assessment process required for program improvement is described here as the Program Improvement Assessment Track. Note that improvement activities within this track can take different forms at the course, curriculum and program levels and will be presented separately in this section. Although each instructor accumulates very detailed data concerning student performance within each course, the assessment track described here requires only the instructor to use such data for improvement purposes at the course level. The remainder of the assessment track is driven only by the grades of each student for each course and its assigned Learning Objectives. 1. Course Level. Course improvement must be based on data that are gathered at the most fundamental levels of student performance. In the case of the Learning Objectives assigned to a course, the examination and grading system that the instructor employs to determine whether a student meets minimum requirements can be part of this track. However, data must be gathered in sufficient detail to indicate why students do not meet

6 minimum requirements or to indicate changes that may be made to help students reach a higher level of achievement in the course. Pinpointing the aspects of a course in need of improvement presents many problems. For example, assume that while evaluating student performance it is determined that one or more learning objectives are consistently not being achieved. Does this mean that the teaching strategy is faulty, the learning objectives cannot be learned or taught, or a prerequisite course was inadequate? Some aspects of course improvement may be derived from the interface of the course and its students with other courses in the curriculum. Thus, some data will flow from the Curriculum Level to individual courses as needed to adjust interface issues as describe below. 2. Curriculum Level. Data at this level are derived directly from the combination of individual student grades for each course with the Learning Objectives assigned to that course. By maintaining a link between the grades for each student and the specific offering of the course, data can be derived for a variety of evaluation strategies. For example, variation in the quality of instruction from one instructor to another can be analyzed as a means for helping instructors improve. The primary focus of data analysis at this level is on student achievement as they progress through the curriculum. Data accumulated at the Curriculum Level can provide important information on the interface of courses. For example, when students experience difficulty in a course, assessment data should be able to indicate whether adjustment is required in a preceding course by changing the assigned Learning Objectives or by changing the metrics used for ascertaining achievement of the Learning Objectives. It is at the curriculum level that the relationships between course content and the expected level of achievements can be analyzed. The same data that deal with the relationships between courses as described above can be used to analyze the effectiveness of the curriculum structure in relationship to the courses and the overall program. Decisions to make major changes in course content or combinations of courses takes place at this level. 3. Outcome Level. Data that are developed at the Curriculum Level provide the basis for evaluating the relationships between the curriculum, the Learning Objectives and the Program Outcomes. These relationships are fundamental to the internal coherency of the overall academic program as it satisfies the competing interests of several constituencies and provides a viable course of studies for the students. The primary focus of data analysis at this Program Outcome Level is on the measurement of student achievement of Program Outcomes. Analysis of student achievement relative to Program Outcomes can demonstrate the relative quality of student success among the required outcomes. Improvement strategies can be devised that focuses on improving a specific Program Outcome through change at curriculum and/or course levels. The Resource Perspective Criteria 1, 4-8 Resources can be loosely defined as any input to an educational program that is necessary for the program to achieve its stated Program Educational Objectives and the Program Outcomes required by ABET The decision to accredit a program is built partly on confidence that adequate resources will continue to be available to the program for the next six years. Thus, the resource criteria express how the availability of key resources must be compatible with the educational program that is characterized otherwise through Program Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes and the processes required to assure their achievement. Students An engineering program cannot exist without qualified students who bear their responsibilities for learning. Criterion 1 not only acknowledges this important fact but requires that the institution must evaluate, advise, and monitor students to determine its success in meeting Program Educational Objectives. Paramount in this requirement is the set of standards for admitting students to the institution and the program. For the students who are engaged in the educational process, the requirements of Criterion 1 should be imbedded in or coupled to the Learning Outcomes System Processes. The evaluation of students should include each instructor determining whether a student meets the minimum requirements for each Learning Objective. The progress of students can be indicated by their achievement of the required Program Outcomes as well as satisfying traditional curriculum requirements. The system of monitoring the achievement of Learning Objectives can provide a basis for advising students in addition to the traditional ones. Professional Component Criterion 4 requires the engineering curriculum to have certain characteristics in addition to ensuring the achievement of the Program Educational Objectives. Although each engineering program may establish its uniqueness through the Program Educational Objectives, the Outcomes required by Criterion 3 and the content requirements of Criterion 4 establish the envelope within which all engineering programs must operate. Note that the Program Criteria may place additional requirements on the curriculum.

7 Faculty, Facilities and Support Criteria 5 through 7 provide general requirements for the faculty, facilities, institutional support and financial resources. These criteria deal with attributes that experience has demonstrated are not only necessary for a program to provide an acceptable engineering program, but also to maintain an acceptable level of performance between accreditation visits. These are the critical infrastructure attributes that must be addressed in addition to Program Educational Objectives, Program Outcomes, assessment processes and curriculum. Note that Program Criteria may place additional requirements on faculty qualifications. Program Criteria Criterion 8 provides for additional criteria that is specific to the type of program being accredited. The additional requirements are limited to the areas of curricular topics and to the faculty qualifications. These, in effect, amplify Criteria 4 and 5, as noted above. Preparing for the Accreditation Visit Demonstration of the achievement of the Program Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes is not sufficient to merit accreditation. The resource perspective provides a basis for judging program stability and the likelihood that such achievement can continue during the next six years. The ABET 2000 criteria are based on more than process and output considerations. The strong focus of criteria 2 and 3 on process will require parts of the accreditation process to be structured very different than in the past. Specifically, the process perspective part of an ABET 2000 visit may be more of an audit of on-going processes than one of reviewing data supplied through a self-study document. Although the details of how an accreditation visit will be completed are still being developed by ABET, some of the differences can be identified and included in the transition to ABET It is assumed here that some form of self-study questionnaire will be prepared prior to the visit and it will be used by the evaluation team to prepare for the visit. Each institution has a great deal of freedom under ABET 2000 in the choice of feedback systems and processes. But this freedom will require the institution to provide in the selfstudy documents detailed descriptions of the systems and processes used. Additionally, documentation will have to be provided to show that the processes are in place and yield the intended results. The need to show results will be particularly important in relation to demonstrating that the processes are contributing to the development and improvement of the program. Resource Perspective The topics covered in Criteria 1 and 4-8 are similar to those covered in the present criteria. Because the fundamental importance of these topics remain the same, the types of information that would be expected to be provided in a selfstudy document may not change. In particular, such data and information would be accumulated and presented as a record of the past few years to indicate trends and to document the circumstances immediately prior to the visit. Process Perspective This perspective focuses on the processes that are explicitly and implicitly required by Criteria 2 and 3 and on the Program Educational Objectives and Program Outcome that must be set and used for evaluation and improvement purposes by the same criteria. The self-study should be expected to include documentation of ongoing processes including the description of how the processes work on a routine basis and how they are documented. Examples of the documentation should be included to show evidence of how the processes are working. The report should include a listing of the published Program Educational Objectives, the results of the evaluation of how well the Objectives are being achieved, and a summary of how they were last set or altered based on the results of the evaluation. A detailed listing of the Program Outcomes should be included along with descriptions of the processes used to evaluate the Outcomes in relation to the latest Program Educational Objectives. The methods used to set and adjust the Program Outcomes should also be included. Lastly, detailed descriptions of the processes used to set the Learning Objectives and descriptions of how they are used in the Program Outcome Assessment Track and the Program Improvement Track should be part of the report. The visit can be expected to be similar to the format used now but with much more emphasis on verifying the operation of the processes within the two major feedback systems. For example, evaluators should be expected to audit the records of process activity to be assured that the processes are on-going activities and that the reported processes are the basis for decision making and program improvement as required. Concluding Remarks The model presented here is not intended to be exhaustive. The reader is cautioned that the model falls short of specifically including all of the processes and interrelationships between processes that are imbedded in the eight criteria. The model is presented to provide faculty and administrators a common base from which to begin

8 developing a plan to transition from operation under present ABET engineering criteria to the ABET 2000 criteria. Thus, each institution should expect to alter the model to meet specific local needs and preferences. Each institution should adopt a single model for all of its engineering programs. Because there are processes that must operate at the college and/or institutional levels and there are resource issues that can be addressed only at those levels, the use of a single model seems imperative. Additionally, the use of a single model should greatly enhance the accreditation review process. Clearly, there may be differences between programs within a college in how the model is implemented. References [1] Engineering Criteria 2000, Second Edition, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Baltimore, MD. Definition of Terms Appendix Educational Objectives System: The set of all processes and activities that are used to meet the requirements of Criterion 2. Learning Outcomes System: The set of all processes and activities that are used to meet the requirements of Criterion Constituency: A group of people with a common expectation of the subject educational program. Constituency Needs: The needs of a constituency may be characterized by the vested interests of each constituency. That is, each constituency invests in the program in some way with an expectation of something in return. This expected return can be described as a constituency need. Program Educational Objectives: Broad general statements that describe how the program will satisfy constituency needs in the most general terms possible but with sufficient specificity to establish what the program is not attempting to achieve. Program Outcomes: Describe what the graduates will be expected to know and be able to do upon completion of the program curriculum. There must be a clear set of relationships between the Program Educational Objectives and the Program Outcomes. Specified Accreditation Outcomes: Eleven outcomes required of all engineering programs as listed in Criterion 3. Note that the Program Outcomes must encompass or include all of the eleven ABET Specified Accreditation Outcomes for the program to be accreditable. Learning Objectives: Describe specific knowledge and skills that a student is expected to acquire and confirm through examination or some other activity. Learning Objectives are expected to be sufficiently detailed to fulfill two requirements: 1. each Learning Objective expresses mastery of one or more topics contained within a single course, and 2. achievement of one or more Learning Objectives provides the basis for demonstrating the satisfaction of one Program Outcome. Process: A series of steps or actions that are required to achieve an outcome. Setting Learning Objectives Process: The set of steps and actions used to establish all of the Learning Objectives necessary to demonstrate the satisfaction of all Program Outcomes. Assessment Process: As required by Criterion 3, assessment must 1) demonstrate that the Outcomes important to the mission of the institution and the Objectives of the program are being measured, and 2) the results are applied to the further development and improvement of the program. Program Outcomes Assessment Track: A system of evaluation that provides measurements of the Program Outcomes that relate to student achievement and demonstrates the achievement of the Accreditation Program Outcomes. Program Improvement Assessment Track: A system of evaluation that provides measurements that are needed to support program improvement efforts. Program improvement and the associated measurements can be characterized as at the levels of course, curriculum and program. Resource Perspective: Characterization of an educational program by the resources or inputs that are necessary for the program to achieve its stated Program Educational Objectives. This perspective is embodied in Criteria 1 and 4 through 8 in ABET Process Perspective: Characterization of an educational program by the processes that are necessary for the program to achieve its stated Program Educational Objectives. This perspective is embodied in Criteria 2 and 3 in ABET 2000.

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