How your Section can participate in Education- Program Accreditation Activities

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1 How your Section can participate in Education- Program Accreditation Activities IEEE Sections Congress Amsterdam, the Netherlands August 2014 Moshe Kam 1

2 What are we talking about Academic programs routinely undergo Accreditation A periodic review aimed to ensure that certain educational objectives and standards are met The review is conducted by an external body Usually after an internal review was completed The review includes topics such as curriculum content, admission standards, facilities, staff, advising and finances 2

3 A Broad Definition of Accreditation Formal recognition of an educational program by an external body on the basis of an assessment of quality An evaluation process in which an accrediting body examines an educational program to ensure that it meets minimum standards established by experts in the field The outcome of the process is often binary: a program is either accredited or not accredited Some accrediting bodies put each program in a particular quality category this is the practice in India

4 Value of Accreditation Accreditation forces a periodic self-study of educational programs and provides outside benchmarks and evaluation Without accreditation some programs may go for decades without any systematic review Accreditation tells prospective students and employers that a program meets minimum standards Sometimes accreditation is a pre-requisite for Licensing Some financial institutions provide student loans only for study in accredited programs Academic programs often consider accreditation as an admission criterion for transfer and graduate students Students transferring between accredited programs can have some sense of equivalence

5 We are focusing on accreditation by external bodies often NGOs In many countries and institutions the accreditation review is conducted by independent or semi-independent nongovernmental organization (NGO) When the review is just internal, a professional association like IEEE has very limited role When the review is conducted by a government agency IEEE sometimes can serve as consultant But this role is very limited 5

6 We are focusing on accreditation of engineering, technology and computing programs There is a significant activity in the more general area of school licensing and school accreditation Quite often the process of accrediting an E/C/T program is done on top of accreditation of the school by another body 6

7 So what typically IEEE is not involved with Government licensing of schools Accreditation of schools by external bodies Independent accreditation of engineering, computing and technology programs directly by IEEE Some of IEEE s sister societies engage in accreditation directly E.g., IET (United Kingdom) 7

8 What IEEE is involved with Assistance to existing accrediting bodies Participation in the governance and operations of existing accrediting bodies Training of program evaluators and other operators of existing accrediting bodies Development of new accrediting bodies where they do not exist 8

9 Training session for Peruvian program evaluators, Lima December 2006

10 Training session for Peruvian program evaluators, Arequipa December 2007

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12 CACET Program Evaluator training, May > 8/23/2014

13 Less-direct involvement Development of model curricula which often inform the activities of accrediting bodies or are adopted by them Education of decision makers about ECT accreditation Development of guidelines, nomenclature and other accreditation-relevant literature Accreditation.org a portal on accreditation activities 13

14 14

15 15

16 Why does IEEE care? Involvement of IEEE in accreditation of ECT is sometimes the most influential path for IEEE to affect education in ECT Example: introduction of standards into engineering curricular requirements in the United States IEEE volunteers are often the best experts for accrediting bodies to rely upon Experienced academics Well-established professionals from industry Government officials with relevant responsibilities 16

17 IEEE Accreditation Touch Points Source: Sinha (2012), Phoenix, AZ 17

18 Examples: well-established accreditation agencies which operate as NGOs Engineers Canada ABET (USA) Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education Engineering Council of South Africa 18

19 Examples: other models of accreditation agencies AICTE/NBA (India) China Association of Science and Technology The Council for Higher Education (Israel) INEP (Brazil) 19

20 Examples: accrediting bodies whose establishment was supported by IEEE ICACIT (Peru) CACET (Caribbean Region) Engineering Education Accreditation Board (CACEI) (Mexico) 20

21 Accreditation Accords Name of the Accord Field The Washington Accord Professional engineering academic degrees Sydney Accord Seoul Accord Dublin Accord Qualifications in the field of Engineering Technology Professional computing and information technology academic degrees Recognition of Engineering Technician qualifications 21

22 The importance of Accord Recognition varies The accords are considered by some as conferring on the signatories a semblance of legitimacy and international recognition However, these are agreements between the accrediting bodies, not between their countries The practical implications of international accord recognition vary greatly from country to country In some countries a graduate of a program recognized by a signatory of the Washington Accord is considered qualified to become candidate for registration as Professional Engineer In other countries no such recognition is given 22

23 HOW YOU AND YOUR SECTION CAN GET INVOLVED 23

24 Type of involvement 1. Where there exists no accrediting body 2. Where there is an accrediting body in formation or reorganization 3. Where there exists a well-established accrediting body 3.1 With on-going IEEE participation 3.2 With no IEEE participation 4. When the objective is to improve the framework for accreditation activities 24

25 Opportunities for involvement. WHERE THERE IS NO ACCREDITING BODY FOR ECT (EXAMPLES: SOME COUNTRIES IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA) 25

26 Education about Accreditation IEEE-EAB has conducted over the years many workshops and conferences on accreditation on ECT You can arrange a workshop in your Section Such workshops are most beneficial if They cover a region with many academic programs A country or several countries They involve educators, education leaders and appropriate representatives from industry and government They present a spectrum of possibilities and accreditation models They involve discussion with participants and generation of action items 26

27 Starting a New Accrediting Body We have done it several times Just last month ICACIT became a provisional member of the Washington Accord It is hard to do It requires a strong group of dedicated volunteers This activity takes years, not months It always involves interaction with existing schools, associations, and government agencies The rewards can be very substantial 27

28 Creating a New Accrediting Body is a Contact Sport You need long term commitment from volunteers Strong and persistent leadership Adaptable and thick-skinned volunteers 28

29 Starting a regional alliance of existing accrediting bodies We have not done this yet though we were involved with bi-lateral agreements between accrediting bodies IEEE s power to convene may be brought to bear There are several areas where such activity makes sense Especially in Latin America 29

30 Opportunities for involvement. WHERE THERE IS AN ACCREDITING BODY IN FORMATION OR REORGANIZATION (EXAMPLES: PERU, THE CARIBBEAN, INDIA) 30

31 Assistance to new accrediting bodies This activity is relevant to New accrediting bodies created by IEEE Some of the provisional members of existing accords Proposed activities Arrange for a formal exchange between the Section (or Sections) and the accrediting body Provide volunteer assistance Program evaluators Members for governing bodies Coordination of training and education by IEEE Provide work, get recognition 31

32 Opportunities for involvement. WHERE THERE EXISTS A WELL-ESTABLISHED ACCREDITING BODY WITH ON-GOING IEEE PARTICIPATION EXAMPLES: USA 32

33 Assistance to existing accrediting bodies Get in touch with the IEEE coordinator for the accrediting body EAD staff can help identify the most appropriate coordinator based on location and field Develop a plan of involvement based on accrediting body needs Needs are particularly acute in mobilizing nonacademic program evaluators Provide feedback to the accrediting body from programs in your area/section through IEEE-EAB We are currently quite weak in this arena 33

34 Opportunities for involvement. WHERE THERE EXISTS A WELL-ESTABLISHED ACCREDITING BODY WITH LITTLE OR NO IEEE PARTICIPATION EXAMPLES: JAPAN, KOREA, SINGAPORE, MOST OF EUROPE 34

35 Where IEEE is not yet involved Develop ties between the Section (or Council, or Sections) and the accrediting body Assess whether there is an opportunity for IEEE involvement There may be areas where there is no hope There may be areas where some level of cooperation and joint activities can be established Remember that at some level all volunteer groups can use more help and we often have willing and interested volunteers As always IEEE s involvement should be well-coordinated and planned well for the long haul Involve EAB/EAD in outreach activities We may have resources or connections that are relevant 35

36 Opportunities for involvement. WHEN THE OBJECTIVE IS TO IMPROVE THE FRAMEWORK FOR ACCREDITATION ACTIVITIES 36

37 Improving Infrastructure for Accreditation Model curricula When we engaged development of model curricula we gained significant influence on academic education in computing There are several key technical areas where IEEE leads (in journals and conferences) but where we have not offered a model curriculum yet Accreditation for the first half of the 21 st century We have an opportunity to offer a new model This effort would probably not come just from longtime IEEE accreditation volunteers 37

38 38 Accreditation.org

39 Regional Needs Literature that can assist the development of educational programs in specific regions Several areas in Africa may be the most appropriate target for this activity The nomenclature project for South America is a good example for what we can do IEEE Workshop on Common Nomenclature for Computing- Related Programs in Latin America 39

40 40 sition_statements.html

41 In Closing Accreditation provides IEEE volunteers with a significant opportunity to contribute to education in engineering, computing and technology This type of volunteer activity requires dedicated volunteers who stay with the projects for the long haul unlike more time-limited activities which typically require 2-3 years in an IEEE job There are challenges and opportunities all over the world, and in all settings of currently existing accrediting bodies 41

42 42 Questions and Comments

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