Computing accreditation a new criteria structure and new flexibility
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Computing Accreditation A New Criteria Structure and New Flexibility. Presented, in part, at DSI 2005 by John Gorgone - Bentley College Gayle Yaverbaum - Penn State Harrisburg Barbara Price – Georgia Southern University. The Players in the Computing Accreditation Game.

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Computing accreditation a new criteria structure and new flexibility l.jpg

Computing Accreditation A New Criteria Structure and New Flexibility

Presented, in part, at DSI 2005 by

John Gorgone - Bentley College

Gayle Yaverbaum - Penn State Harrisburg

Barbara Price – Georgia Southern University


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The Players in the Computing Accreditation Game

Who are they and what are their roles?

Reference: New Commissioner Training July 2005 by Della Bonnette, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Don Bailes, East Tennessee State University and CAC Institutional Representatives Orientation July 2005 by Joe Turner, Clemson University


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CAC

Visit Team

CSAB

Institution

ABET

How do these pieces fit?


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ABET Board

Governance

Engineering Accreditation Commission

1759 accredited programs at 357 institutions

Computing Accreditation Commission

239 accredited programs at 204 institutions

Rapidly Expanding IS and IT numbers

Applied Science Commission

67 accredited programs at 51 institutions

Technology Accreditation Commission

665 accredited programs at 220 institutions


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ABET

  • Provides strategic vision/mission

  • Approves policy

  • Approves criteria

  • Decides appeals of not-to-accredit decisions

  • ABET BOD consists of officers and representatives of participating bodies


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Computing Accreditation Commission

Executive Committee (ExCom)

4 Officers, 5 At-Large Members,1 Board Liaison (ex-officio)

Chair

23 Commissioners (increases to 31 for 2006-2007 cycle)

1 Public Member


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CAC

  • ABET Commission responsible for accrediting computing programs

  • Currently accredits Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Technology programs

  • Initial (pilot) accreditation visits for Information Technology programs in 2004-05 under Proposed General Criteria. Additional visits were made in the 2005-2006 cycle.

  • There will be several pilot visits in 2006-2007 under Proposed General and Program Criteria


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CSAB, Inc. Represents the professional societies ACM, AIS, IEEE-CS

Executive Committee

President, Vice President, Treasurer, Past President (non-voting, ex-officio)

President

Executive Director

Representative Directors: 4 from ACM, 4 from IEEE-CS,

1 from AIS

Alternate Representative Directors (non-voting):

2 from ACM, 2 from IEEE-CS, 1 from AIS


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CSAB Responsibilities

  • Develop program-specific accreditation criteria

  • Select, train and evaluate program evaluators, drawing from professional societies

  • Nominate members to the Commissions

  • Appoint ABET BOD members

  • Consult with Commissions


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Current CAC/ABET Criteria

  • Intent

  • Standards

  • CS and IS criteria structured into categories, with many similar or identical standards.


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The Proposed New ABET CAC Accreditation Criteria

  • ABET CAC would like to accredit more programs.

    • General criteria for computing programs in computing, and program-specific ones for specific programs in computing.

    • Program-specific criteria add to the general criteria.

    • To be accredited, a program whose title matches any one of the specific criteria must meet both the general criteria and the specific ones.

    • Programs whose title does not match any of the specific criteria can be accredited under the general criteria.

  • ABET wants to encourage innovation

    • No longer any distinction between statements of intent and standards. The new accreditation criteria only have statements of intent.

    • Greater emphasis on outcomes, assessment and continuous improvement, and inclusion of minimum outcomes in the accreditation criteria.


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Proposed Criteria

  • Outcomes Based

  • General Criteria for all computing programs

    (Presently CS, IS and IT. In the future ???)

  • Supplementary program criteria within each specific disciplinary area

    • CS

    • IS

    • IT

  • Statements of Standards absent from criteria


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General Criteria

  • Developed by CAC in consultation with CSAB

  • Preliminary approval by ABET Board

  • Currently in period of review and comment (through June 15, 2007)

  • Several IT programs piloted the general criteria during review and comment period (04-05 and 05-06 cycles)

  • During remainder of the pilot period some CS and IS programs will be evaluated using current criteria and standards, while others will be reviewed using the proposed criteria.


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General Criteria(Changes are noted in yellow)

1. Objectives, Outcomes, and Assessment

  • The program has documented measurable educational objectives and outcomes for graduating students, based on the needs of the program’s constituencies.

  • The program uses a documented process incorporating relevant data to regularly assess its educational objectives and outcomes and to evaluate the extent to which they are being met.

  • The results of the evaluations are used to develop and implement plans to effect continuous improvement of the program.


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Achievement of AttributesStudent Characteristics for All Programs

  • An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline

  • An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution

  • An ability to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs

  • An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal

  • An understanding of professional, ethical, and social responsibilities


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  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

  • An ability to analyze the impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society, including ethical, legal, security and global policy issues

  • Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, continuing professional development

  • An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice


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Proposed General Criteria audiences(Major differences from current CS and IS Intents underlined)

2. Student Support

Students can complete the program in a reasonable amount of time. Students have ample opportunity to interact with their instructors. Students are offered timely advising, by qualified individuals, about the program’s requirements and their career alternatives. Students who graduate from the program meet all program requirements.


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Current General Criteria audiences(Major differences from current CS and IS Intents underlined)

3. Faculty Qualifications

Faculty members are current and active in the associated computing discipline. They each have the educational backgrounds or expertise consistent with their expected contributions to the program. Each has a level of competence that normally would be obtained through graduate work in the discipline, relevant experience, or relevant scholarship. Collectively, they have the technical breadth and depth necessary to support the program.


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Current General Criteria audiences(Major differences from current CS and IS Intents underlined)

4. Faculty Size and Workload

There are enough full-time faculty members to provide continuity, oversight and stability, to cover the curriculum reasonably, and to allow an appropriate mix of teaching, professional development, scholarly activities, and service for each faculty member. The faculty assigned to the program has appropriate authority for the creation, delivery, evaluation and modification of the program, and the responsibility for the consistency and quality of its courses.


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Current General Criteria (cont’d) audiences

5. Curriculum

  • The program’s requirements are consistent with its educational objectives and are designed in such a way that each of the program outcomes can be achieved.

  • The curriculum combines technical and professional requirements with general education requirements and electives to prepare students for a professional career and further study in the computing discipline associated with the program, and for functioning in modern society.


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Current General Criteria (cont’d) audiences

5. Curriculum (cont’d)

  • The technical and professional requirements include at least one year of up-to-date coverage of basic and advanced topics in the computing discipline associated with the program.

  • In addition, the program includes mathematics appropriate to the discipline beyond the pre-calculus level.

  • For each course in the major required of all students, its content, expected performance criteria, and place in the overall program of study are published.


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Current General Criteria (cont’d) audiences

6. Technology Infrastructure

Computing resources are available, accessible, systematically maintained and upgraded, and otherwise adequately supported to enable students to achieve the program’s outcomes and to support faculty teaching needs and scholarly activities. Students and faculty receive appropriate guidance regarding the computing resources and laboratories available to the program.


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Current General Criteria (cont’d) audiences

7. Institutional Support and Financial Resources

The institution’s support for the program and the financial resources available to the program are sufficient to attract and retain qualified faculty, administer the program effectively, acquire and maintain computing resources and laboratories, and otherwise provide an environment in which the program can achieve its educational objectives and outcomes. Support and resources are sufficient to provide assurance that the program will retain its strength throughout the period of accreditation.


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Current General Criteria (cont’d) audiences

8. Institutional Facilities

Institutional facilities including the library, other electronic information retrieval systems, computer networks, classrooms, and offices are adequate to support the educational objectives and outcomes of the program.


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Each Program Must Satisfy the audiencesGeneral Criteria

Program Criteria provide the specificity needed for interpretation of the General Criteria as applicable to a given discipline.


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Computer Science Proposed Program Criteria Additions audiences

  • Objectives, Outcomes and Assessment

  • Faculty Qualifications

  • Curriculum


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Objectives, Outcomes, audiencesand Assessment

  • The program enables students to achieve, by the time of graduation,

    • An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices;

    • An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity.

CS


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Faculty Qualifications audiences

GC: Faculty members are current and active in the computing discipline associated with the program. Collectively, they have the technical breadth and depth necessary to support the program.

  • Some full-time faculty members have a Ph.D. in computer science.

CS


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Curriculum audiences

Students have the following amounts of course work or equivalent educational experience.

  • Computer science: one and one-third years

  • Math, one-half year that includes discrete mathematics. The additional mathematics might consist of courses in areas such as statistics. Calculus, linear algebra, numerical methods, number theory, geometry or symbolic logic.

  • Math and science combined: One year that includes a substantial laboratory science experience.

CS


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Information Systems Proposed Program Criteria Additions audiences

  • Objectives, Outcomes and Assessment

  • Faculty Qualifications

  • Curriculum

IS


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Objectives, Outcomes, audiencesand Assessment

  • The program outcomes are consistent with those accepted by the information systems community.

  • The program enables students to achieve, by the time of graduation, an understanding of processes that support the delivery and management of information systems within a specific application environment.

IS


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Faculty Qualifications audiences

GC: Faculty members are current and active in the computing discipline associated with the program. Collectively, they have the technical breadth and depth necessary to support the program.

  • Some full-time faculty, including those responsible for IS curriculum development, hold a terminal degree in IS.

IS


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Curriculum audiences

Students have course work or an equivalent educational experience that includes:

  • Information Systems: One year of core and advanced topics

    • Core topics include basic coverage of (1) a modern programming language, (2) data management, (3) networking and data communications, (4) systems analysis and design and (5) role of IS in organizations

    • Advanced course work in information systems provides breadth and builds on the IS core topics to provide depth

    • The information systems component of the program stresses information systems theoretical foundations, information systems analysis and information systems.

IS


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Curriculum audiences

  • Information Systems Environment: One half year of processes that support the delivery and management of IS

  • Quantitative analysis or methods including statistics and mathematics beyond college level algebra.

IS


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Information Technology Proposed Program Criteria Additions audiences

Objectives, Outcomes and Assessment

IT


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Objectives, Outcomes and Assessment audiencesIT Specific

  • The program enables students to achieve the following additional attributes by the time of graduation:

    (a) An ability to use and apply current technical concepts and practices in the core information technologies;

    (b) An ability to identify and analyze user needs and take them into account in the selection, creation, evaluation and administration of computer-based systems;

    (c) An ability to effectively integrate IT-based solutions into the user environment;

    (d) An understanding of best practices and standards and their application;

    (e) An ability to assist in the creation of an effective project plan.

IT


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Anticipated Timetable audiences

  • July 2005

    Revised general and program criteria approved by CAC

  • Fall 2005

    Revised set of criteria to ABET Board for preliminary approval and piloting during 06-07, and probably 07-08 cycle for selected CS and IS programs and all IT programs

  • Fall 2007

    Final approval by ABET Board for use in 08-09 cycle for all CAC evaluations

  • Current CS and IS criteria used for non-pilot programs until 08-09 cycle


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ABET Board audiences

Position Statement on Harmonization

RECOMMENDATION: The ABET Executive Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approves the following position statement:

ABET believes in the value of the Commissions presenting a uniform face to ABET institutions, societies and the public. Any proposal regarding ABET criteria, policies, reports and statements should be reviewed with the goal of harmonization across commissions.

The ABET Board of Directors charges the Accreditation Council and the Commission Chairs with developing a plan and milestones for the harmonization of existing draft and final statements, self-study forms and criteria documents and materials which would be completed no later than the fall 2006 Board of Directors meeting. The first priority should be harmonization those documents viewed by the institutions and the public with internal documents to follow.


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Recognizing that much of any harmonization effort depends on the uniformity of the criteria, the Executive Committee has charged the Accreditation Director with renumbering the ABET criteria for the 2007-08 Accreditation Cycle. Leadership and Quality Assurance in Applied Science, Computing, Engineering, and Technology Education

Harmonization Directive


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New Criteria Section Headings and Mapping on the uniformity of the criteria, the Executive Committee has charged the Accreditation Director with renumbering the ABET criteria for the 2007-08 Accreditation Cycle.


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Questions & Discussion on the uniformity of the criteria, the Executive Committee has charged the Accreditation Director with renumbering the ABET criteria for the 2007-08 Accreditation Cycle.

Thank you


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