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IEEE’s Approach and Experience in Global Accreditation 2009 Global Colloquium on Engineering Education. Adam Fontecchio Enrique Alvarez Chandrabhan Sharma Douglas Gorham Budapest, Hungary 15 October 2009. A Few Words about IEEE.
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IEEE’s Approach and Experience in Global Accreditation 2009 Global Colloquium on Engineering Education Adam Fontecchio Enrique Alvarez Chandrabhan Sharma Douglas Gorham Budapest, Hungary 15 October 2009
A Few Words about IEEE • IEEE is the largest multinational professional engineering association in the world • More than 375,000 members in over 150 countries • More than 45% of our members are outside the US • A non-profit organization incorporated in New York • Originally concentrating on power engineering and communications, IEEE at present spans technical interests across the spectrum of technology • From nanotechnology to oceanic engineering • In many respects IEEE has become “the steward of Engineering”
1963 1973 1983 1993 2006 Total IEEE Membership1963 - 2006
What is IEEE? • A professional organization supporting the good of the profession and the public worldwide • Governed by its members • “The Profession” has evolved in an inter-disciplinary way to include all fields of engineering, computing and technology • A major platform for vetting, disseminating, and guarding technical intellectual property (IP) • A mechanism to bring people of common technical interests together • both geographically and disciplinarily • A guardian of the future of Engineering, computing and technology • An implementer of technology-related public imperatives
What does IEEE do? • Publishes literature in engineering, technology and computing • Over 140 periodicals and 800 conferences • Organizes conferences • Develops standards • Gets engineers and technologists from different locales together • Organizes professional activities among engineering students • Educates the public about Engineering
Why is IEEE interested in Accreditation? (1) • Accreditation has significant impact on the content of the curriculum in IEEE’s fields of interest • And hence on the future of the profession • IEEE’s involvement introduces the voice of the profession and its practitioners into the decision making process of educational institutions
Why is IEEE interested in Accreditation? (2) • IEEE considers accreditation a key vehicle to ensure active involvement of the Institute in maintaining the quality and relevance of engineering education • Accreditation is a strategic objective and IEEE supports accrediting bodies worldwide • The IEEE BoD allocates funds and human resources to accreditation on an annual basis • About 500 volunteers • $1.5M/year in direct expenditures
CGAA: Mission and Scope • To identify and meet the accreditation needs of the profession, by assisting in the establishment, operation, development and implementation of accrediting bodies and accreditation procedures in engineering, computing and technology (ECT) worldwide. • To coordinate transnational accreditation activities on behalf of the IEEE, including • assistance to existing accrediting bodies • development of new accrediting bodies • education about ECT accreditation
IEEE Accreditation Activities Engineering, Computing and Technology (ECT) programs
Selected IEEE Accreditation Projects • IEEE’s position paper on accreditation • Selected components will be discussed shortly • IEEE’s position paper on the First Professional Degree in Engineering • Working with ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) • Assistance to emerging accrediting bodies and accreditation projects worldwide: • China, the Caribbean, and Peru • Accreditation.org • A comprehensive on-line resource on accrediting bodies and mutual recognition agreements
IEEE Position Paper on Academic Accreditation in Engineering, Computing and Technology Adopted by the IEEE Board of Directors, November 2007
Purpose • The purpose of IEEE’s policy paper is to express IEEE’s view and intent on Accreditation • And guide our volunteers and colleagues
Uses and Misuses of Accreditation “At its worst, accreditation can serve as a vehicle to entrench old traditions, perpetuate rigid prescriptions that inhibit innovation and progress, and act as a sinkhole for program resources that are devoted to over-elaborative preparations for accreditation visits rather than to improvement of education.”
Alternatives to Accreditationand Effects of Globalization • Discuss all means for quality assessment • Consider the effects of engineering labor migration on Accreditation • Remember - our profession is evolving…fast • Educational institutions as well as professional associations and accrediting agencies may be too slow to catch up • When we are slow to change, the marketplace often finds solutions without us
Scope of the Position • IEEE believes that all engineering and computer science programs leading to degree can and should be accredited • E.g., most programs leading to degrees such as Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Science, and Master of Engineering • “Accreditation should not hinge on, but rather be an input to the determination of whether or not program graduates are ready to practice, and at what level they can practice”
Professional Associations and IEEE • …ought to play a major role in accreditation, and bring to the process the viewpoint of the profession and the…volunteers • IEEE seeks a leadership position in all accrediting bodies worldwide which accredit programs within IEEE’s technical fields of interest • IEEE seeks to cooperate… in creating, maintaining, supporting and expanding accrediting bodies for programs in engineering and computer science
Core Values • Human rights • Respect for diversity • Fair treatment for all constituencies • “Diversity of aims and cultures cannot however be used to justify violation of human rights of members or prospective members of the learning community”
Economical Operation • Requirements imposed on programs should be made with the conviction that these are necessary to the accreditation process. • should be manageable and avoid placing an undue burden on an institution or program. • Requirements should be revisited from time to time to ensure that they provide meaningful input to the accrediting body and the programs. • The accreditation process should examine the primary issues and is not meant to be a complete, detailed, “360-view” inspection.
Transition to continuous processes • Declares a desire to… • Move from “discrete-time” to “continuous-time” accreditation process • Shorter visits at random time points • Have more constituencies participate • Have transparency
International Accreditation • Favors the formation of national and regional accrediting bodies • Foresees the future formation of multi-national accrediting bodies • Strongly disfavors permanent arrangements that have the accreditation of programs in one country performed and approved by an accrediting body from another country or region • IEEE supports…mutual recognition agreements between accrediting agencies
Scope • IEEE is a founding society of ABET • Through former American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) • IEEE is responsible for more than 775 programs • IEEE participates in ABET activities as “IEEE” and through Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB) • The CS is 40% of CSAB • Very close cooperation between the two groups • 3+3 Board members • Approximately 350-400 IEEE volunteers are involved annually
International Accreditation by ABET • As a member of ABET, IEEE assists the ABET international accreditation program • However, IEEE believes that international accreditation by ABET should be used primarily as a temporary measure in the absence of local accreditation bodies • IEEE strongly favors the formation of local accrediting bodies that will replace in time the accreditation functions of ABET
Inventory of Activities • Regional workshops on “Trends in Accreditation” • In the past: Bangkok, Bratislava, Helsinki, Lima • We are seeking a venue for 2010 • Assistance to existing accrediting bodies • Formation of new accrediting bodies • “follow the volunteers” • Address all aspects of ECT • Launching Accreditation.org
Where do we operate now? • China: “Working Group on Education in China” • First meeting: November 2006 • Peru: ICACIT • 12 English speaking countries in the Caribbean: CACET
International Accreditation: China • In 2006 we established an accreditation working group in China, in partnership with the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) • First Face-to-face meeting in November 2006 • 2007 Activities • A major workshop on engineering accreditation in cooperation with CAST • A translation of ABET accreditation materials into Chinese was completed by EAB • Meetings with decision makers from various ministries
2008 Activities • An accreditation workshop with CAST and the PRC Ministry of Education • Beijing, 22 March 2008 • 240 attendees • All fields of engineering • Conducted by two IEEE volunteers: Michael Lightner and Moshe Kam
Key observations from the 2008 workshop • Attendees wanted to know how the ABET system works • …but also what elements are difficult, expensive, time consuming • Concern about the volume of work associated with ABET-style accreditation visits • Desire to examine models that are not purely outcome based
Post-workshop requests • CAST requested that IEEE assist Chinese program evaluators to observe ABET visits in 2008 • We coordinated the effort with ABET • Visits took place during Fall 2008
2009 Status • China is getting ready to apply to become a provisional member of the "Washington Accord“ • Target is fall 2009 • Pending issues: • Several internal organizational issues • Role of "Center for Engineering Education" formed in Tsinghua University. • Issues related to Taiwan
Next Step: "International Engineering Education Conference" on 21-22 October 2009 • Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society • Society of Automotive Engineers of China • Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering • China Electro-technical Society • China Instruments and Control Society • Chinese Institute of Electronics • China Computer Federation • China Highway & Transportation Society • Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection
"International Engineering Education Conference" on 21-22 October 2009 • Invited speakers are at a high level • including ministers and presidents • Representatives from 12 Washington Accord members and 5 provisory members • A round table seminar and a “Beijing Statement” • IEEE was invited to give a keynote address and to give a session presentation
A New Portal on Accreditation (1) • Explanation of accreditation, the accreditation process, basic terminology • A list with links to all recognized accrediting bodies in the world • Including the programs they accredit • A university search capability • tied with TryEngineering.org www.Accreditation.org
A New Portal on Accreditation (2) • Mutual recognition agreements • Who has signed them • Full text • Common interpretation • What does this agreement mean to you? • Selected bibliography www.Accreditation.org
Creating an Accreditation Body in Peru Without Any Previous Experience: The ICACIT Story Enrique E. Alvarez ICACIT Vice-Chair IEEE R9 Director
Value Chain Continues Improvement Process Quality Assurance Capacity Building Sustainable Economic Development Accreditation Profesional Organization Academia Companies Goverment Alignment of Goals
Why is accreditation needed? We realized that engaged professionals have contributed to the development of the country. But we did not have enough engaged professionals to continue this progress. Several educational institutions have appeared in the last decade without knowing their real capacity to educate. ICACIT was created in 2001
Previous efforts The National Assembly of Rectors wanted to develop a recommendation, to include criteria, for an accreditation body. No conclusion was reachedbecause of the lack of agreement between the parties, resulting in no agreement among the Rectors. This clearly demonstrated that those who will be evaluated cannot create their own evaluation criteria and cannot evaluate themselves.
Previous efforts When ICACIT was created no rules existed regarding accreditation of programs except for medical careers.
Establishing ICACIT In a meeting of the IEEE Foundationourfounder, Eng. José “Pepe” Valdez, learnedaboutaccreditation and itspurpose and value. Understandingtheimportance of accreditation, he requestedthesupport of IEEE tohelpusto: Create a Peruvianaccreditationbody. Contact ABET. ICACIT organizerscamefromthebusinessside.
Establishing ICACIT To create ICACIT we needed to solve some initial issues: Understand accreditation Determine the level of interest of engineering and technical programs (including applied sciences and computing sciences) Create an organizational structure and find the people to operate the organization Create a financial model suitable for private and public universities Establish our own procedures Train our own evaluators
IEEE support IEEE sentseveralvolunteerstodevelop and conductworkshopstoexplainthepurpose of accreditation and the ABET criteria IEEE supportedthetravel of 19 universityeducatorstoparticipate in accreditationprocesses in the USA (with ABET criteria) and Mexico (with CACEI criteria) IEEE helped in establishingtheconnectionwith ABET tofacilitatethesigning of an MOU withthecommitment of ABET togiveauthorizationto use theircriteria. Finally, IEEE supported ICACIT in developingourownguidelines. Alltheabove at IEEE’s expense.
Explaining what accreditation means We worked with the program deans emphasizing that the main purpose of accreditation is to have a continuous improvement process. We stressed that one key step is to learn how to conduct the self study. Usually the programs know the outcomes and objectives but, how to achieve them? The self study will determine were they are, and after that they will know how to achieve the outcomes and objectives.
The marketing issues of accreditation Programs use accreditation as a marketing tool saying “Accredited Program” But more relevant was the recognition of their graduates to have studied in an accreditated program, improving the chances to find work as a metric to be shown to the stakeholders. As said before, to have a process to improve continually is recognized as a competitive tool.
Creating the structure To create the organizational structure we needed to involve the stakeholders, and key persons in the programs to be evaluated.