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Overview of ABET 2011 National Civil Engineering Department Heads Conference. Madison, Wisconsin The Pyle Center May 23, 2011. Objectives. Understanding: ABET’s vision, mission & structure ABET history & recent highlights ABET finances Directors and the Board Ongoing Services

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overview of abet 2011 national civil engineering department heads conference

Overview of ABET 2011 National Civil Engineering Department Heads Conference

Madison, Wisconsin

The Pyle Center

May 23, 2011



  • ABET’s vision, mission & structure
  • ABET history & recent highlights
  • ABET finances
  • Directors and the Board
  • Ongoing Services
  • Accomplishments 2010 / Planning 2011
  • International Activities
abet vision
ABET Vision:

ABET will provide world leadership in assuring quality and in stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology education.


abet mission
ABET Mission:

ABET serves the public through the promotion and advancement of applied science, computing, engineering, and technology education. ABET will:

  • Accredit educational programs.
  • Promote quality and innovation in education.
  • Consult and assist in the development and advancement of education worldwide in a financially self-sustaining manner.
  • Communicate with our constituencies and the public regarding activities and accomplishments.
  • Anticipate and prepare for the changing environment and the future needs of constituencies.
  • Manage the operations and resources to be effective and fiscally responsible.
abet history1
ABET History

1932 – Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD) established

1936 – ECPD first evaluated engineering degree programs

1946 - ECPD first evaluated engineering technology programs

1980 – Name changed to “Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology” (ABET) to more accurately reflect the emphasis on the accreditation function

1980 – Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) signed with Canada (1st international agreement)

1988 – ABET first evaluated engineering-related programs

1989 – Washington Accord Agreement signed with Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand

abet history2
ABET History

1994 – ABET Headquarters moved from NYC to Baltimore, MD

1994 – Policies and Procedures for Substantial Equivalency evaluations (international evaluations) approved

1995 – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico addresses the mobility of engineers

1995 – Major criteria reform (Engineering Criteria 2000)

1997 – Recognized by Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)

1997 - ABET Vision & Mission approved

abet evolves
ABET Evolves

2000 – Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) established

2001- Related Accreditation Commission (RAC) name changed to Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC)

2002 – Initiated major study on the impact of EC2000 (Penn State Study)

2005 – Engineering Change (Penn State Study) released

2005 – Competency Model for PEVs approved

2006 – ECEI operations suspended

2007 - Activity-based Financial Model approved

2007 – ABET Foundation approved

2007/08 – Accreditation of Programs outside the United States

who in the u s recognizes abet
Who in the U.S. Recognizes ABET?

30 Member & Associate Member Societies of ABET

Council for Higher Education Accreditation(CHEA)

State Boards for Engineering & Surveying Licensure & Registration (over 55 jurisdictions)

U.S. Patent Office

U.S. Reserve Officers Training Corps

Council of Engineering Specialty Boards (CESB)

Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

Accreditors in other disciplines

U.S. Trade Office

U.S. State Department

Employers (position announcements)


who recognizes abet outside the us
Who Recognizes ABET outside the US?

Washington Accord(accreditation of engineering programs for engineers by accreditors in 13 countries)

Sydney Accord (accreditation of bachelors level engineering technology programs by accreditors in 8 countries)

Seoul Accord(accreditation of computing programs by accreditors in 8 countries)

Dublin Accord (Provisional recognition status of accreditation of associates level engineering technology programs)

Other accreditors outside of the United States (MOUs)

Ministries of Education (several countries)

Employers (position announcements)


how is abet structured
How is ABET Structured?
  • ABET is a federation of 30 professional engineering & technical societies.
  • Neither institutions nor individuals are Members of ABET
  • ABET relies on the services of 1500+ volunteers and 30 full-time and 5 part-time staff
member societies
Member Societies
  • Represent “the profession”
  • Develop program criteria
  • Appoint Board Reps
  • Nominate Commissioners
  • Recruit and assign program evaluators
ABET Headquarters111 Market Place, Ste. 1050Baltimore, MD 21202-4012Tel: 410-347-770030 Full time staff / 5 Part-time staff

Computing Accreditation Commission

Engineering Accreditation Commission

Technology Accreditation Commission

Applied Science Accreditation Commission

676 accredited

programs at 233 institutions

348 accredited programs at 276 institutions

2062 accredited programs at 424 institutions

67 accredited programs at 53 institutions

2010/11 Accreditation Status




ABET Board

abet board of directors
ABET Board of Directors
  • 5 Officers
    • President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer
    • One-year terms, except for Treasurer who serves for 2 years
  • 39 Directors
    • 1 to 3 Directors from each Member society based on # programs
    • 3-year term, renewable for additional term
  • 5 Public Directors
    • Right to vote
    • No affiliation with Member societies or their disciplines
    • 3-year term, renewable for additional term
  • 1 Associate Member Representative
    • Privilege of the floor, but no vote

Computing Accreditation Commission

Engineering Accreditation Commission

Technology Accreditation Commission

Applied Science Accreditation Commission

676 accredited

programs at 233 institutions

348 accredited programs at 276 institutions

2062 accredited programs at 424 institutions

67 accredited programs at 53 institutions

2010/11 Accreditation Status




ABET Board

  • Roles of Audit Committee, Finance Committee & Treasurer
  • Financial Policies
  • Organizational Business Model
  • Reserves
financial roles
Financial Roles
  • Audit Committee
    • Selection & oversight of independent auditors
    • Oversight of Conflict of Interest compliance
    • Investigation of accounting concerns or violations of Code of Conduct (Whistleblower Policy)
  • Finance Committee
    • Prepares annual budget
    • Maintains 5-year forecast
    • Recommends society assessments & institutional fees
    • Recommends changes to financial policies
  • Treasurer
    • Chairs Finance Committee
    • Serves on Executive Review Committee
    • Reviews the ongoing financial operations
    • Presents current financial statements to the Board
    • Notifies the Executive Committee if a Society is in arrears for more than six months
financial policies
Financial Policies
  • ABET Rules of Procedure, Section 10 http://www.abet.org/constitution.shtml
  • Annual Audit required
  • Investment policies
  • Reserves
  • Special Projects
  • Fiscal Year (October 1 to September 30)
  • Total unrestricted net assets minus net investment in the fixed assets
  • Goal – 30% of the total expenses, excluding special projects, as reported in the annual financial statements
how does abet pay for the services it offers organizational business model
How does ABET pay for the services it offers? (Organizational Business Model)
  • Institutions pay the costs associated with Accreditation including commission meetings, volunteer training and accreditation staff
  • Societies pay costs associated with Governance including Board & Committee meetings, annual report, international agreements
  • Users(individuals, institutions & societies) of Professional Services pay the costs associated with workshops, publications, annual meeting
  • Institutions and Societies share the overhead costs (Operations and net Professional Services) on a percentage basis
financial model
Financial Model
  • Member and Associate Member assessments will pay for expenses associated with Governance and a proportionate share of the overhead.
    • Director’s Fee will be calculated so that total is equal to 50% of the total fees paid by members.
    • Lead Society Fee will be calculated so that total is equal to 50% of the fee paid by members. All members will pay a fee for each program for which they are the lead society.
  • Institutional Fees will pay for expenses associated with Accreditation and their proportionate share of the overhead.
    • Visit fees will pay for all direct costs associated with a visit.
    • The maintenance fees will be set in aggregate pay all other direct accreditation expenses
financial model1
Financial Model
  • The ABET Finance Committee calculates these fees annually.
  • Ultimate approval of the Institutional fees and Society assessments resides with the ABET Board of Directors.
organization of abet revenue and expenses
Organization of ABET Revenue and Expenses
  • Accreditation
  • Governance
  • Professional Services
  • Planning & Operations
  • Special Projects
accreditation activities defined
Accreditation Activities Defined
  • Revenues
    • Fees for Institution Visits
    • Fees for Institution Reports
    • Fees for Annual Institution Maintenance
    • Fees from Accreditation Meetings
  • Expenses
    • Direct Expenses Related to Visit and Report Costs
    • Training Costs for Teams
    • Direct Expenses related to conducting Accreditation Meetings
    • Accreditation Wages and Benefits
    • Allocated Planning & Operations Net Expenses
    • Allocated Prof Services Net Expenses
governance activities defined
Governance Activities Defined
  • Revenues
    • Fees from Society Assessments
    • Fees from Board Observers
  • Expenses
    • Expenses Directly related to the Board & Committees including Meetings
    • Expenses to administer MOU’s, MRA’s, and the Washington Accord
    • Wages and Benefits for Executive Staff
    • Allocated Planning and Operations Net Expenses
    • Allocated Prof Services Net Expenses
professional services activities defined
Professional Services Activities Defined
  • Revenues
    • Fees from Faculty Improvement Workshops
    • Fees from IDEAL and other Workshops & Symposia
    • Fees from the Annual Meeting
    • Revenue from the Science Screen Reports
    • Sales of Publications and Proceedings
  • Expenses
    • Direct Expenses for Conducting Workshops and Symposia
    • Expenses to produce Newsletters, Advertising and other Strategic Communications Publications
    • Direct Expenses for Conducting the Annual Meeting
    • Professional Services Wages and Benefits
planning operations activities defined
Planning & Operations Activities Defined
  • Revenues
    • Investment Income
  • Expenses
    • All Professional Expenses Including Legal, Audit, and Contracted Computer Support
    • All Expenses such as Telephone, Postage, Shipping, Equipment Leasing, Rent and Utilities
    • All Depreciation and Amortization
    • All Insurance and Financial Expenses
    • All Membership Dues for the Organization
    • Wages & Benefits for P&O Staff
activities defined special projects
Activities Defined:Special Projects
  • Revenues
    • Grant Funding
  • Expenses
    • All Direct Costs of Completing the Project
    • Allocated Planning and Operations Net Expenses
    • Allocated Prof Services Net Expenses
abet budget process
ABET Budget Process

Fiscal year: October 1 – September 30

November/December (preceding year) – staff prepares proposed budget

January – Finance Committee reviews proposed budget and prepares an adjusted budget to be recommended to the Board.

March – Board reviews recommended budget, may modify and then approves

June/July– Staff updates impact to budget based on known revenues and unforeseen changes

August – Finance Committee reviews proposed updates and develops a final Target budget

October – Board reviews Final Target Budget

2010 abet activities
2010 ABET Activities
  • Accredited 3138 applied science, computing, engineering & technology programs at 649 colleges & universities in 20 countries (As of Oct 1, 2010)
  • 175 Commissioners are evaluating 788 programs this cycle
  • 126 PEV Candidates attended PEV Face-to-Face Training
  • SPIE, the Optics and Photonics Society, was elected as a new Member Society of ABET.
  • Created Academic Advisory Council
2010 abet activities cont
2010 ABET Activities (cont.)
  • New web-based tools developed to improve accreditation processes
    • on-line PEV applications
    • training management
    • volunteer performance appraisal
    • improved search tool for accredited programs on the public website
  • Paper-light initiative
    • Elimination of printed Board agenda books
    • Elimination of “blue/yellow books” for Commission meetings
    • Online expense report tool (in testing phase)
  • Improved Governance
    • Position descriptions for ABET Board members, President and President-Elect
    • Position descriptions for ABET Treasurer & Secretary for approval
    • Requirement for period of public comment on criteria changes (documented practice)
2011 abet activities outreach service
2011 ABET Activities (Outreach & Service)
  • Website Redesign
    • Complete overhaul and redesign of functionality, as well as look & feel
    • Soliciting and incorporating inputs from constituents
    • Expect testing this summer, go live in August
  • Outreach Strategy
    • Timing based on website launch
    • Includes continued participation in Newsweek feature articles
  • Society Relations
    • Board appointment tool
    • Improving PEV application and society review process
    • Focused training programs and requirements tracking
  • ABET participation at ASEE Vancouver
    • Four ABET-led sessions on innovation in engineering education
2011 abet activities outreach service1
2011 ABET Activities (Outreach & Service)
  • Annual Conference – 247 attendees
  • IDEAL (Jan) – 33 graduates
    • Next IDEAL will be held in August 2011
  • Webinars – 77 participants so far
    • 17 topics to be presented in webinars throughout the year
  • Symposium (14-16 Apr) – 420 attended
    • 345 attendees last year
  • Faculty Workshops – 284 attendees so far
    • 204 attendees last year
roles responsibilities
Roles & Responsibilities
  • ABET Board of Directors sets vision, mission and strategic direction, approves board and accreditation policies and accreditation criteria, hears appeals of accreditation actions.
  • ABET Commissionsimplement accreditation policies and decide accreditation actions.
  • ABET Staff provides continuity and expertise as they implement the programs and services consistent with the strategic direction set by the Board.
governance documents
Governance Documents
  • Constitution
    • “Enables” ABET
    • Changes rare; requires ratification by Societies
  • Bylaws
    • Operations of the Board
    • Policies & structure of the Commissions
    • Amendments require 1st & 2nd readings
  • Rules of Procedure
    • Details operations
    • Amended by Board at any time
abet activity cycles
ABET Activity Cycles
  • Certain events customarily occur at regular points during each year
  • Board meetings on Saturdays at end of October and on 3rd week of March
  • Agenda published at least two weeks prior to Board meeting
  • Executive Committee usually meets 4 weeks before Board
annual cycle
Annual Cycle
  • Call for agenda items about 6 weeks before ExCom meeting
  • Proposed motions due 2 weeks prior to ExCom meeting
  • Accreditation cycle – Jul/Jul
    • visits occur in the Fall
    • The 4 Commissions meet in mid-July to vote on accreditation actions
board meeting agendas
Board Meeting Agendas

Fall meeting

  • Criteria proposals from commissions
  • Installation of new officers and Board
  • Approval of Commission Officers & ExComs

Spring meeting

  • Strategy making (update plan)
  • Proposed budget for next fiscal year
  • Set institutional fees and society assessments
  • Election of officers, Public Directors, and Board Representatives to ExCom (Executive Committee) for the following year
committees task groups
Committees/Task Groups
  • Much of the work of the Board occurs in committees
  • For known recurring activities, standing committees have been established
  • For one-time situations, ad hoc groups are often formed
executive committee excom
Executive Committee(ExCom)
  • Membership
    • 5 Board officers
    • 2 representatives from the Board
    • 2 Council and 4 Commission chairs (non- voting)
    • Executive Director (non-voting)
  • Develops agenda for Board meetings
  • Acts for Board between meetings
legal framework
Legal Framework
  • Director’s responsibilities include:
    • Duty of Loyalty
    • Duty of Care
    • Duty of Obedience
    • Other statutory requirements
board members legal duty of loyalty
Board Members’ Legal Duty of Loyalty
  • Promote and support ABET Vision & Mission
  • Place ABET’s interests ahead of your interests or the interests of other organizations
  • Disclose conflicts of interest
board members legal duty of care
Board Members’ Legal Duty of Care
  • Act the way a reasonably prudent person would in like position and similar circumstances
  • Ask for clarification, if you don’t understand
  • Communicate with your society
board members legal duty of obedience
Board Members’ Legal Duty of Obedience
  • Support the Board’s decisions
  • Follow ABET Code of Conduct
  • Attend Board Meetings and participate in the debate
  • Participate on assigned committees and task groups
other legal considerations
Other Legal Considerations
  • IRS Determination as tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization
  • 501(c)(3) requirements
    • Antitrust
    • Lobbying
    • Conflict of Interest policy
    • Process for determining executive compensation
    • Board review of IRS 990 (effective for 2009 return)
    • Joint ventures with taxable entities
  • Sarbanes-Oxley requirements
    • Audit Committee
    • Whistleblower Policy
    • Document retention/destruction policy
  • ABET is not exempt from civil rights & labor laws
    • Harassment
    • Discrimination
insurance indemnification
Insurance & Indemnification
  • Insurance (see handout)
    • Directors & Officers Liability
    • Errors & Omissions
    • Travel – Accidents
    • Umbrella
    • Property & General Liability
  • Indemnification of Officers & Directors
    • Board discretion
    • Bylaws Section Twenty
  • Foreign Operations
    • General Liability
    • Repatriation
    • Kidnapping/Ransom
standards of conduct
Standards of Conduct

ABET holds its staff and volunteers to the highest standards of conduct

  • Conflict of Interest Policy
    • Real or perceived conflicts
  • ABET Code of Conduct
    • Guidelines for interpretation
  • www.abet.org
abet s role in globalization
Promote and develop bilateral and multilateral recognition agreements

Assist nations in developing their accreditation systems

Provide guidance in the implementation of continuous quality improvement in engineering education in other countries

Work with regions with similar educational systems to develop a regional quality assurance system

Conduct accreditation evaluations upon request and except in countries where mutual recognition agreements preclude it

ABET’s Role in Globalization


abet s international activities consistent with major constituents
ABET’s International Activities Consistent with Major Constituents
  • Students/Young Professionals: Increasingly multicultural and mobile
  • ABET Societies: Nearly all have international membership/chapters
  • Higher Education:Trend toward establishing international campuses
  • Employers: US industry increasing its global presence
overview of abet international activities
Overview of ABETInternational Activities

International Activities Council (INTAC)

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)

Accreditation of Programs

Invitations to present at conferences globally


international activities council intac
International Activities Council (INTAC)


INTAC shall formulate, and recommend for approval by the Board, policies and procedures regarding international activities of ABET including, but not limited to, consultancies, Substantial equivalency, and credentials evaluation. This Council shall be responsible for oversight of all international activities of ABET.

memoranda of understanding mous
Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
  • Agree to collaborate on issues relating to technical education and accreditation activities.
  • Assist with the development of QA systems by collaborating on:
    • Development of accreditation workshops and seminars
    • Exchanging information concerning accreditation processes and higher education quality assurance
    • Facilitating the exchange of representatives to observe one another’s accreditation evaluation activities
    • Explore the feasibility of mutual recognition
memoranda of understanding mous1
Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
  • Peru-ICACIT (2003)
  • Taiwan-IEET (2004)
  • Korea-ABEEK (2005)
  • Israel-CHEI (2006)
  • Chile-Acredita CI (2007)
  • Egypt-NAQAAE (2008)
  • Spain-ACAP (2008)
  • Caribbean-GCREAS (2009)
  • UNESCO-Latin America (1994)
  • Argentina-CONEAU (l997)
  • France-CTI (1998)
  • Japan-JABEE (2000)
  • Germany-ASIIN (2001)
  • Portugal-OE (2001)
  • Western Hemisphere Initiative -


Letters of Intent (LOI)

  • Ukraine – Ministry of Higher Education
  • China – CAST
mutual recognition agreements mras recognition of accreditation systems graduates
ABET - full signatory:

ABET- CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) Agreement – 1979

Washington Accord (Engineering) – 1989

Sydney Accord (Engineering Technologist) – 2009

Seoul Accord (Computing Education) – 2008

ABET – provisional status (no recognition):

Dublin Accord (Engineering Technician) – 2006

Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs)(Recognition of Accreditation Systems & Graduates)
washington accord engineering

ABET, Inc.

Engineers, Australia

Engineers, Canada

Institution of Engineers Singapore

Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

Engineers, Ireland

Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education

Engineers, New Zealand

Engineering Council of South Africa

Engineering Council, United Kingdom

Accreditation Board for Engineering Education Korea

Institute for Engineering Education Taiwan

Board of Engineers, Malaysia

Washington Accord (Engineering)


(no recognition)

  • Accreditation Agency for Degree Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Germany)
  • All India Council for Technical Education
  • Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka
  • Russian Association for Engineering Education
  • Pakistan Engineering Council
  • MUDEK (Turkey)
sydney accord engineering technology
Sydney Accord (Engineering Technology)


  • Engineers Australia
  • Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists
  • Engineers Ireland
  • Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand
  • Engineering Council of South Africa
  • Engineering Council UK
  • ABET, Inc.

Provisional Status

(no recognition)

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea
seoul accord computing
Seoul Accord (Computing)
  • ABET, Inc.
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea
  • Australian Computer Society
  • British Computer Society
  • Canadian Information Processing Society
  • Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
  • Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan
  • Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education
accreditation across borders
Accreditation Across Borders
  • October 2006 - Approved by ABET Board
  • Currently accredited 181 programs at 39 institutions in 20 countries outside US
  • Uniform accreditation criteria, policies and procedures
  • Fee differential to offset costs and value of intellectual property
  • Additional training for PEVs & TCs
Thank You for Your Time & Attention

Dr. Joe Sussman

Managing Director, Accreditation


ABET, Inc.