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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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15 October 2009
Engineering, Computing and Technology (ECT) programs
IEEE Position Paper on Academic Accreditation in Engineering, Computing and Technology
Adopted by the IEEE Board of Directors, November 2007
“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.”
Enrique E. Alvarez
IEEE R9 Director
Alignment of Goals
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
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.
When ICACIT was created no rules existed regarding accreditation of programs except for medical careers.
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.
To create ICACIT we needed to solve some initial issues:
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 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.
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.
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.
To create the organizational structure we needed to involve the stakeholders, and key persons in the programs to be evaluated.
It is relevant to mention that the General Assembly is represented by several institutions including: CONFIEP and professional institutions as Colegio de Ingenieros, IEEE Peru Section, APESOFT, API
The reason to include some education institutions as part of the chart is to sensitize key people with accreditation issues.
The initial vision of universities was that it was too expensive to be involved in accreditation processes.
For that reason, universities initially paid a symbolic annual fee to participate in the activities of ICACIT, such as the monthly meeting and workshops.
Now, universities pay for the training courses and the evaluation.
We utilized several sources:
Information from ABET (that was agreed in the MOU)
Information supplied by IEEE EAB (that included the translation of very important documents)
We hired professionals from academia and industry to develop the final version of the ICACIT procedures
This was one of our most critical issues to solve.
To begin evaluating we needed to have experienced evaluators but without previous evaluation visits we did not have any experienced evaluators
We begin doing the evaluations with observation teams sent by ABET, as part of our MOU.
With several evaluations done we began to gain the experience required.
The Law N° 28740 (May 2006) regulates the process of accreditation (of programs), evaluation and certification (of persons) creating several institutions for the National System for Evaluation, Accreditation and Certification for Educational Quality, SINEACE
It includes the creation of three boards:
CONEAU for university programs
CONEACES for non university programs
IPEBA for schools (high and elementary)
According to this law, SINEACE authorizes the operation of accrediting bodies.
This institution is the issuing of accreditation certificates.
ICACIT was created in 2001 with a pilot project including 5 educational institutions
The idea is to obtain experience in this process that can be replicated with other institutions.
Now we have 13 educational institutions included in the program.
Up to now we have accreditated 3 programs; 1 with TECSUP and 2 with UPC
Coming in October and November, 2009 we are scheduled to evaluate 15 programs:
5 in PUCP, Lima.
1 in UPC, Lima.
3 in USMP, Lima.
3 in TECSUP, Lima.
2 in TECSUP, Arequipa.
1 in CIBERTEC, Lima.
We should have identified the program evaluators sooner.
We should have developed links with similar accrediting bodies in Latin America.
We should have defined our procedures and made them known to educational institutions, sooner.
Establishing closer relationships with authorities related to accreditation issues, early in the development of ICACIT, would have been beneficial.
We are working on the consolidation of ICACIT to be recognized as the accrediting body for technical and engineering programs in Peru, by the education authorities and by the education institutions
We are working to complete the needed requirements to be included in the Washington Accord
Formation of the Caribbean Accreditation Council for Engineering and Technology(CACET)Chandrabhan SharmaInterim Chair
Because many of the Graduates went to UK, there was a need for equivalency with British standards.
About ten years ago there was a move by the Caribbean Engineering fraternity to establish an engineering accreditation agency.
Project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Executed by the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) and the Professional Engineers Registration Board (PERB)
Council of Caribbean Engineering Organizations (CCEO) was involved
On the wider regional level the Pan American Academy of Engineering organized a forum on "Accreditation in the Regional Context" in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 8-10, 2003
The Organization of American States (OAS) sponsored a similar workshop in Lima, Peru in 2005
Both meetings were attended by representatives from the CARICOM region and the wider Caribbean.
What is CARICOM?
Out of the meeting in Peru a project was formulated but it has not yet got many countries on board, in part because of funding issues.
In 2007, on the launch of the IEEEtt section, I spoke with Pedro Ray (representing the PR Section) on the issue of Accreditation
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) offered to fully assist in this regard, through a project of the IEEE Section in Trinidad and Tobago and the Faculty of Engineering of The University of the West Indies.
At biennial meeting of the Washington Accord (in June, 2007) it was agreed that countries and regions would be encouraged to establish their own accreditation systems
Overseas programmes accredited by Washington Accord members would be mutually recognized.
The professional engineering associations in the region have all agreed to the establishment of a regional accreditation body.
Important that every CARICOM Country’s local accreditation agency and universities be on board as the former have the legal responsibility for accreditation and the latter are the institutions that need accreditation.
The IEEE held a workshop on “Engineering Accreditation” on September 21-22, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad in collaboration with The Faculty of Engineering of The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).
The workshop was organized primarily to bring together the accreditation councils, professional bodies and universities of the AnglophoneCaribbean region as well as the CARICOM office responsible for accreditation.
The workshop was funded by the IEEE Educational Activities Boardand facilitated by Professor Moshe Kam, Vice President for Educational Activities of the IEEE and Dr. Mario Gonzales, Professor Emeritus and a very experienced ABET evaluator
The workshop was very well attended by all the relevant stakeholders - the engineering schools, professional bodies, accreditation agencies and the CARICOM Secretariat.
There was unanimity that a regional accreditation body for engineering and technology should be established.
This follow-up workshop was held on7-8 April 2008 in Puerto Rico again IEEE funded and Managed
At this meeting 27 leaders of governmental accrediting agencies, licensing bodies, universities and professional associations of seven (7) English speaking Caribbean countries participated.
The output of our deliberations was a joint declaration for the formation of an indigenous Caribbean Accreditation Council for Engineering and Technology (CACET)
A Performa Budget/Financing estimate and a decision as to the Headquartering of CACET
Representatives of academia (one representative of each university that offers baccalaureate engineering degrees programmes) :
UWI(University of the West Indies
UTEC(University of Technology)
UTT(University of Trinidad and Tobago)
Representative of Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE)
Representatives of Professional
Associations in nation states:
Trinidad & Tobago
OECS (Organisation of Eastern
This was also funded and managed by the IEEE
Again there was a region wide attendance by all stake-holders
Guyana being the headquarters of CARICOM: full attendance by relevant staff
Harmonizing of Engineering Acts throughout region. Five states currently have Acts regulating the engineering profession. CACET submitted comments to CARICOM for changes
Select and form Boards and Committees of CACET as required by the Washington Accord
Select evaluators and commence training sessions.
Sensitize engineering schools and local accreditation boards within region on CACET / Washington Accord
Develop all administrative documents required by CACET
Draw up a list of criteria for selecting evaluators
26 -28 November 2009.
IEEE continues to provide consulting, technical assistance and financial support for these efforts.
Board of Directors Meeting to finalise:
a) The Charter and Operation Manual (COM)b) Financial Manual andc) The Accreditation Procedure Manual.
Conduct Programme Evaluator Training
The formation of CACET, with agreement of all stakeholders, within a timeframe of two years!