|Established||May 10, 1932|
|Headquarters||Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.|
ABET, incorporated as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., is a non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.
The accreditation of these programs occurs mainly in the United States but also internationally. As of October 2017 , 4,005 programs are accredited, distributed over 793 universities and colleges in 32 countries.
ABET is the recognized U.S. accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET also provides leadership internationally through workshops, memoranda of understanding and mutual recognition agreements, such as the Washington Accord. ABET also evaluates programs offered in a 100-percent online format.
ECPD was founded to provide a "joint program for upbuilding engineering as a profession." However, it almost immediately began developing as an accreditation agency, evaluating its first engineering program in 1936 and its first engineering technology program in 1946. By 1947, 580 programs at 133 institutions had been accredited.
ECPD changed its name to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. in 1980 and began doing business as ABET in 2005. In 1985, ABET helped establish the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), which is now one of ABET's largest member societies with over 300 programs, in response to a dramatic rise in interest of computer science education.
|United Arab Emirates||15|
ABET accredits post-secondary degree-granting programs offered by institutions that are regionally accredited in the U.S. and nationally accredited outside of the U.S. Certification, training or doctoral programs are not accredited.
ABET accreditation is voluntary; the request for accreditation is initiated by the institution seeking accreditation. Accreditation is given to individual programs within an institution rather than to the institution as a whole. Accredited programs must request re-evaluation every six years to retain accreditation; if the accreditation criteria are not satisfied, additional evaluations may be required within the six-year interval. Programs without previous accreditation can apply for accreditation as long as they have produced at least one program graduate.
The first step in securing or retaining ABET accreditation is for an institution to request an evaluation of its program(s) by January 31 of the year in which accreditation is being sought. The eligibility of the institution must be established, which can be satisfied if the institution is accredited by a regional accreditation agency. Each program is then assigned to one of four accreditation commissions within ABET:
The program is assigned to a commission based on its title (the program name shown on the transcript). Each commission has different accreditation criteria.
Each program then conducts an internal evaluation and completes a self-study report. The self-study documents how well the program is meeting the established accreditation criteria in multiple areas, such as their students, curriculum, faculty, administration, facilities and institutional support. The self-study report must be provided to ABET by July 1.
While the program conducts its self-study, the appropriate ABET commission (Applied and Natural Science, Computing, Engineering or Engineering Technology Commission) will choose a team chair to head the on-campus evaluation visit. A visit date (generally in the September - December time frame) is negotiated between the team chair and the institution. Once the date is set, the ABET commission will assign program evaluators (generally one per program being evaluated). The institution is provided the opportunity to reject the team chair or program evaluators if a conflict of interest is perceived. The team chair and evaluators are volunteers from academe, government, industry and private practice.
Once the program evaluators are accepted by the institution, they are provided with the self-study report for their assigned program. This report forms the basis of their evaluation of the program and prepares them for the campus visit.
The evaluation team (team chair and program evaluators) will normally arrive on campus on a Saturday or Sunday. During the on-campus visit, the evaluation team will review course materials from each program, as well as student projects and sample assignments. Evaluators will also interview students, faculty and administrators and tour the facilities to investigate any questions raised by the self-study. The visit will normally conclude the following Tuesday with an exit interview with the institution's chief executive officer, dean and other appropriate institution personnel as appropriate. This interview is intended to summarize the results of the evaluation for each program.
Following the campus visit, the institution has 7 days in which to correct perceived errors of fact communicated during the exit interview. Following this period, the team chair will begin preparation of a draft statement to the institution; this statement undergoes extensive editing and will typically be provided to the institution several months after the visit. On receipt of the draft statement, the institution has 30 days to respond to issues identified in the evaluation. After this response, the team chair prepares a final statement to the institution.
The final statement and recommended accreditation action is reviewed by the large annual meeting of all ABET commission members in July after the campus visit. Based on the findings, the commission members vote on the final accreditation action and the school is notified of the decision in August.
The information the school receives identifies strengths, concerns, weaknesses and deficiencies of the program, as well as recommendations for compliance with ABET criteria. Accreditation is granted for a maximum of six years, after which the institution must request another evaluation.
ABET specifies minimum curricula for various engineering programs. For instance, ABET requires that all engineering graduates of a baccalaureate program receive at least one year of study in the natural or physical sciences and mathematics and requires some study within general education. ABET also requires that each student complete a capstone project or design class in their education. Because of ABET's involvement, engineering curricula are somewhat standardized at the bachelor's level, thus ensuring that graduates of any ABET-accredited program have some minimal skill set for entry into the workforce or for future education.
For most of its history, ABET's accreditation criteria specifically outlined the major elements that accredited engineering programs must have, including the program curricula, the faculty type and the facilities. However, in the mid-1990s, the engineering community began to question the appropriateness of such rigid accreditation requirements.
After intense discussion, in 1997, ABET adopted Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000). The EC2000 criteria shifted the focus away from the inputs (what material is taught) and to the outputs (what students learned). EC2000 stresses continuous improvement and accounts for specific missions and goals of the individual institutions and programs. The intention of this approach was to enable innovation in engineering programs rather than forcing all programs to conform to a standard, as well as to encourage new assessment processes and program improvements.
ABET- Accreditation is certified by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service.
ABET's accreditation process is recognized by these international entities.
|Comisión Nacional de Evaluación y Acreditación Universitaria|
|Australian Computer Society (ACS)|
|Engineers Australia (EA)|
|Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT)|
|Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)|
|Engineers Canada (EC)|
|Greater Caribbean Regional Engineering Accreditation System|
|Agencia Centroamericana de Acreditación de Programas de Arquitectura y de Ingenieria|
|China Association for Science and Technology (CAST)|
|National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Education|
|Commission des Titres D'Ingenieur|
|European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)|
|Global Engineering Deans' Council (GEDC)|
|International Association of Universities (IAU)|
|International Federation of Engineering Education Society (IFEES)|
|International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)|
|World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO)|
|Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE)|
|National Board of Accreditation (NBA)|
|Engineers Ireland (EI)|
|International Council for Higher Education (ICHE)|
|Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE)|
|UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology for Latin America and Caribbean|
|Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)|
|Consejo de Acreditación de la Enseñanza de la Ingeniería|
|Engineering New Zealand (EngNZ)|
|Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC)|
|Instituto de Calidad Y Acreditacion de Programas de Computacion, Ingeneria Y Technologia (ICACIT)|
|Ordem dos Engenheiros|
|Association for Engineering Education Russia (AEER)|
|National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment|
|Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES)|
|Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)|
|Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea (ABEEK)|
|Agencia de Calidad, Acreditación y Prospectiva de las Universidades de Madrid|
|Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL)|
|Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan (IEET)|
|Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Engineering Programs (MÜDEK)|
|British Computer Society|
|Engineering Council (EC)|
To become a licensed professional engineer, one common prerequisite is graduation from an Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET-accredited program. Requirements for professional engineer testing for EAC accredited programs vary from state to state.
The Engineering Credential Evaluation International (ECEI) was established in 1997 as the credential evaluation service of ABET. ECEI specialized in the evaluation of degrees in engineering, engineering technology, computer science and surveying from outside the U.S. As of October 30, 2006, ECEI stopped accepting applications for credentials evaluation; a business decision made by the ABET board of directors.
(p.24) ...what we know today as ABET, the accrediting body for college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and technology.