Program Educational Outcomes
Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing the graduates to achieve.
Program outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire in their matriculation through the program.
Assessment is one or more processes that identify, collect, and prepare data to evaluate the achievement of program outcomes and program educational objectives.
Evaluation is one or more processes for interpreting the data and evidence accumulated through assessment practices. Evaluation determines the extent to which program outcomes or program educational objectives are being achieved and results in decisions and actions to improve the program.
ABET Engineering Criteria
ABET, Inc. is the body responsible for accrediting all undergraduate Engineering, Engineering Technology, Applied Science and Computer Science Programs in the US and many international institutions as well. The Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) reviews all engineering programs at the University of Kentucky and elsewhere. Furthermore, to be a licensed professional engineer in the state of Kentucky, and many other states, requires that you have an EAC/ABET accredited degree, though exceptions are possible.
The ABET Engineering Criteria has been revised to return to the roots of engineering accreditation in which the founders stated “… has no authority to impose any restrictions or standardization upon engineering colleges, nor does it desire to do so.” They further stated, “On the contrary, it aims to preserve the independence of action of individual schools and to promote the general advancement of engineering education.” In updating the engineering criteria, ABET has striven to keep the criteria flexible in order to accommodate new forms of endeavor that use an engineering education or derivative of allied science or practices as a base. Thus, the philosophy of the change is to allow greater flexibility in the development of engineering programs and in the accreditation process as well as to emphasize Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in the educational mission of colleges and universities. This change in philosophy is necessary since the educational system is faced with the challenge of training young adults to be ultimately able to resolve ever increasing educational demands. Consistent with this new philosophy, the Civil Engineering program has established the following broad goals:
- Set educational objectives consistent with ABET criteria and with the College of Engineering’s mission and goals using input from students, faculty, alumni, and employers.
- Develop a process for ongoing evaluation and review of the objectives.
- Ensure that the program curriculum and processes achieve education objectives.