COMMENTS ON MY ACCREDITATION PAPER

 

FROM ROBERT YOUNG AIAA REP EAC. EAC CHAIR 1982, AIAA REP ABET TREASURER 1987 - 1990

From: "Robert L. Young"
To: Rfoxbro@aol.com,Sissom@frontiernet.net,
Kathy.Nichols@arnold.af.mil,jbjones@vt.edu, rlowndes@cafes.net
Cc: ryoung14@webtv.net
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 2:39 PM
Subject: ABET/EAC Observations
This document is 6 pages long and the first 3 pages recount my ABET/ EAC experiences and the last 3 contains information concerning the EAC I knew and the 2006 EAC procedures and practices. The web site transformation is hosted by webtv and may not load too well on some computers but I hope you can get the gist of these remarks and will be pleased to receive any comments you might have. Bob
The URL for the document is:
http://community.webtv.net/ryoung35/MYENGINEERING/

FROM ROBERT BRODSKY AIAA REP EAC

Subject:    ABET from Brodsky
Bob: (This refers to the big junior level stability and control class mentioned in my paper)
 
    My recollection is that there were almost 80 in the class. When I  questioned whether this was really the way to teach S&C, IO was told that all that was necessary was to state your   goal for the course and do it any way you thought would achieve the goal. It seemed hokey to me, but I was told (by Dave ???? ) of ISU that the new rules allowed such non sense. I still think that key basic courses are best done by lots of class interaction with the Professor. It takes a really great teacher to accomplish this in a  strictly lecture environment.
 
    I was taught basic physics at Cornell in a large lecture hall. The Prof. was an entertainer par excellence. He had honed this skill over many years. The average Prof. simply can't do it! Bob

FROM LEIGHTON SISSOM ASME REP EAC
From: "Leighton E. Sissom"
To: "Robert L. Young"
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2006 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: ABET/EAC Observations
Bob,
I wholeheartedly concur with your comments in "My Engineering Accreditation
Activities." The most prominent of which is how could the engineering profession abandon the quantitative criteria which we so carefully developed? For over 30 years, I served in some capacity on accreditation/evaluation matters at over 100 institutions here and abroad, cited in the attachment for your information. While on the EAC, I served as
Chair of the Committee which developed the Program Criteria. We did in one
year. It is very distressing to me to see all of our work watered down, even though I have to admit that some improvements have been made (evaluation by alumni, e.g.).
You appear to have the same fire which I observed in you throughout the years. Keep it up. Best wishes in everything.
Leighton E. Sissom
ABET ACTIVITIES BY LEIGHTON SISSOM:
http://community.webtv.net/ryoung35/COMMENTSON/page2.html

FROM DAVID REYES-GUERRA FORMER EXEC DIR ABET PLUS EMAILS BETWEEN ME AND JOHN PRADOS VP EMERITUS UT

From: reyesguerrasr@yahoo.com(david reyes-guerra) Date: Tue, Oct 3,
2006, 4:57pm (CDT-2) To: ryoung14@webtv.net (Robert L. Young), bwmaer@engr.psu.edu, Rfoxbro@aol.com, ctcarley@bellsouth.net, Sissom@frontiernet.net, jbjones@vt.edu Cc: ryoung14@webtv.net Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Tuesday
Distinguished Academics and Engineers:
I am also trying to provide my comments for all of you ... there is much to discuss and generate academically/professional advantages, benefits, faults, etc. of the old and the new criteria ... outcome measures are not as reliable as to the knowledge of the recent graduate as many feel ... One must not forget that the so called "quantitative" criteria did not hinder or was a block to innovation or alternate means of reaching the coverage that the "quantitative" measures required ... I do not have with me but in the criteria there was a sentence - as I recall - that referred to "this criteria can be met by any different experimental or innovative means, but the program must show how this compliance is met" ... this is not exactly the wording but it was there ... the problem being that most wanted to fill the "check marks" and did not pursue the freedom that the criteria gave them to be innovative .... More comments later on ...
Bob: I could not print your previous messages ...
could you print them out and mail to me to the New York address? If so it would be greatly appreciated. I'm still active in many ways .... David
--- "Robert L. Young" wrote:
Nice Response but still no answer to my primary question??? John is involved in writing a history of 75 years of enginering accrediatationand I am sure that he will do a great job

FROM JOHN PRADOS AICHE REP EAC EAC CHAIR AICHE REP ABET ABET PRESIDENT

Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 18:19:58 -0400
To: ryoung14@webtv.net (Robert L. Young)
From: "John W. Prados"
Subject: Re: Tuesday
Bob,
A rational response will take quite a while to put together, and right now I am completely snowed, as noted earlier. There are a lot of resources out there, available and well publicized to the schools and the program evaluators, but they are not contained in the Annual Reports. I'll try to get some of these resources to you when I can get my head above water.
After you see them, you may not be convinced that EC 2000 is a good idea, but I have learned long ago that two people of intelligence and good will, given the same information, will not always arrive at the same conclusions!
Best wishes,
John

At 05:56 PM 10/3/2006, you wrote:
John,
Very pleased to note that you will be writing about 75 years of engineering accreditation. U surely are well qualified to do so. From your last email: "The process today is considerably less qualitative and provides better guidance for visitors than when I began visiting in 1971, and the criteria were only three pages long."

I agree with that statement but as I noted in my web site, Gene Nordby and Bill Sangster pointed out after 1971 that the ABET/ EAC was too qualitative and what requirements there were were not being enforced. As a resutl of that we defined a year (32 semester years), specified 3/4 of the program in terms of years and specific course areas, developed program criteria and rid the criteria of such ill defined terms of "appropriate to", "consistent with", "some with","about" and others. Now I find all of these words used in the new criteria and no definition of a year.

Later we assured that the Annual ABET report contained all of the info needed to prepare an application for accreditation of a particular program. All I have had to work with is the 2006 ABET Annual report and it surely does not fulfill the goal of providing all the info needed to apply for accreditation of a program.

I have many questions about the current procedures but my big question is: "Why did ABET/EAC change to an almost totally qualitative procedure featuring outcomes?"

I have asked that question of old friend Alan Ormsbee, 1993 EAC Chair and still Treasurer of ABET, David Reyes Guerra who got canned before all of this arose. and other old heads but in each case I get murky answers.
If you cannot read my web site, I shall be pleased to print it out and snail mail it to you. On my AOL Windows computer, it loads but the print is very small. I can make the print larger but that merely shows the problem of transforming from one web site program to another. Will surely look forward to your accreditation paper. Bob


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