FROM ROBERT YOUNG AIAA REP EAC. EAC CHAIR 1982, AIAA REP ABET TREASURER 1987 - 1990
From: "Robert L. Young"
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:
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!
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
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:
FROM DAVID REYES-GUERRA FORMER EXEC DIR ABET PLUS EMAILS BETWEEN ME AND JOHN PRADOS VP EMERITUS UT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org(david reyes-guerra) Date: Tue, Oct 3,
2006, 4:57pm (CDT-2) To: email@example.com (Robert L. Young), firstname.lastname@example.org, Rfoxbro@aol.com, email@example.com, Sissom@frontiernet.net, firstname.lastname@example.org Cc:
email@example.com 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 ....
--- "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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert L. Young)
From: "John W. Prados"
Subject: Re: Tuesday
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
At 05:56 PM 10/3/2006, you wrote:
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
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
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