From:    Shirley H.Carley To:    , , Subject:    ABET/EAC Date:    Thu, Sep 7, 2006, 10:31am (CDT+1) X-Brightmail:    Message tested, results are inconclusive
First, excuse the fact that I'm having to use my wife's computer. My new iMac, running Thunderbird, will receive mail but not send it. I'm working on it !
Yep, I am vaguely aware that quantitative criteria have become passe. I watched it start with what I considered an IE influence.
(I'm tempted to speculate that it is a communist plot. :-)
My speculation is that the pendulum will swing, eventually, and move back to at least SOME quantitative criteria.
Bottom age 73.........I won't take the point of this platoon charge. Surely there are some younger heads that see the quicksand that fully qualitative criteria presents.

Date:    Fri, Sep 15, 2006, 9:48am (CDT+1) To: From:    "John W. Prados" Subject:    Re: Thursday X-AOL-IP:
Hi, Bob,
CHEA, The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, is not an accrediting organization per se, but rather an association of regional and specialized accrediting agencies. Both ABET and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, our regional agency, are members. To be a member, an accrediting agency must meet certain standards, primarily intended to preclude the accreditation of degree mills.The web site suggests that it also serves to some extent as a lobbying agency for higher education.
At the time you and I were active in ABET, a similar role was performed by COPA, the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation. However, COPA eventually split apart because of infighting between the regional associations and the specialized associations. At the time I served on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in the mid-90's, an effort was underway to put together another unified association of accrediting agencies, and I believe CHEA was the result.
Hope this helps. We had some health problems earlier in the summer, but now everyone seems to be doing fine. I trust all is well with you and yours.
Best wishes,
At 01:55 PM 9/14/2006, you wrote:
John, Are you familiar with this accreditation organization. Hope you and your family do well


During a visit to a major eastern state university, the President asked me to stay for conversation with him after my team made there final report. As we went to the President's office for the final interview, we noted that in a recently restored administration building, we first took an elevator to the fourth floor, where an armed guard guided us to a second elevator at the end of a long hall to ascend another 2 floors to the President's office area. We knew that there had been significant student unrest on this campus and this route to the President's area did not surprise us.
The President was a very friendly person who had coffee for me as he started talking about the dreadful student unrest and how much pain it gave him. Then looking me squarely in the eyes, he said, "Bob do you have any idea how many hours I and the rest of our administration and faculty spend on accreditation activities." He continued "many hours and much money is consumed in these activities and I am about to retire early being fed up with the whole process which seems to be growing without limit." I guess that before this time, I had not appreciated the time and expense encountered by a major University in accreditation matters.

The Federal Department of Education approves accreditation agencies for serving certain professions. ABET is listed as the recognized agency for accrediting programs in engineering and technology. As I left ABET in the early 1990s, we were concerned that the strong criticisms of ABET procedures and practices by a few Deans might result in ABET not being recognized for the agency for engineering and technology but that has not happened to this date.

In 1995, the University Presidents created a non-profit private organization, CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) to recognize accreditation agencies in many fields. ABET is their recognized agency for engineering and technology and the Executive Director of ABET is a member of the CHEA Recognition Committee.. The staff of CHEA has people from a great variety of colleges and universities but only a few people from major state and private research universities. This group appears to be closely associated with faculty engaged in higher education and general education research. Recently they claim that graduates of the new outcomes program and faculty involved are much more satsfied with their higher education experience than those of the 1990s who survived our old criteria. But with no details of how that conclusion was reached, their effort seems short on credibility. They are also closely associated with those who blessed us with "The New Math" and "Word Recognition."

In order to receive recognition, the accreditation agency must agree to certain procedures and practices. It is noted that the American Bar Association is not included as one of their recognized agencies perhaps because the ABA has a very demanding accreditation agency and they refuse to be subject to the CHEA requirements for recognition. It appears that CHEA does not require the outcome mode of accreditation but it seems to be encouraged. Whether the University President who told me of the burden of accreditation activities has found CHEA to be of assistance is not known.

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