Experiences with Program Assessment and ABET Outcome-Based Accreditation
The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Surveying Program went through two ABET accreditation visits during the past two years. The baccalaureate degree Surveying Engineering Program was visited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) in October 2005. The associate degree Surveying Technology Program was visited by the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) in October 2006. The self-study guidelines and recommended method for presentation of material were different, yet each visit had similar challenges. Both program reviews showed a need to revise educational objectives, program outcomes, and course outcomes to better facilitate and simplify the assessment process. Additionally, the program's continuous improvement process (CIP) was identified as unclear. Penn State Surveying faculty has adopted a framework for a revised assessment method and a more effective, functional, and better documented CIP. The CIP was inaugurated during Spring 2007 with an assessment of course outcomes and proceeded with the subsequent improvement of each course. Improvements to external surveys to support the assessment of revised educational objectives and program outcomes are planned. Multiple assessment mechanisms, both direct and indirect, will be used in the CIP.
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