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					IEEE’s Approach and Experience in
       Global Accreditation

 2009 Global Colloquium on Engineering

            Adam Fontecchio
             Enrique Alvarez
          Chandrabhan Sharma
            Douglas Gorham

           Budapest, Hungary
            15 October 2009
    A Few Words about IEEE

IEEE is the largest multinational professional
engineering association in the world
– More than 375,000 members in over 150 countries
– More than 45% of our members are outside the US
– A non-profit organization incorporated in New York

Originally concentrating on power engineering
and communications, IEEE at present spans
technical interests across the spectrum of
– From nanotechnology to oceanic engineering

In many respects IEEE has become “the
steward of Engineering”



                                                                                  1963 - 2006


                                                                         Total IEEE Membership - 1963 to 2006

                                                                        Total IEEE Membership

               What is IEEE?
A professional organization supporting the good of the
profession and the public worldwide
– Governed by its members
– “The Profession” has evolved in an inter-disciplinary way to
  include all fields of engineering, computing and technology

A major platform for vetting, disseminating, and
guarding technical intellectual property (IP)

A mechanism to bring people of common technical
interests together
– both geographically and disciplinarily

A guardian of the future of Engineering, computing and

An implementer of technology-related public imperatives
          What does IEEE do?
Publishes literature in engineering, technology and
– Over 140 periodicals and 800 conferences

Organizes conferences

Develops standards

Gets engineers and technologists from different
locales together

Organizes professional activities among engineering

Educates the public about Engineering
   Why is IEEE interested in
     Accreditation? (1)

Accreditation has significant impact on
the content of the curriculum in IEEE’s
fields of interest
– And hence on the future of the profession

IEEE’s involvement introduces the voice
of the profession and its practitioners
into the decision making process of
educational institutions
   Why is IEEE interested in
     Accreditation? (2)
IEEE considers accreditation a key vehicle to
ensure active involvement of the Institute in
maintaining the quality and relevance of
engineering education

Accreditation is a strategic objective and IEEE
supports accrediting bodies worldwide
 – The IEEE BoD allocates funds and human
   resources to accreditation on an annual
     About 500 volunteers
     $1.5M/year in direct expenditures
IEEE Committee on
Global Accreditation
Activities (CGAA)
CGAA: Mission and Scope

To identify and meet the accreditation
needs of the profession, by assisting in the
establishment, operation, development and
implementation of accrediting bodies and
accreditation procedures in engineering,
computing and technology (ECT)

To coordinate transnational accreditation
activities on behalf of the IEEE, including
–   assistance to existing accrediting bodies
–   development of new accrediting bodies
–   education about ECT accreditation
IEEE Accreditation

Computing and
Technology (ECT)
Selected IEEE Accreditation Projects
 IEEE’s position paper on accreditation
 – Selected components will be discussed shortly
 IEEE’s position paper on the First Professional
 Degree in Engineering
 Working with ABET (formerly the
 Accreditation Board for Engineering and
 Assistance to emerging accrediting bodies
 and accreditation projects worldwide:
 – China, the Caribbean, and Peru
 – A comprehensive on-line resource on accrediting bodies and
   mutual recognition agreements
  IEEE Position Paper on
 Academic Accreditation in
Engineering, Computing and

Adopted by the IEEE Board of Directors,
           November 2007

The purpose of IEEE’s policy paper is to
express IEEE’s view and intent on
– And guide our volunteers and colleagues
      Uses and Misuses of

“At its worst, accreditation can serve as
a vehicle to entrench old traditions,
perpetuate rigid prescriptions that
inhibit innovation and progress, and act
as a sinkhole for program resources
that are devoted to over-elaborative
preparations for accreditation visits
rather than to improvement of
 Alternatives to Accreditation
 and Effects of Globalization
Discuss all means for quality assessment
Consider the effects of engineering labor
migration on Accreditation
Remember - our profession is evolving…fast
Educational institutions as well as
professional associations and accrediting
agencies may be too slow to catch up
When we are slow to change, the
marketplace often finds solutions
without us
       Scope of the Position

 IEEE believes that all engineering and
computer science programs leading to degree
can and should be accredited
– E.g., most programs leading to degrees such as
  Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, Master
  of Science, and Master of Engineering

“Accreditation should not hinge on, but rather
be an input to the determination of whether or
not program graduates are ready to practice,
and at what level they can practice”
Professional Associations and
…ought to play a major role in accreditation,
and bring to the process the viewpoint of the
profession and the…volunteers

IEEE seeks a leadership position in all
accrediting bodies worldwide which accredit
programs within IEEE’s technical fields of

IEEE seeks to cooperate… in creating,
maintaining, supporting and expanding
accrediting bodies for programs in
engineering and computer science
            Core Values

Human rights
Respect for diversity
Fair treatment for all constituencies

“Diversity of aims and cultures cannot
however be used to justify violation of
human rights of members or
prospective members of the learning
     Economical Operation
Requirements imposed on programs should be
made with the conviction that these are
necessary to the accreditation process.
– should be manageable and avoid placing an
  undue burden on an institution or program.
Requirements should be revisited from time to
time to ensure that they provide meaningful
input to the accrediting body and the programs.
The accreditation process should examine the
primary issues and is not meant to be a
complete, detailed, “360-view” inspection.
 Transition to continuous

Declares a desire to…
– Move from “discrete-time” to “continuous-
  time” accreditation process
    Shorter visits at random time points
– Have more constituencies participate
– Have transparency
International Accreditation

 Favors the formation of national and regional
 accrediting bodies

 Foresees the future formation of multi-national
 accrediting bodies

 Strongly disfavors permanent arrangements that have
 the accreditation of programs in one country
 performed and approved by an accrediting body from
 another country or region

 IEEE supports…mutual recognition agreements
 between accrediting agencies
Accreditation in the
United States
IEEE is a founding society of ABET
– Through former American Institute of Electrical Engineers
IEEE is responsible for more than 775 programs
IEEE participates in ABET activities as “IEEE”
and through Computing Sciences Accreditation
Board (CSAB)
– The CS is 40% of CSAB
– Very close cooperation between the two groups
– 3+3 Board members
Approximately 350-400 IEEE volunteers are
involved annually
IEEE Accreditation
Activities outside the
United States
 International Accreditation
          by ABET
As a member of ABET, IEEE assists the ABET
international accreditation program

However, IEEE believes that international
accreditation by ABET should be used
primarily as a temporary measure in the
absence of local accreditation bodies

IEEE strongly favors the formation of local
accrediting bodies that will replace in time the
accreditation functions of ABET
       Inventory of Activities

Regional workshops on “Trends in
– In the past: Bangkok, Bratislava, Helsinki,
– We are seeking a venue for 2010
Assistance to existing accrediting bodies
Formation of new accrediting bodies
– “follow the volunteers”
– Address all aspects of ECT
   Where do we operate now?

China: “Working Group on Education in
– First meeting: November 2006


12 English speaking countries in the
Caribbean: CACET
International Accreditation: China

  In 2006 we established an accreditation
  working group in China, in partnership
  with the Chinese Association for Science
  and Technology (CAST)
  – First Face-to-face meeting in November 2006

  2007 Activities
  – A major workshop on engineering
    accreditation in cooperation with CAST
      A translation of ABET accreditation materials into
       Chinese was completed by EAB
      Meetings with decision makers from various
           2008 Activities

An accreditation workshop with CAST
and the PRC Ministry of Education
– Beijing, 22 March 2008

240 attendees
– All fields of engineering

Conducted by two IEEE volunteers:
Michael Lightner and Moshe Kam
    Key observations from
     the 2008 workshop
Attendees wanted to know how the
ABET system works
…but also what elements are difficult,
expensive, time consuming

– Concern about the volume of work
  associated with ABET-style accreditation
– Desire to examine models that are not
  purely outcome based
   Post-workshop requests

CAST requested that IEEE assist
Chinese program evaluators to observe
ABET visits in 2008
– We coordinated the effort with ABET
– Visits took place during Fall 2008
2009 Status
 China is getting ready to apply to
 become a provisional member of the
 "Washington Accord“

 Target is fall 2009

 Pending issues:
  – Several internal organizational issues
  – Role of "Center for Engineering Education"
    formed in Tsinghua University.
  – Issues related to Taiwan
    Next Step: "International
Engineering Education Conference"
     on 21-22 October 2009
  Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society
  Society of Automotive Engineers of China
  Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering
  China Electro-technical Society
  China Instruments and Control Society
  Chinese Institute of Electronics
  China Computer Federation
  China Highway & Transportation Society
  Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection
   "International Engineering
 Education Conference" on 21-22
          October 2009
Invited speakers are at a high level
– including ministers and presidents
– Representatives from 12 Washington Accord members
  and 5 provisory members

A round table seminar and a “Beijing Statement”

IEEE was invited to give a keynote address and to
give a session presentation
A New Portal on Accreditation (1)

  Explanation of accreditation, the
  accreditation process, basic terminology

  A list with links to all recognized
  accrediting bodies in the world
   – Including the programs they accredit
   – A university search capability
       tied with
A New Portal on Accreditation (2)

  Mutual recognition agreements
   – Who has signed them
   – Full text
   – Common interpretation
   – What does this agreement mean to you?

  Selected bibliography
Creating an Accreditation
Body in Peru Without Any
  Previous Experience:
    The ICACIT Story

Enrique E. Alvarez
ICACIT Vice-Chair
IEEE R9 Director
Value Chain

                             Continues               Quality            Capacity   Sustainable
            Accreditation   Improvement            Assurance            Building    Economic
                              Process                                              Development



                                             Alignment of Goals
Why is accreditation needed?

 We realized that engaged professionals
 have contributed to the development of
 the country.
 But we did not have enough engaged
 professionals to continue this progress.
 Several educational institutions have
 appeared in the last decade without
 knowing their real capacity to educate.
 ICACIT was created in 2001
Previous efforts
The National Assembly of Rectors wanted
to develop a recommendation, to include
criteria, for an accreditation body.
No conclusion was reachedbecause of the
lack of agreement between the parties,
resulting in no agreement among the
This clearly demonstrated that those who
will be evaluated cannot create their own
evaluation criteria and cannot evaluate
Previous efforts

 When ICACIT was created no rules
 existed regarding accreditation of
 programs except for medical careers.
Establishing ICACIT

 In a meeting of the IEEE
 Foundationourfounder, Eng. José “Pepe”
 Valdez, learnedaboutaccreditation and
 itspurpose and value.
 Understandingtheimportance of accreditation,
 he requestedthesupport of IEEE tohelpusto:
  – Create a Peruvianaccreditationbody.
  – Contact ABET.
 ICACIT organizerscamefromthebusinessside.
Establishing ICACIT

 To create ICACIT we needed to solve some
 initial issues:
 – Understand accreditation
 – Determine the level of interest of engineering
   and technical programs (including applied
   sciences and computing sciences)
 – Create an organizational structure and find the
   people to operate the organization
 – Create a financial model suitable for private and
   public universities
 – Establish our own procedures
 – Train our own evaluators
IEEE support
IEEE sentseveralvolunteerstodevelop and
conductworkshopstoexplainthepurpose of
accreditation and the ABET criteria
IEEE supportedthetravel of 19
universityeducatorstoparticipate in
accreditationprocesses in the USA (with ABET
criteria) and Mexico (with CACEI criteria)
IEEE helped in establishingtheconnectionwith ABET
tofacilitatethesigning of an MOU withthecommitment
of ABET togiveauthorizationto use theircriteria.
Finally, IEEE supported ICACIT in
Alltheabove at IEEE’s expense.
Explaining what accreditation
We worked with the program deans emphasizing
that the main purpose of accreditation is to have
a continuous improvement process.
We stressed that one key step is to learn how to
conduct the self study.
Usually the programs know the outcomes and
objectives but, how to achieve them?
The self study will determine were they are, and
after that they will know how to achieve the
outcomes and objectives.
    The marketing issues of
Programs use accreditation as a marketing
tool saying “Accredited Program”
But more relevant was the recognition of their
graduates to have studied in an accreditated
program, improving the chances to find work
as a metric to be shown to the stakeholders.
As said before, to have a process to improve
continually is recognized as a competitive tool.
Creating the structure

 To create the organizational structure
 we needed to involve the stakeholders,
 and key persons in the programs to be
Creating the structure (initial)
                                      General Assembly

                                      Directive Council

       Permanent Advisory Committee                       Tecnical Accreditation Council

                                 Coordination Committee for
                                       Acreditation of
                                   Education Institutions

 UNI                PUCP                    UPC                    USMP                    TECSUP
Creating the structure (initial)

 It is relevant to mention that the
 General Assembly is represented by
 several institutions including: CONFIEP
 and professional institutions as Colegio
 de Ingenieros, IEEE Peru Section,
 The reason to include some education
 institutions as part of the chart is to
 sensitize key people with accreditation
Creating the structure (updated)
  Creating a financial model

The initial vision of universities was that
it was too expensive to be involved in
accreditation processes.
For that reason, universities initially
paid a symbolic annual fee to
participate in the activities of ICACIT,
such as the monthly meeting and
Now, universities pay for the training
courses and the evaluation.
Developing our own procedures

We utilized several sources:
 – Information from ABET (that was agreed in
   the MOU)
 – Information supplied by IEEE EAB (that
   included the translation of very important
 – We hired professionals from academia and
   industry to develop the final version of the
   ICACIT procedures
 Preparing our own evaluators
This was one of our most critical issues to
To begin evaluating we needed to have
experienced evaluators but without previous
evaluation visits we did not have any
experienced evaluators
We begin doing the evaluations with
observation teams sent by ABET, as part of
our MOU.
With several evaluations done we began to
gain the experience required.
Current regulations

 The Law N° 28740 (May 2006) regulates the process of
 accreditation (of programs), evaluation and certification
 (of persons) creating several institutions for the
 National System for Evaluation, Accreditation and
 Certification for Educational Quality, SINEACE
 It includes the creation of three boards:
  – CONEAU for university programs
  – CONEACES for non university programs
  – IPEBA for schools (high and elementary)
 According to this law, SINEACE authorizes the operation
 of accrediting bodies.
 This institution is the issuing of accreditation
                 History of ICACIT
ICACIT was created in 2001 with a pilot project
including 5 educational institutions
The idea is to obtain experience in this process that
can be replicated with other institutions.
Now we have 13 educational institutions included in
the program.
Up to now we have accreditated 3 programs; 1 with
TECSUP and 2 with UPC
Coming in October and November, 2009 we are
scheduled to evaluate 15 programs:
•   5   in   PUCP, Lima.
•   1   in   UPC, Lima.
•   3   in   USMP, Lima.
•   3   in   TECSUP, Lima.
•   2   in   TECSUP, Arequipa.
•   1   in   CIBERTEC, Lima.
          Lessons learned

We should have identified the program
evaluators sooner.
We should have developed links with similar
accrediting bodies in Latin America.
We should have defined our procedures and
made them known to educational institutions,
Establishing closer relationships with
authorities related to accreditation issues,
early in the development of ICACIT, would
have been beneficial.

 We are working on the consolidation of
 ICACIT to be recognized as the
 accrediting body for technical and
 engineering programs in Peru, by the
 education authorities and by the
 education institutions
 We are working to complete the needed
 requirements to be included in the
 Washington Accord
   Formation of the
Caribbean Accreditation
Council for Engineering
    and Technology

      Chandrabhan Sharma
        Interim Chair
The Caribbean Archipelago

 Accreditation in the English
    Speaking Caribbean

The various islands have a similar
British History

The educational background is the same

Historically (since 1962) the UWI (the
only regional University) Faculty of
Engineering was the main source of
Engineering Graduates
Because many of the Graduates went
to UK, there was a need for
equivalency with British standards.
The British accreditating bodies were
used as the source for accreditation
ie. IEE (IET), IStructE, IMechE,
This has changed, now most
engineering graduates go to USA
Many new universities have
developed. Need for a different
Attempts to form a Regional Accrediting Agency

  About ten years ago there was a
  move by the Caribbean
  Engineering fraternity to
  establish an engineering
  accreditation agency.

  Project funded by the Canadian
  International Development
  Agency (CIDA)
Executed by the Jamaica
Institution of Engineers (JIE) and
the Professional Engineers
Registration Board (PERB)

Council of Caribbean Engineering
Organizations (CCEO) was
On the wider regional level the Pan
American Academy of Engineering
organized a forum on "Accreditation in the
Regional Context" in Montevideo,
Uruguay, on October 8-10, 2003

The Organization of American States
(OAS) sponsored a similar workshop in
Lima, Peru in 2005
Both meetings were attended by
representatives from the CARICOM
region and the wider Caribbean.

What is CARICOM?

Out of the meeting in Peru a project
was formulated but it has not yet got
many countries on board, in part
because of funding issues.
In 2007, on the launch of the
IEEEtt section, I spoke with Pedro
Ray (representing the PR Section)
on the issue of Accreditation

He then referred me to Moshe Kam
of the EAB

This started the development of
Accreditation Body in the
The Institute of Electrical and
Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
offered to fully assist in this
regard, through a project of
the IEEE Section in Trinidad
and Tobago and the Faculty
of Engineering of The
University of the West Indies.
At biennial meeting of the
Washington Accord (in June,
2007) it was agreed that
countries and regions would be
encouraged to establish their
own accreditation systems
Overseas programmes
accredited by Washington Accord
members would be mutually
The professional engineering associations
in the region have all agreed to the
establishment of a regional accreditation

Important that every CARICOM Country’s
local accreditation agency and universities
be on board as the former have the legal
responsibility for accreditation and the
latter are the institutions that need
The IEEE held a workshop on “Engineering
Accreditation” on September 21-22, 2007 at the
Crowne Plaza, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain,
Trinidad in collaboration with The Faculty of
Engineering of The University of the West Indies
(UWI) and the Accreditation Council of Trinidad
and Tobago (ACTT).

The workshop was organized primarily to bring
together the accreditation councils, professional
bodies and universities of the
AnglophoneCaribbean region as well as the
CARICOM office responsible for accreditation.
The workshop was funded by the IEEE
Educational Activities Boardand facilitated
by Professor Moshe Kam, Vice President
for Educational Activities of the IEEE and
Dr. Mario Gonzales, Professor Emeritus
and a very experienced ABET evaluator

The workshop was very well attended by
all the relevant stakeholders - the
engineering schools, professional bodies,
accreditation agencies and the CARICOM
There was unanimity that a regional
accreditation body for engineering and
technology should be established.
It was further agreed that a regional
workshop in the first quarter of 2008
should be held in order to develop:
– strategy,
– timeline, and
– other requirements for the
  establishment of such a body.
This follow-up workshop was
held on7-8 April 2008 in Puerto
Rico again IEEE funded and

At this meeting 27 leaders of
governmental accrediting agencies,
licensing bodies, universities and
professional associations of seven (7)
English speaking Caribbean countries
The output of our deliberations
was a joint declaration for the
formation of an indigenous
Caribbean Accreditation Council
for Engineering and Technology

A Performa Budget/Financing
estimate and a decision as to the
Headquartering of CACET

Representatives of academia           Representatives of Professional
  (one representative of each
  university that offers              Associations in nation states:
  baccalaureate engineering
  degrees programmes) :               Barbados
  UWI(University of the West Indies   Trinidad & Tobago
  UTEC(University of Technology)
                                      OECS (Organisation of Eastern
  UTT(University of Trinidad and                Caribbean States)
   Representative of Caribbean
   Area Network for Quality
   Assurance in Tertiary
   Education (CANQATE)



   IEEE representatives
A follow up meeting was held in
Guyana on the 20 – 21 October.

This was also funded and managed
by the IEEE

Again there was a region wide
attendance by all stake-holders

Guyana being the headquarters of
CARICOM: full attendance by
relevant staff
Harmonizing of Engineering Acts
throughout region. Five states currently
have Acts regulating the engineering
profession. CACET submitted comments
to CARICOM for changes

Select and form Boards and Committees
of CACET as required by the Washington

Select evaluators and commence training
Sensitize engineering schools and
local accreditation boards within
region on CACET / Washington

Develop all administrative
documents required by CACET

Draw up a list of criteria for
selecting evaluators
Identify individuals to staff

– Permanent Board - Finance, By-

– At least one accreditation council

– Pool of program evaluators - select
  evaluators and commence training
    Next Meeting of CACET.

    26 -28 November 2009.

     IEEE continues to provide
consulting, technical assistance and
 financial support for these efforts.
  Objectives of This Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting to

a) The Charter and Operation Manual (COM)
b) Financial Manual and
c) The Accreditation Procedure Manual.

Conduct Programme Evaluator

The Agreement all the Professional Bodies,
CCEO, Educational Institutions, CARICOM
and Industry in the English Speaking
Caribbean to the establishment of CACET.

The Agreement of the various local state
accreditation agencies, to support and
approve CACET as the recognized regional
Accrediting Agency for Engineering and
Technology Programs
The formation of CACET, with
agreement of all stakeholders, within a
timeframe of two years!

Solidification of a good working
relationship of the Engineering and
Accrediting Professionals across the

A sensitizing of the Region to the need
for accrediting programs so as to make
the engineering professionals
internationally marketable.

Without the support of the IEEE,
financially, in the development of
documentation and logistics planning,
CACET would have suffered an
embryonic death

Like any new born, continued support is
required throughout infancy and CACET
looks forward to IEEE for its continued
Thank You
Questions or