ABET Accreditation of Higher Education – All the Details
ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) is a US-based non-profit organization that grades engineering programs at a college to ensure professional-grade education. It is a global standard in STEM education to assure that undergraduate and postgraduate programs like computing, engineering, applied science, natural science, and software engineering provide academically sound, skill-based education.
ABET accreditation is a global standard and works as a magnet to attract prospects for your university. It executes the accreditation process through a network of experts that have vast industry experience. These experts evaluate and validate the institute programs to be holistic, and quality-driven.
For this, the team of experts closely scrutinizes the programs. The process provides academicians and management of the university with a deeper understanding of the gaps in the system. The procedure includes a review of the program material, several visits to the campuses, and more. The process is well-aligned with modern education needs and standards, and thus makes ABET one of the most sought-after accreditation till now in the world for technical courses.
What does it mean to be ABET-accredited?
ABET sets a global standard, and getting accreditation from ABET means adding extra value to your global reputation. Being ABET accredited testifies for:
- International quality education
- Best practices in education
- Faculty and staff self-assessment process and continuous quality improvement
- Focus on learning outcomes rather than just teaching inputs
Programs that can be ABET Accredited
- Distance Learning Technical Programs
- Applied and Natural Science Programs
- Computing Programs
- Engineering Accreditation Commission
- Engineering Technology Programs
- Several Alternative Programs
Why is ABET Accreditation in Higher Education important?
ABET is globally valued. Every individual wishing to make a career in engineering and computer sciences would wish that their degree is of a global standard and also have a conviction that they are at an advantage of being part of a quality-driven, skilled-based curriculum.
If your university is ABET accredited, you have a major edge in the market, as:
- It shows the compelling quality standards in the science and technology field.
- It gives you a competitive edge in beating private and government institutes in your area.
- It helps establish you in the global market.
- It is a confirmation of high quality in terms of curriculum, assessment, and development.
- It helps you in continuous improvements as ABET conducts regular reviews.
- It ensures better student outcomes
ABET accreditation may also help your institute to get a PE or Professional Engineer License.
ABET criteria and eligibility
ABET promotes excellence in technical education and thus puts quality improvement at the center of all accreditation activities. The accreditation criteria is built by academic experts and technical professionals with years of experience in various industries, academic professions, and government organizations. The criteria is built to evaluate programs on three factors:
Important details of the ABET accreditation criteria
- Eligible programs
Not every program is eligible for ABET accreditation and hence you must carefully go through the list of programs for which you apply for accreditation. Furthermore, the institute should be nationally and regionally accredited in the USA. Also, doctoral and certificate programs are not accredited by ABET. ABET only accepts accreditation requests from degree-granting educational institutions.
- Minimum of one graduate is mandatory
Programs become eligible only if they have at least one graduate passed out.
- Program name clause
The program name should convey the objective and should not be misleading.
It is essential to submit an initial SSR before the on-site visit. The report needs to be accurate, to the point, updated, and error-free.
ABET Accreditation Process & Timeline
ABET accreditation is a time-intensive process and can take up to 18 months. Step by step we can divide the accreditation process into:
- Readiness review
- Collecting samples of syllabus, assignments, curriculum
- It starts in October and must end by January 31st
- Evaluation request
- Assigning the assessment team
- Between April and May, based on the review
- Submission of SSR
- Self-study report submission, followed by review by the assessment team
- Submission before July 1st
- On-site visit
- Documents should be filed and ready before the on-site visit
- Panel interviews conducted with faculty, students, administration
- Usually scheduled from September until December, the on-site assessment lasts 3 days.
- Decision-making process
- The review team may notify if they found any gaps during their visits
- Within two-three months, formal communication starts to inform the findings
- Institute may be required to produce an explanation for the shortcomings within 30 days
- The decision comes around July
- The final verdict notified to the institute by August 31st
ABET Assessment Planning
- Establish mission Statement
- Define Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) and Student Outcomes
- Evaluate Assessment findings
- Plan Assessment design and execution
- Use data for decision-making
How to get ABET accredited successfully?
Here are some useful tips to get ABET accredited successfully:
- Stick to the time frame
There is a reason why we have mentioned the months in the timeline. It is an 18-month-long process and you would get a sufficient time window to finish all the formalities and meet the expectations and standards of the assessment team.
- Eligibility check
Before you begin the process, it is necessary to map the eligibility criteria to your institute’s offerings. It is very common for people to apply for the accreditation of a course that doesn’t fall within the eligibility criteria.
- Request Application
To confirm your eligibility you are required to make a request for the same and submit the SSR, within the timeline for ensuring the process starts.
- ABET Review
Based on your submission, the committee will evaluate your SSR and conduct an onsite visit to proceed with the evaluation process and give a final decision. So, make sure SSR is well-built with no errors.
Cost of ABET Accreditation
Based on 2021-2022:
Fees for the programs outside the US are different, get more info on this here.
Yes, re-accreditation is possible. And you need to submit RFE (Request for Evaluation) on the official website of ABET. RFE is a general formality for visits, interim visits, or interim reports.
How does Academia ERP Solution help with ABET Accreditation?
ABET accreditation requires precision analysis of the institute on various factors. With the advanced report management system offered by Academia, you can generate a host of reports and analyze where you need to improve and how you can achieve ABET accreditation. Also, the reports help you in presenting the right data to the assessment committee at ABET in the SSR and allow you to leave no gaps unfilled. Request a live demo of Academia ERP to learn more.