College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Gearing up for ABET accreditation review

The College of Engineering is gearing up for the ABET accreditation review process. Here’s what you need to know about ABET, our accreditations, and our plans for the upcoming reviews:

What’s ABET and ABET accreditation?

ABET is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that accredits university programs in engineering and other STEM areas.

ABET’s accreditation is the worldwide standard, proof that your program has met the standards essential to produce graduates ready to enter the engineering workforce. In short, ABET accreditation conveys to prospective students that they will get a quality education and assures future employers they’ll get quality engineers.

Are Iowa State’s programs accredited now? 

Yes. ABET accredits individual programs, rather than departments or colleges. Our 12 undergraduate engineering degree programs are all ABET accredited.

ABET accreditation requires each program to establish Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) and provide a learning experience for graduates to demonstrate attainment of Student Outcomes (SOs). More info on both the current ABET PEOs and SOs are on our website.

What’s our ABET review process here at Iowa State?

College of Engineering programs were last accredited in 2013. All accredited programs undergo review every six years, so the next evaluation will be during the 2018-2019 academic year.

“A central tenant of ABET accreditation is continuous improvement, so the process is really ongoing here at Iowa State. We are always looking for new ways to deliver and enhance our state-of-the-art engineering education,” says Sriram Sundararajan, associate dean for academic affairs. “Each program has a committee that is responsible for overseeing continuous improvement of the curriculum and ensuring that accreditation criteria are being met. The college convenes regular meetings with the committee leaders to share best practices and  provide guidance on meeting accreditation criteria.”

While programs are constantly engaged in implementing continuous improvement, the formal 18-month ABET accreditation review process includes several steps, including the preparation of a self-study report and an on-site visit by an evaluation team from ABET. Several faculty across the college have experience serving on such teams and are an asset to our preparation for review. Accreditation decisions are made by ABET commissions, based on all review materials and the report from the on-site evaluation team.

“We’ve had success with the ABET accreditation many times over here at Iowa State, and we expect the upcoming reviews to be just as successful,” said Sundararajan. “Our commitment to delivering ABET accredited programs is just one way that we ensure that Cyclone engineers are well prepared for their careers.

Questions about ABET accreditations or the upcoming review process? Contact Sriram Sundararajan.