ABET Integration Update

by Roy Levow
Based on a workshop presentation by
Kenneth Martin, President, CSAB
to the Computing Research Association
Snowbird Conference
July 11, 2000

Preparations for the integration of CSAB/CSAC with ABET are moving forward on several fronts. To understand these activities, it is necessary to understand a bit about the organization of ABET. ABET is a federation of 28 professional engineering and technical societies. Representatives from these societies, who are practicing professionals from industry and academe, form the body of ABET through its Board of Directors and three working Commissions:

The individual commissions set general criteria for all programs under their purview with more specific criteria set by the relevant participating societies. The plan is that a reorganized CSAB will become one of the participating societies of ABET and that CSAC will be reconstituted as a fourth commission, the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC).

A new constitution is under development for CSAB to reflect its new role. The name of the organization will change from Computing Sciences Accreditation Board to simply CSAB. It will have the following responsibilities.

The CSAB Board will continue to have representatives from IEEE and ACM and may add members from other organizations representing professionals in other areas of computing that may be designated for accreditation.

CSAB will be the lead society within ABET for accreditation of programs in Computer Science, Information Systems, and Software Engineering, a cooperating society for Computer Engineering, and will be involved in a fashion to be determined for Computer Technology.

In order to carry out its new mission, committees will be established within CSAB with the following responsibilities.

CSAC will be reconstituted as CAC, a commission of ABET. In doing so, the following goals have been established.

Starting with the 2001-2002 cycle, accreditation visits are expected to be run through ABET/CAC.

Differences in evaluation terminology and actions between CSAC and ABET must be reconciled. ABET uses the terms "compliance", "concern", "weakness", and "deficiency" to describe the degree to which criteria are satisfied. CSAC does not currently use the term weakness. The following table compares ABET and the most similar CSAC accreditation actions.

NGR (next general report, 6 years) 6V
IR (interim report, usually after 2 years) 6VR
RE (following IR action, report extended)   
IV (interim visit. usually after 2 years) 3V
VE (following IV action, visit extended)   
SC (show cause) SC
SE (following SC action, show cause extended)   
NA (not to accredit) NA
T (terminate at request of institution)  

The various extension actions continue accreditation to 6 years from the last general report to maintain the 6 year accreditation cycle.

In addition to issues relating to formal integration, work is going forward on several other initiatives including the following.

The original presentation was part of the following workshop.  The published slides of each presentation can be viewed on the link with the presentation title.

Perspectives on CSAB Accreditation Activities and Integration of CSAC into ABET

Chair: Kenneth E. Martin (Computing Sciences Accreditation Board)
Directions in Accreditation of Computing Programs
Panelists: Lawrence Jones (Carnegie Mellon University)
CSAB/CSAC Criteria January 2000: An Overview
  Stuart Zweben (Ohio State University)
Recent Experiences with Dual Accreditation