Accreditation is a process that requires programs to undergo comprehensive, periodic evaluations, and assures that the graduates are well-prepared and ready for advanced study and real-world employment. The department has started a systematic process for quality assurance applied to its undergraduate programs and also moved through the required stages that lead to accreditation. Both Bachelor of Engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. Our next comprehensive review will take place in 2019. At the department level, accreditation is a form of endorsement that the department uses to let potential students know that their programs offer a valid education that is officially recognized internationally. The hard work of our faculty members and collaborations with our constituencies were the key drivers to this achievement.
It is expected that the graduates within a few years of graduation to attain the Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) that were established in consultation with key program constituencies. The department has developed a process that is systematically utilized to ensure that the program’s educational objectives remain consistent with the institutional mission and the program constituents’ needs. The level of involvement of the various constituencies is not the same because of their knowledge, experience, proximity, and availability. The program seeks input from the Industrial Advisory Board members once a year. The opinions of faculty regarding improving the PEOs could be given at any time. The input from the employers and alumni is sought through surveys. In addition, the PEOs may be improved whenever there is a new development in the profession, changes in the institutional mission and/or national policy.
All processes for regularly assessing and evaluating the extent to which the student outcomes are being attained are well documented. Quantitative data are obtained (i) directly from assessments administered by course instructors and (ii) indirectly from student exit surveys. Qualitative data are obtained from (iii) student-faculty liaison committee meetings, (iv) student exit interviews, (v) Students’ society activities records and (vi) Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) discussions. Results of evaluation processes for the student outcomes and any other available information are being systematically used as input in the continuous improvement of the program.
The department is gradually introducing a peer review of teaching method that serves both formative and summative functions. The peer evaluation is conducted once a year and two visits per course using two forms. The closure documents form emphasizes the quality and relevance of course content and assessment while the peer-observation form focuses on two components: (i) classroom instruction and presentation and (ii) communication and engagement of students.
The responsibility for the department’s quality assurance framework rests with the Head of the department (HoD) and the Department Curriculum and Accreditation Committee (DCAC) in concert with the focus groups, faculty members, and the Departmental Board.