ABET Accreditation Process and Calendar


Updated August 10, 2017


The 2016-17 ABET Accreditation process preparation is underway! For an effective review package that will help achieve another six-year accreditation, please keep these activities and deadlines in mind.

  • These items will occur or are due:

    • Pre-Accreditation Orientation meeting with the Whiting School – ~August 2015
    • Fall 2015 Course Samples – throughout the semester, due December 31, 2015
    • Spring 2016 Course Samples – throughout the semester, due May 31, 2016
    • Assessment Findings – the results of any course assessments done previously – June 30, 2016
    • Assessment Plan for 2016-17 courses – based on Partial Score Assessments – July 15, 2016
    • Faculty and Instructor CVs – August 1, 2016
    • Fall 2016 Course Syllabi – August 15, 2016
    • Contact with Instructors and TAs to explain course sample collection process – August/September 2016
    • Contact with Instructors to confirm Partial Score Assessment criterion and assignments being measured for Fall 2016 courses – mid-October 2016

    These items will occur or are due:

    • Self-Study Writing – begins January 2017
    • Fall 2016 Course Samples – throughout the semester, due January 6, 2017
    • Fall 2016 Partial Score Assessments and Skill Definitions
      February 2, 2017
    • Meetings with Instructors and TAs to explain course sample collection process – January 2017
    • Contact with Instructors to confirm Partial Score Assessment criterion and assignments being measured for Spring 2017 courses – late-January 2017
    • Spring 2017 Course Syllabi – February 12, 2017
    • Self-Study Complete Draft – February 15, 2017
    • Self-Study Final Drafts – May 15, 2017
    • Spring 2017 Course Samples – throughout the semester, due May 27, 2017
    • Spring 2017 Partial Score Assessments and Skill Definitions
      May 27, 2017
    • Interactive Self-Study Creation – begins June 2017
    • Self-Studies due to ABET – July 1, 2017

    These items will occur or are due:

    • Transcript Review – early-August 2017
    • Textbook Collection – September 1, 2017
    • NEW!  ABET Mock Visit – September 18, 2017
      • Eileen Webb, a consultant hired by the Whiting School, will conduct a mock visit to prepare the department for the final review and visit in November.  This is a “dress rehearsal” where we will present everything we plan to present at the Final Visit in November.
      • Information on location and requests for participation will be shared the last two weeks of August 2017. Stay tuned for details.
    • ABET Final Review and Visit – November 12-14, 2017. Included are:
      • Syllabus, Homework, and Textbook Display
      • Evaluator Review
      • Faculty and Instructor Meetings
      • Class and Lab Tours
      • Student / Evaluator Meetings

  • These are the outcomes in which ABET assesses our programs.

    • A – Math / Science Skills
    • B – Laboratory Experimental Skills
    • C – Design Skills
    • D – Teamwork
    • E – Solve Engineering Problems
    • F – Professional and Ethical Responsibility
    • G – Written and Oral Communications
    • H – Global Impact / Broad Perspectives
    • I – Lifelong Learning
    • J – Contemporary Issues
    • K – Modern Engineering Tools

    See the ABET EAC webpage (Criterion 3) for more detailed definitions.

  • We need Curriculum Vitae from every tenure-track faculty member and adjunct instructor who teach our courses.

    Faculty Curriculum Vitae must be formatted according to ABET requirements. Two pages maximum in Times New Roman font, 12 point.

    • Name
    • Education – degree, discipline, institution, year
    • Academic experience – institution, rank, title (chair, coordinator, etc. if appropriate), when (ex. 1990-1995), full time or part time
    • Non-academic experience – company or entity, title, brief description of position, when (ex. 1993-1999), full time or part time
    • Certifications or professional registrations
    • Current membership in professional organizations
    • Honors and awards
    • Service activities (within and outside of the institution)
    • Briefly list the most important publications and presentations from the past five years – title, co-authors if any, where published and/or presented, date of publication or presentation
    • Briefly list the most recent professional development activities

    Upload a Word document of your CV to the JHBox file that has been requested in a separate e-mail.  We have resources to edit CVs to the required ABET format. Do not send a .pdf file or any other uneditable document.

  • Outcomes assessments affect ALL courses on which outcomes assessments are measured.  Needed are:

    • Partial Score Assessments: complete tally sheets for each outcome being assessed.
    • Skill Definitions: concise “definitions” of skills being assessed. This is included within the Partial Score Assessments paperwork.  Note that this is a separate requirement than in the Course Samples requirement.
    • Course Displays affect all Mechanical Engineering undergraduate courses.  The department will collect display materials, including course syllabus, textbooks, and course samples.
    • Course Samples: three sets of three samples of all work in a course – excellent, average, and below average work, plus the assignment itself.

  • Fall 2016 – due August 1, 2016
    Spring 2017 – due January 20, 2017

    Submit your course syllabi to the designated JHBox when notified. Send your questions to Mike Bernard at mike.bernard@jhu.edu.

    Please use the Whiting School Course Syllabus template:

    Faculty are strongly encouraged to use this template when preparing the syllabus for their courses.

    First, there is certain key information that students ought to be provided at the start of the semester. This template will ensure that they have that information. For example, many faculty may be unaware that we should be providing information about disability services on our syllabi; this template gives you wording to fulfill that. Further, a clear statement on ethics will help to avoid problems. Different faculty members have different expectations on how students collaborate; laying out those expectations clearly is important.

    Second, nationally – and at Johns Hopkins -there is a growing emphasis on student learning outcomes. Students should be given (and regulators expect us to provide) information about the objectives of your course and the expectations of what they will learn.

    Third, a consistent format across the school not only is helpful to students, but will be valuable during accreditation (for ABET and for Middle States). We’ve set up this template to be sure that the information accreditors want to see is present and easy to find.

    No. Indeed some departments will prepare a variation on the template because their ABET Outcomes are different (as in Computer Science) or arranged differently.

    There may be parts of this that simply do not apply to your course. For example, an advanced graduate research course might require rather different information and various pieces of this document might not apply.

    Yes, but if you can change to this format it would be helpful for the sake of consistency and accreditation. Be sure your version includes the important information as laid out here.

    Copy the template file you prefer (Word, HTML, or LaTeX) and edit these:

    1. Heading – department, course number, course title, semester/year, number of credits, and distribution codes.
    2. Description – Copy/paste from the catalog description.
    3. Prerequisites – Include formal (mandatory) prerequisites and add comments (e.g., “familiarity with a programming language”).
    4. Instructor – This needs revision and include all co-instructors.
    5. Teaching Assistant(s) – Edit or delete if there are no TAs.
    6. Meetings – Edit and include location(s) if known. If locations are not yet posted, ok to write “location TBD, check SIS”.
    7. Textbook(s) – Provide info here and distinguish between recommended and required. If you are putting materials on reserve, you can list those here.
    8. Online Resources – If using Blackboard or some other website for communicating with students, mention it here (with URL if not using Blackboard).
    9. Objectives – This is different from ABET outcomes. It’s a short list of key skills/concepts that students will be learning in this course. It adds a bit to the course description.
    10. Topics – This is a typically chronological list of topics that will be covered.
    11. Expectations and Grading – Explain what work students will be expected to do and how they will be graded.
    12. Key dates – Some instructors know well in advance exactly when tests will be given and projects/papers will be due. List them here (or refer to Blackboard/website).
    13. Assignments and Readings – This can be here or online. For example, if there are weekly problem sets, the choice of problems you assign might be decided later. In which case, it makes more sense to direct students to an online resource.
    14. Ethics – Keep the introduction the same, but edit the “In addition…” paragraph. Be clear with students what your rules are for collaboration. Can they work on homework together?
    15. Students with disabilities – Leave this as is.
    16. ABET Outcomes – List only the outcomes that apply.

  • Mike will collect textbooks that will be used for display during the ABET Accreditation visit in Fall 2017.  This includes all courses assessed in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

  • Course Samples will be collected for courses being assessed.

    ABET requires course samples for all assignments, quizzes, exams, reports, homework relevant to Partial Score Assessments and other work for your courses this semester.  Collect three in each of the categories. This will mean you have a total of nine samples: three high, three medium, and three low. These samples must be collected from you or your Teaching Assistants.

    We must obtain a copy of the assignment itself for each assignment.

    Note that we will need homework samples only for required courses and not electives.  We need course samples only for the homework that is related to your course’s Partial Score Assessments. You can submit samples for all homework if that’s easier but that’s not required.

    Fall 2015 – due December 31, 2015

    The following courses must collect samples in Fall 2015:

    • 530.418 Aerospace Structures
    • 530.424 Dynamics of Robots and Spacecraft
    • 530.426 Biofluid Mechanics
    • 530.445 Intro to Biomechanics
    • 530.485 Physics and Feedback of Biological Systems
    Spring 2016 – due May 31, 2016

    The following courses must collect samples in Spring 2016:

    • 530.410 Biomechanics of the Cell
    • 530.432 Jet and Rocket Propulsion
    • 530.476 Locomotion in Mechanical and Biological Systems (undergrad)
    Fall 2016 – due January 10, 2017
    • All undergraduate courses
    Spring 2017 – due May 27, 2017
    • All undergraduate courses

    We will be collecting samples in JH Box.  Mike Bernard will assist you with the process as needed.

    1. Obtain samples:  three excellent, three average, and three below-average of each homework, assignment, quiz, exam, report, and other work.  You may be able to download these directly from your course’s Blackboard system or scan them from paper samples.
    2. Label each sample
      • On the Top of the form, write the assignment type and sample type, for example:  “Homework 1, Excellent 1” or “Homework 2, Average 1.”
      • You will have nine samples per assignment, so you can label the sample type “(assignment type and number), Excellent 1,”  “(assignment type and number), Excellent 2,”  “(assignment type and number), Excellent 3,”  “(assignment type and number), Average 1,”  “(assignment type and number), Average 2,” and so on until the last one “(assignment type and number), Below-Average 3.”
    3. Provide problem sets or questions: please have the problem sets or questions of every assignment that you plan to upload.
    4. Upload the file: Visit the 2016-17 Course Samples folder in the Mechanical Engineering – ABET Files folder.  You have been given “Editor” access. You will see a folder for each of your files. Simply upload your samples and problem sets/questions to your course’s folder.

    Do this as you go instead of waiting until the last days of the semester.  If you can spread out the work through the semester, it will be much easier.

  • TO BE COLLECTED IN 2012-13, 2014-15, 2016-17
    Fall semesters due ~February 2
    Spring semesters due ~August 15

    It is vital that instructors provide partial score assessments for every semester that describes the concepts and work samples used to achieve competency in our students in each of the outcome criteria. The department must describe these for specific criteria on the tabs below.

    NOTE: Effective Spring 2016, the department has decided to focus only on core courses. Partial Score Assessments will no longer be needed for electives.

    • 530.101 Freshman Experiences – C, D, E, G, I
    • 530.102 Freshman Experiences – A, C, D, E, F, G, J, K
    • 530.103 / 104 Introduction to Mechanics – A
    • 530.105 / 106 Mechanical Engineering Freshman Lab – B

    • 530.201 Statics – B
    • 530.202 Dynamics – K
    • 530.215 Mechanics Based Design – A, C, E
    • 530.216 Mechanics Based Design Lab – A, B, C, D, E, G
    • 530.231 Thermodynamics – A, E, H
    • 530.232 Thermodynamics Lab – A, B, E, G
    • 530.241 Electronics and Instrumentation – A, B, G, J, K

    • 530.327 Intro to Fluid Mechanics – A, E
    • 530.329 Intro to Fluid Mechanics Lab – A, B, E, G
    • 530.334 Heat Transfer – A, E, J, K
    • 530.335 Heat Transfer Lab – A, B, G
    • 530.343  Design and Analysis of Dynamical Systems – A, C, E
    • 530.344 Design and Analysis of Dynamical Systems Lab – B, D, K
    • 530.352 Materials Selection – D, G
    • 530.354 / 454 Manufacturing Engineering – K

    • 530.403 / 404 Engineering Design Project – A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K
    • 530.414 Computer Aided Design – K

    The following courses are assessed in these criteria:

    • A – 530.102, 530.103, 530.104, 530.215, 530.216, 530.231, 530.232, 530.241, 530.327, 530.329, 530.334, 530.335, 530.343/344, 530.403/404
    • B – 530.105, 530.106, 530.201, 530.216, 530.232, 530.241, 530.329, 530.334, 530.335, 530.343/344, 530.403/404
    • C – 530.101, 530.102, 530.215, 530.216, 530.343/344, 530.354, 530.403/404
    • D – 530.101, 530.102, 530.216, 530.343/344, 530.352, 530.403/404
    • E – 530.101, 530.102, 530.215, 530.216, 530.231, 530.232, 530.327, 530.329, 530.334, 530.343/344, 530.403/404
    • F – 530.102, 530.403/404
    • G – 530.101, 530.102, 530.216, 530.232, 530.241, 530.329, 530.335, 530.352, 530.403/404
    • H – 530.231, 530.403/404
    • I – 530.101, 530.403/404
    • J – 530.102, 530.241, 530.334, 530.403/404
    • K – 530.102, 530.201, 530.241, 530.334, 530.343/344, 530.354, 530.403/404

    View this sample for an idea of what is being asked.  All 2012-13 samples are in this document.

    These are step-by-step instructions to view and update the Partial Score Assessments.


    • In the MechE ABET Calendar, find your course in the Partial Score Assessment tabs – Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior/Electives – to see which ABET outcomes need your PGAs.
    • If you disagree or have questions about the outcomes selected for your course, please contact me.

    VIEW THE FILE – “MechE – ABET Files” JHBox.  Select this link to the 2014-15 Partial Score Assessments.

    • File contents:
      • A sample file from the 2012-13 PGAs
      • Editable Word documents for each of the criterion for which we write PGAs.  Criterion I is not included as that’s addressed in a different format.  The Word documents are editable and will be saved directly to JHBox.  No printing or forwarding by e-mail is necessary.
    • View the sample file.  You will see three items they explain how the criterion is met for each course:  a sample “concept”, work samples, and a performance assessment chart.  You are asked to update or complete each of these areas for your course.


    • Open the document by clicking on the document title. You will see a preview. To edit the document, select the “pencil” icon in the upper right corner.  The document will open in Word.
    • “Sample concept used” and “work samples” – review the information provided.  Make changes as needed or add new info.
    • Performance assessment” – you must determine the score of the work samples mentioned in the document – but not the whole course – hence the term “partial score assessment.”
      • ABET wants one average score for each student’s set of work samples.  For example, if you have four samples with grades of A, A-, B+, and B-, the student’s average grade is B.  If you use “all coursework” as your sample, then the student’s final grade is the average grade.
      • All of the students’ “average grades” are then compiled and counted.  Determine the average grades for each student and complete the number of students who earned each grade on the line with your course number, e.g. 3 A, 10 A-, 5 B, and 2 C.
      • Determine the mean based on the number of average grades converted to a 4-point system.  For example, the average for the 3 A, 10 A-, 5 B, and 2 C grades would be 3.49.  Enter this in the “Mean” column for your course.

    It’s possible that your final course grade would be appropriate to express the “partial” score assessment for the criteria for your course. If that’s the case, that’s okay, but please try to avoid using the final course grade as a shortcut to avoid having to calculate the actual “partial score assessment.” Mike Bernard can help you with this and do the calculations, if that will help you.

    • Save your document in Word and it will automatically save the document in JHBox.  Be sure not to overwrite info provided by another instructor.
    • Repeat for each ABET outcome document you must update.  Then you’re done!
    • If you are having trouble connecting to the document or following these instructions, please contact Mike Bernard for help.

    If you have concerns about the criteria assigned to your courses, please contact Mike to discuss them.

  • The Whiting School supports the ABET process for all of its programs.



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