ABET Accreditation & Assessment Process
The CU-Boulder Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering sciences is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The program was first accredited in 1948. The last accreditation review took place in 2011 and accreditation was received in 2012. The next evaluation of our program will take place in fall 2017.
In accord with the requirements of ABET, we have defined a set of career and professional accomplishments (Program Educational Objectives) that we are preparing our graduates to achieve approximately 3–5 years after graduation.
Our Program Educational Objectives are that during their first three to five years after graduation, Aerospace Engineering Sciences graduates will have:
Established themselves in professional careers or received a graduate degree;
Demonstrated ethical leadership, project management, and/or innovation; and
Played significant roles in the research and development of engineering systems and products.
The Desired Outcomes, in turn, define our Curriculum 2000 (pdf), which provides students the necessary skills, abilities, and knowledge to achieve them.
The department prides itself in the quality and rigor of its undergraduate program. Curriculum 2000 was developed from an extensive revamping of the undergraduate curriculum starting in 1997. Built around multidisciplinary design and experiment activities, the new curriculum has become widely recognized nationally as one of the leading innovations of aerospace curriculum in the last decade. Aerospace engineering undergraduates are exposed from their first days as sophomores to the rigorous demands of today’s aerospace engineers. Basic engineering principles are taught within a rich mixture of aerospace design and hands-on activities, making wide use of the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL).
The program continually assesses our Program Educational Objectives to measure the degree to which objectives are being achieved. This information can then be used to modify our Desired Outcomes and Curriculum 2000 as necessary. This process occurs through alumni surveys, feedback from the aerospace industry, the University Program Review, and extensive use of our External Advisory Board (EAB).
Our Desired Outcomes are measured in several ways. The primary means of direct assessment occurs through a series of student evaluations in Senior Projects conducted by our Senior Projects Advisory Board. Additional assessment occurs via surveys of required undergraduate classes where students evaluate their level of knowledge and skill acquisition, similar annual surveys of graduating seniors, and a campus-wide survey every three to four years.
The curriculum improvement process occurs as the above measures and other information are evaluated to determine if curricular changes are required in order to better meet the Desired Outcomes. Assessment and curriculum improvement involves the student Curriculum Improvement Team (CIT), the Curriculum & Teaching (C&T) Committee, the External Advisory Board (EAB), and the faculty at an annual faculty retreat primarily devoted to curricular matters.