Journal Title

ASEE 123rd Annual Conference

Publication Date



Electrical Engineering (EE) programs seeking accreditation from the EAC of ABET must demonstrate that they satisfy eight general Accreditation Criteria, plus any program specific criteria. Two of the most challenging and debated criteria are: Criterion 3 Student Outcomes (SOs), and Criterion 4 Continuous Improvement (CI). At the University of Portland, to prepare our EE program for a successful accreditation review, we divided the six-year ABET accreditation cycle into three distinct phases; namely, the years before the Self- Study year (phase one), the Self-Study year (phase two), and the visit year (phase three).

During phase one of the accreditation cycle (2010-2014) a number of direct and indirect assessment methods were used to assess and evaluate Student Outcomes. The results were used to identify program improvements. The program faculty documented the results in annual assessment and evaluation reports. During the Self-Study year (2014-2015), we used the annual reports to prepare the Self- Study report. The annual reports also provide evidence that improvements to our EE program were based on assessment and evaluation of SOs as well as other inputs.

At the heart of our assessment program lies course-embedded assessment. The choice of courses for course-embedded assessment is guided by two principles: (1) each Student Outcome is assessed with student work in a benchmark course, and (2) only required courses, not elective courses, in the curriculum are selected as benchmark courses.

Assessment of a benchmark course is conducted with the following in mind: (1) assessment of student work measures the extent to which SOs are being attained, (2) it is not necessary to use all of the student work to assess an outcome, and (3) outcomes assessment is based upon student work and is guided by the grading of that work.

In this paper, the implementation of our course-embedded assessment method to a benchmark course is presented. EGR 360- Analysis of Engineering Data was selected as a benchmark course for the EAC Student Outcome b (an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data).

A description of the process, data collection efforts, and analysis of the results in applying course-embedded assessment method to the benchmark course are provided. We believe the process presented in this paper can be beneficial to others in the engineering community as they address compliance of their programs with the Accreditation Criteria.


Engineering--Educational evaluation; Engineering--University of Portland

Publication Information

Archived version is the final published version.

Document Type

Conference Paper