Faculty of Engineering

ABET Accreditation Visit

ABET Accreditation Visit
Faculty of Engineering – Islamic University of Madinah

:Executive Summary

Two years back on this day, a three days-visit by four expert evaluators was started. The delegation came to the Faculty of Engineering, the Islamic University of Madinah, to access and benchmark our faculty, students, and processes to one of the most prestigious accreditation bodies in education, The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The visit concluded on a high note with no major observation or corrections. After reviewing the self-assessment report and visit report, at the ABET annual meeting in the USA, all three departments of the Faculty of Engineering awarded maximum accreditation duration, six years

:The ABET Accreditation Visit November 2019

Universities and institutes of higher education worldwide strive to achieve academic accreditation for their various programs to prove their prominence and elite stature. Accreditation gives credence to those who achieve it. Accreditation is essential and critical to everyone associated with the university, including current and prospective students, faculty members, alumni, and community members. The benefits of attending and graduating from an accredited program are numerous

Accreditation is the process by which an appropriate specialized organization certifies that an academic program has a quality with a high set of standards. Over the years, many organizations and boards have been created specifically for this purpose. These accreditation bodies utilize and deploy the services of highly qualified individuals and experts to set up rules and regulations for the accreditation process and apply these sets of standards to those academic programs that seek accreditation

There are several acceptable organizations for accrediting engineering programs both locally in individual countries or regions and internationally. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET, stands tall for accrediting engineering programs. This federation of experts started in the US in 1932, but it has evolved dramatically over the years to become an internationally recognized engineering accreditation system. Because of its history, reputation, and affinity to ensuring the highest standards, ABET accreditation has become a genuine symbol of quality in the world of engineering (as well as applied sciences and engineering technology). For that, it is prestigious for an engineering program to become ABET-accredited

Acquiring accreditation is neither an easy nor a guaranteed process. There are eligibility requirements that have been put in place by ABET prior to applying for the accreditation process. ABET established step-by-step guidelines and rules on this process. The engineering program must apply. The process is very detailed and systematic. The process takes 18 months from inception to conclusion. There are eight well-defined criteria in addition to the program-specific criteria to meet the ABET standards. These criteria are Students, Program Educational Objectives, Student Outcomes, Continuous Improvement, Curriculum, Faculty, Facilities, Institutional Support, and Program Criteria

The Faculty of Engineering prepared itself over the years to reach a standard at par before applying for the ABET accreditation. The readiness report and relevant documents were submitted to ABET a year before the actual visit (28-Sep-2018). In the summer of next year, (19-Jun2019) self-assessment report was submitted to the ABET, which was the foundation document for the actual visit. The delegation started coming a day before the visit, and the faculty treated them as their esteemed guests. There was a recreational activity and dinner prior to the campus visit to get acquainted with the visiting delegation and faculty members. The three-day visit was from 24 to 26 Nov-2019. The formal activities started with the delegation s meeting with the Engineering Advising Committee (EAC), which is the esteemed committee to guide the current and future direction of the faculty. The meeting was followed by the campus visit, where the delegation met with the Dean, vice-Deans, program coordinators, ABET coordinators, and other faculty members. The first day was concluded with a visit to the facilities and laboratories. In addition to that, the delegation also visited the Senior Design Project hall, in where selected students projects were displayed, and students explained their work to the delegation

The second day of the ABET visit was arranged for individual faculty meetings with the ABET evaluators. The head of the delegation also met the vice reactor along with the dean and vice-deans. The official lunch was arranged where students, alumni, and faculty members could meet the delegation. The delegation also met with the Dean of Quality and Accreditation, prep-year facility, and departments of Physics and Chemistry On the third and final day of the accreditation visit of ABET, the program evaluators informed their observations to the department s chairpersons. The overall exit statement followed this meeting in the rector s office. The visit concluded with the exit statement, which showed the strength of the departments, and no weaknesses were observed

The following year, all three departments (Mechanical Engineering Department, Electrical Engineering Department, and Civil Engineering Department) of the faculty of Engineering have been given the accreditation of maximum duration that is six years. The maximum duration accreditation vindicated the strength demonstrated by all faculty members and staff of the Faculty of Engineering. The next compressive review for the ABET accreditation will be in the year 2025-2026

Source: The media committee at the Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Madinah (24 November 2021)