While ABET recognizes and supports the prerogative of institutions to adopt and use the terminology of their choice, it is necessary for ABET volunteers and staff to have a consistent understanding of terminology. With that purpose in mind, the Commissions will use the following basic definitions:
Program Educational Objectives – Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years after graduation. Program educational objectives are based on the needs of the program’s constituencies.
Student Outcomes – Student outcomes describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program.
Assessment – Assessment is one or more processes that identify, collect, and prepare data to evaluate the attainment of student outcomes. Effective assessment uses relevant direct, indirect, quantitative and qualitative measures as appropriate to the outcome being measured. Appropriate sampling methods may be used as part of an assessment process.
Evaluation – Evaluation is one or more processes for interpreting the data and evidence accumulated through assessment processes. Evaluation determines the extent to which student outcomes are being attained. Evaluation results in decisions and actions regarding program improvement.
College-level Mathematics consists of mathematics that requires a degree of mathematical sophistication at least equivalent to that of college algebra. For illustrative purposes, some examples of college-level mathematics include college algebra, precalculus, calculus, differential equations, probability, statistics, linear algebra and discrete mathematics.
Natural Science increases the knowledge base of a field of research and science collectively that are involved in the study of the physical world and its phenomena. Natural science consists of but is not limited to biology, physics, chemistry, geology and other natural sciences including life, earth and space sciences.
Applied Science uses the knowledge base in natural science to solve specific problems.
Criterion 3. Student Outcomes
The program must have documented student outcomes that prepare graduates to attain the program educational objectives. There must be a documented and effective process for the periodic review and revision of these student outcomes.