An Optimal Mapping Framework for ABET Criteria 3 (a-k) Student Outcomes into the Newly Proposed (1-7) Student Outcomes

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the IAJC/ISAM International Conference




The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is a non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary degree-granting engineering programs primarily in the United States and all over the world. At the beginning, the ABET accreditation criteria focused mainly on the logistics of the engineering education such as curriculum, faculty expertise, and facilities. However, this criteria didn’t address the student learning outcomes effectively. Therefore, in 1997, ABET adopted the Engineering Criteria 2000 which focused on the student learning outcomes and the continuous improvement process. Even though, this modified criteria which included the a-k Criteria 3 student outcomes have helped improve the engineering education process, it still lacks in the specificity of student learning outcomes. This made understanding and interpreting the criteria very difficult. ABET has currently proposed to change Criteria 3 as part of its continuous quality improvement process to help alleviate some of these shortcomings. The proposed modifications changed the infamous eleven student learning outcomes (3-a to 3-k) to only seven students outcomes with significant changes to their content. These drastic changes will certainly trigger a widespread assessment and curricular revamping across all engineering programs. Even though, the proposed changes to the ABET students outcomes have the potential to improve engineering education, they also might have a negative effect on the educational process if they are not well understood or properly implemented. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel mapping framework that will help engineering faculty and administrators to map their current student performance indicators and rubrics using the new ABET criteria 3 student outcomes. This process is intended to ease the transition and minimize the needed changes in the assessment process which will ensure minimal disruption. In addition, this new mapping will ensure an optimization of the faculty time allocated to adapt their assessment efforts.