The CEBOK3 and ABET accreditation criteria: A gap analysis

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Undergraduate civil engineering curricula must satisfy a variety of constraints, notably any institutional requirements and, to be accredited by ABET, the minimum requirements defined in the ABET General Criterion 3: Student Outcomes, General Criterion 5: Curriculum, and the Program Criteria for Civil and Similarly Named Engineering Programs (also referred to as the civil engineering program criteria, or CEPC). The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) serves as the lead society responsible for content of the CEPC. ASCE also maintains and publishes the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CEBOK), with the third edition (CEBOK3) being published in the spring of 2019. ASCE developed and proposed changes to the CEPC following completion of both prior editions of the CEBOK. ASCE has also established a timeline to consider possible changes to the CEPC based on future editions of the CEBOK, including the CEBOK3. Regardless if or when ASCE actually proposes any changes to the CEPC or whether any changes in the CEPC even occur based on the CEBOK3, many civil engineering programs may consider modifying their curriculum based on the CEBOK3. Therefore, an important step in evaluating the CEBOK3 in terms of undergraduate education, whether considering accreditation or curricular design, is to complete a gap analysis between current ABET engineering accreditation criteria and that portion of the CEBOK3 that is proposed to be attained through undergraduate education. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive assessment of the commonalities and differences between the curricular and student outcomes defined by ABET engineering accreditation criteria and those defined in the CEBOK3. Additionally, the paper will include an assessment of the significance and potential impact of the identified differences on civil engineering curricula.

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© American Society for Engineering Education, 2019. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition