Summary: Accreditation & Continuous Improvement Committee Meeting Minutes: February 11, 2009
Attendees: Eve Riskin (Chair), Jim Borgford-Parnell (CELT), Joe Garbini (ME), Rick Gustafson (PSE), Tom Horbett (Bioen),
Tim Larson (CEE), Uy-Loi Ly (AA), Richard Storch (IND E), Janice Henderson (CoE).
Comprehensive exams of our students to assess student learning outcomes for the ABET defined learning
outcomes in criteria 3 and 8, instead assessment within a course.
Tom Horbett said Bioengineering is considering instituting an exam to be given one time per year (one exam for
juniors and one for seniors); and making it a graduation requirement. The exam would be somewhat reminiscent of
the F.E. exam in Civil Engineering. Tom is looking for advice on whether or not this is worth pursuing. Would it
need UW approval and would the UW approve instituting the exam?
Some in the group today had reservations about the idea; but, no one was completely opposed to it. Jim Borgford-
Parnell said it would remove 1 or 2 steps from ABET's learning activities; and ABET might reject it. Most in the
group think the faculty should be assessing students in their classes.
It was suggested that Tom look on the web to see if other institutions have comprehensive exams, and does it apply
to their degree. Other suggestions were to create a course or fit the assessment in an existing capstone course. Tom
could also run the idea by Matt O'Donnell since Matt is a Bioengineering professor, or Tom could talk to one of
Bioengineering's past program reviewers.
Frequency and intensity of assessment of our students
Tom discussed EE's plan of assessing 1/3 of outcomes per year. He decided Bioengineering won't use it because
assessments should be done every year.