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College of Engineering and Applied Science

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UC Denver

Civil Engineering ABET Accreditation Objectives

The civil engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accrediation Commission (EAC) of the Accrediation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET.


The University of Colorado Denver (UCD) department of Civil Engineering (CE) assessment plan is based and founded on measurable data that is easily quantifiable and that is easily made into charts, graphs, and tables. This is true for ALL courses—undergraduate and graduate. During the period June 1, 2009 through June 1, 2010, the faculty from the CE department collected data from approximately 70 graduate and undergraduate classes. Data collection is on a continual ongoing basis and this report presents data obtained only during that initial year-long period. The assessment data includes both direct (evaluation by expert) and indirect (self-evaluation by student) methodology using ABET criteria, outcome exams, course evaluation forms, and critique by experts which are stored in binders in the CE records room. Results in the assessment exercises resulted in several changes to the CE program.

ABET Student Self Study

The first type of student self-assessment is an exam is given at the completion of the course, and it is called the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) exam. The ABET exam is an indirect assessment methodology. The ABET exam is based on the following 11 questions also known as (a) through (k):

  1. The ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  2. The ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. The ability to participate on a design project.
  4. The ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  5. The ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. The understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. The ability to communicate effectively.
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economical, environmental, and social context.
  9. The recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  10. The knowledge of contemporary issues.
  11. The ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Outcome Assessment Exam

The second type of assessment is given at the beginning and end of the semester and is called the outcome assessment exam. This exam yields both indirect and direct assessment results. A typical exam includes 10 or 15 written concept questions that are topical to what will be taught throughout the duration of the course. This exam also includes hand-solved problems that allow for instructor-graded direct assessment. The hand-solved problems are fundamental “must-know” concepts that are essentially necessary to demonstrate minimum competency in the course. Students take the exam the first day of the course and again on the last day of the course.

Capstone Senior Design Assessment and Evaluation

The third type of assessment occurs at the conclusion of the Capstone senior design course (CE 4067) and is called the external expert assessment exam. This exam yields direct assessment results of which the experts are practicing professional engineers located in Colorado. Presentations are made for the class and to a panel of judges the Friday before finals week. Presentations are made to the general public the Friday before commencement and the American Council Engineering of Companies (ACEC) provides judging. The external referee expert judging helps tie together the importance of oral and written communication, ethics, teamwork, and technical content. Careful review of the results reveals what was done well and what needs improvement.

Program Educational Objectives

Produce BSCE graduates who:

  • are able to perform the technical analyses and design tasks of entry level civil engineers
  • can successfully work toward professional engineering licensure
  • can communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • understand the importance of leadership skills, team building, and ethical practice
  • value lifelong learning and improvement through graduate degrees or professional study
  • appreciate the importance of community involvement and social contribution