Published in 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings, June 26, 2011, pages 22.786.1-22.786.8.
There are 17 ABET accredited architectural engineering (AE) programs in the country and over 200 civil engineering (CE) programs. To gain accreditation, a program must meet the ABET general criteria common to every engineering program and specific criteria that are unique to an individual program. The American Society of Civil Engineers is the lead professional society in this effort for both CE and AE programs. Recently the Civil Engineers rewrote and implemented the Civil Engineering ABET Program Criteria to incorporate changes in the ABET general criteria, the publication of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge I, and the work accomplished on ASCE Policy 465. This year, a subcommittee of the Architectural Engineering Institute Academic Council rewrote the ABET Program Criteria for Architectural Engineering (AE) Programs. In the process, the writers consulted many of the same documents used by the civil engineers and faced many of the same issues. On some of these issues, the AE community chose to follow the same path as the civil engineers and on other issues chose an alternative path. This paper examines the new AE Program criteria and reports on the issues and decisions that were made to create it. Comparisons are made with the existing program criteria and the new civil engineering program criteria. The issues include the recognized sub-disciplines of architectural engineering, the minimum degree of attainment in each sub-discipline, the role of architecture, the role of design, the need for flexibility to preserve the uniqueness of the various programs, and the minimum requirements for math, science and engineering fundamentals. The CE Division will hopefully benefit from seeing the similar challenges in developing program criteria faced by a totally different group and the decisions they reached.
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