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SPIE, ABET and Accreditation

What does ABET stand for?

ABET is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. ABET is the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in the disciplines of engineering, computing, engineering technology, and applied science degrees at the associates, bachelors, and masters degree levels. It is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

What is SPIE's role in ABET?

SPIE became a member of ABET in 2010 and is one of the 35 professional societies that comprise ABET. We work with industry, government, and academia to ensure that the academic programs of colleges and universities related to optical and photonics disciplines, are kept current, relevant and prepare graduates for entry into practice in the field.

Each year SPIE trains and assigns ABET Program Evaluators (PEVs) for reviewing programs in the field.

For more information on the process and the philosophy behind SPIE's membership in ABET please reference the following papers presented at SPIE-sponsored education conferences:

Who oversees SPIE's ABET Accreditation Activities?

The SPIE ABET Accreditation Activities Committee oversees the society’s activities related to ABET. This committee is a sub-committee of the Education Committee and is composed of a Chair, who shall be the current SPIE Delegate to the ABET Board of Delegates, and additional members including the past chair, any SPIE ABET Commissioners, at least two trained Program Evaluators of the society, at least one representative from any co-lead society and one SPIE Board member.

This committee shall be responsible to:

  • Recommend SPIE's candidate for Delegate to the ABET Board of Delegates to the SPIE Board of Directors for approval.
  • Recommend candidates for SPIE's Commissioner positions to the SPIE Board of Directors for approval.
  • Determine SPIE's representatives to other professional society accreditation bodies when appropriate.
  • Recommend course of action on ABET ballots to SPIE's Board of Directors for approval.
  • Propose, facilitate, review and approve the development of ABET general and program criteria relating to optics and photonics fields of interest and other accreditation criteria as needed.
  • Recruit, specify qualifications for, and oversee the training and performance of members serving as program evaluators for SPIE.
  • Coordinate with any ABET co-lead societies to ensure collaboration and coordination of activities.
  • Oversee communication plan to inform members and the public regarding accreditation activities.
  • Monitor trends in education related to accreditation.

More information:

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