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Becoming a Program Evaluator

Program Evaluators Make Quality Happen!

Program evaluators are the heart and soul of quality assurance and the heart and soul of CSAB. These volunteers don’t shuffle papers–they visit campuses around the country and the world to help improve computing education. They tour labs, talk to faculty, meet students and alumni, and work closely with their fellow evaluators and team leader along the way. If this sounds interesting, keep reading!

Who Are the Evaluators?

Coworkers discussing documents in a meeting settingEvaluators are professionals in their fields. They might be computer scientists, chief security officers, IT specialists, or software engineers. They are professors, executives, administrators, managers, and technical experts. They work in research institutions, private consulting, Fortune 500 companies, government services, and public and private universities. They are a diverse group, but they all have one thing in common: They care about computing education. Learn more about where our volunteers come from.

How Do I Get Involved?

First, make sure you understand the qualifications

Membership in ACM, ASA, or the IEEE Computer Society is required, and additional professional involvement is preferred. Good communication skills are critical.

Evaluators need to be able to participate effectively in an evaluation. They need to understand the academic and curricular issues in depth.

An academic PEV must hold a tenured or non-tenured associate professor or professor rank in a computing or computing-related discipline, or equivalent.

Preferably, an academic PEV should have the following:

  • Continuing contact with undergraduate computing students (e.g., teaching and advising)
  • Experience in evaluating and/or defining computing programs, preferably active involvement in preparing for ABET accreditation

Evaluators need to be able to participate effectively in an evaluation. Evaluators should complement the academic team members in an evaluation and provide industrial perspectives in the evaluation.

A non-academic PEV must hold at least a master’s degree and have at least one degree in a computing discipline.

Preferably, a non-academic PEV should have the following:

  • Five years of experience as a working practitioner in a computing-related field
  • Recent contact with B.S. computing graduates
  • Experience in evaluating the graduates of computing-related programs (e.g., recruiting, hiring, interviewing, and supervising them)

Other useful experiences include:

  • One year of management experience in a computing-related discipline
  • Experience in evaluating technical degree programs (e.g., industrial advisory committees, curriculum committees, undergraduate teaching experience)
  • Experience in evaluating the criteria for success in a computing career (e.g., career monitoring, academic advisory activities, making hiring and promotion decisions

Applications are evaluated based on a number of factors in addition to the minimum qualifications above. These should be evident on the ABET application form:

  • written English proficiency,
  • written communication skills, and
  • technical currency.

Applicants are encouraged to be mindful of the ABET PEV Competency Model while formulating answers to application questions.

In your application, please ensure that you concisely describe how and why you feel qualified to evaluate a program in the discipline(s) in which you seek approval.  Applications that do not contain sufficient detail will be disregarded. Vitae are not considered as substitutions for incomplete application forms.

Selection may also take into consideration other factors related to the composition of CSAB’s entire PEV pool, including the need for a broad mix of evaluators representing different institution types, ethnicities, genders, geographic regions, professional backgrounds, and educational experiences. The projected demand for accreditation in each CSAB discipline is also a factor.

A special note to those who wish to become a program evaluator in the discipline of Data Science.  Because Data Science is a discipline that is reviewed by two distinct commissions, the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) for programs with a significant computing emphasis and the Applied and Natural Science Commission (ANSAC) for programs with a significant statistics emphasis, applicants for Data Science must specifically highlight in their application which commission they desire to be approved for (including the option of both).  That is, applicants must specify CAC, ANSAC, or both and provide a corresponding justification of their qualifications for each.

If Your Application Is Approved

If your application is approved, you will be asked to complete online evaluator training pre-work, 1.5-day face-to-face training (travel costs covered by ABET), and a 2-hour webinar. If the training is completed successfully, you are ready for your first campus visit!

How to Apply

If you are already an ABET PEV in a computing discipline and you want to add another/new discipline, then just login to the AMS using your existing ABET login/password, and look for the “PEV Application” button on the left side panel of the AMS dashboard.  From there you can “Start a new application” in whatever area you want to add.  Please do NOT create a new AMS login!!  Use the existing one.

If you are not yet an ABET PEV, and you are comfortable with the qualifications, it’s time to apply. First, be sure to read about the various training expectations of you at https://www.abet.org/program-evaluators/become-a-program-evaluator/.  Once you are on that page, follow the link labeled “How to Become a PEV” at the bottom of that page, or just go directly to https://www.abet.org/program-evaluators/become-a-program-evaluator/how-to-become-a-pev/.  The application link is at the bottom of that page.

Application Deadline

Applications typically must be submitted by November 30. CSAB reviews applications annually in January. Approved applicants should expect a notification by the end of January.

More Information

Still not sure? Then visit http://www.abet.org/network-of-experts/join-us/ to learn more about this important role and the many great reasons to volunteer.

To learn more about volunteering for CSAB, email csab@csab.org.

Activities Calendar

October

  • CSAB Fiscal Year Begins
  • CSAB Annual Board Meeting; New Representative Directors Seated at Close of Meeting
  • ABET Fall Governance Meetings
  • ABET Society Summit
  • Evaluation Visits

November

  • CSAB Committee Members Finalized
  • Program Evaluator Candidate Recruitment
  • Program Evaluator Candidate Applications Due Nov. 30
  • Evaluation Visits

December

  • Program Evaluator Candidate Application Review

January

  • Program Evaluator Candidates Selected for Training
  • Commissioners Nominated
  • Commission Executive Committee Meetings

February

  • Program Evaluator Candidates Assigned Mentors and Begin Training Process
  • CSAB Winter Board Teleconference

March

  • Team Chair Assignments Made
  • ABET Spring Governance Meetings

April

  • CSAB Annual Executive Committee Meeting
  • Commission Executive Committee Meetings
  • ABET Program Evaluator Candidate Training

May

  • Program Evaluator Assignments Made
  • CSAB Award Nominations Annual Deadline: May 31
  • ABET Program Evaluator Candidate Training

June

  • CSAB Spring Board Teleconference
  • Program Evaluator Assignments Made
  • Program Criteria Training Webinars Held

July

  • ABET Commission Meetings
  • CSAB/CAC Joint Executive Committee Meeting
  • Program Evaluator Assignments Made

August

CSAB Member Societies Are Asked to Appoint Members

September

  • Commission Executive Committee Meetings
  • CSAB Fiscal Year Ends

Key Volunteer Roles

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization. Its members are appointed by the member societies. The Board establishes the Rules of Procedure, appoints committees, approves the budget, and oversees the fulfillment of CSAB’s purpose and priorities.

CSAB has a number of standing and ad hoc committees that do the bulk of its work. These committees cover officer and ABET Delegate nominations; volunteer recruitment, selection, training, mentoring, and quality assurance; accreditation criteria development; constituent and stakeholder relations; program evaluator  visit assignments; and volunteer recognition and awards. The members of these committees are nominated by the President and approved by the Board of Directors.

There are more than 80 commissioners representing CSAB on the Applied and Natural Sciences Accreditation Commission, Computing Accreditation Commission, Engineering Accreditation Commission, and Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. Full commission rosters are available on ABET’s website. Program evaluators interested in serving as commissioners should contact CSAB for more information.

CSAB has nearly 300 program evaluators who serve as experts in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Information Systems, Information Technology, and Software Engineering.

CSAB has three Delegates on the ABET Board of Delegates, the maximum number allowable. In addition, there are three CSAB Area Delegates on the Computing Area Delegation, and one each on the Applied and Natural Sciences Area Delegation, Engineering Area Delegation, and Engineering Technology Area Delegation.

Award Nominations

Fellow of CSAB Award

Nominations due: May 31

The CSAB Fellow Award is given in recognition of individuals who have given sustained, quality service to the computing profession and to computing education through the activities of CSAB. Please review the Fellows Nomination Guide before submitting a nomination.

Outstanding Contribution Award

Nominations due: May 31

The Outstanding Contribution Award is presented to CSAB volunteers with at least three years of sustained service who have made a significant positive impact on CSAB operations, computing accreditation, or computing education. Send nominations with proposed citations to csab@csab.org.

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