Landgraf selected to serve as ABET program evaluator

November 15, 2017
Dr. Lisa Landgraf

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Dr. Lisa Landgraf, professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was recently trained as an ABET program evaluator (PEV). Landgraf, who also serves as the university’s computer science and software engineering department chair and program coordinator, is the only current UW-Platteville faculty member with this PEV certification.

ABET, a non-governmental organization, provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards for the profession for which that program prepares graduates. Following successful training, certified PEVs are assigned program evaluation and campus visits, typically one per year. Before the campus visit, program evaluators receive the institution’s self-study report to get a basic idea about its program. While on the campus visit, PEVs ask additional questions about the program and meet with faculty, department chairs, deans and technical staff of the college or university. After presenting their evaluations to the institution’s dean, program evaluators submit their findings to ABET, who ultimately decides if the program will be accredited.

“My first visit was intriguing,” Landgraf said. “It’s always good to see another institution and come away with new ideas. It is a lot of work, but I am intrigued by things like this. It’s a challenge, but it gives you a chance to see a different perspective.”

While ABET accredits post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology, Landgraf recently served as a Computer Accreditation Commission program evaluation team member. Since UW-Platteville’s software engineering program will be up for accreditation next year, Landgraf’s experience will help the department prepare for the process and visit.

“We have faculty who have never been through an ABET accreditation process before, and that can bring a lot of fear and concern,” Landgraf said. “It’s a way for us to say, ‘These are some of the things you can expect might happen.’ It’s another way for us to be better prepared for our own visits and to help people know what to expect.”

According to Dr. Molly Gribb, dean of the College of EMS at UW-Platteville, having ABET PEVs is a huge benefit to the college.

“Not only do PEVs gain a deep understanding of continuous improvement processes necessary to support ABET accreditation of their programs, they also have the opportunity to glean best practices from visiting of other programs that can be implemented here at UW-Platteville,” said Gribb, who is also a member of ABET’s Academic Advisory Council. “I’m excited that two other department chairs, Dr. Phil Sealy in electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Mike Momot in mechanical and industrial engineering, are planning to take PEV training next summer so that they too can support their programs in this way.”

According to the organization’s website, ABET experts are professionals from industry, academia and government who are dedicated to contributing to their professions through the ongoing improvement of the quality of technical education. ABET’s program evaluators do the hands-on work of accrediting approximately 3,700 programs at 752 institutions in 30 countries.

UW-Platteville has seven ABET-accredited programs including civil engineering, electrical engineering, engineering physics, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and software engineering. In 2016, UW-Platteville’s Women in EMS Program was one of three recipients of ABET’s Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity.

 

Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, bertolozzia@uwplatt.edu

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