BYU, PSU Pioneer ABET-CMAA Accreditation for Undergraduate CM Programs in 2015
CM accreditation is new to ABET. It was developed by ABET’s newest member society, CMAA, as a way to standardize CM education; which ABET believes warrants its own, unique classification. ABET works closely with CMAA to review, vet, and approve applicant programs.
One major reason for these universities’ decision to pursue ABET’s accreditation was that they were both familiar with ABET’s application process. Both universities offer engineering programs already accredited by ABET. Thus, their CM programs were accredited under ABET’s general criteria. The program-specific criteria for CM are expected to be approved by ABET in October and will govern future accreditation applications.
“With ABET, we knew what to expect. A number of our programs are accredited by ABET’s Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission, so we have experience with the application process,” said Jim Otter, chair of PSU’s School of Construction.
Alignment was another factor that played into these schools’ decision to use ABET as their primary program accreditor. BYU’s CM program is in its Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, while PSU’s program is in its School of Construction.
“Being ABET accredited feels like the [CM] program is more aligned and integrated into the college,” said BYU CM program director, Kevin Miller.
Additionally, both universities favored ABET’s outcomes-based accreditation. “Outcomes-based accreditation,” said Miller, “moved away from bean counting and focused more on student learning and educational processes.”
By achieving ABET accreditation, these universities hope to set a standard of excellence for construction management in academia.
ABET is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in "applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology". ABET accredits over 3,400 programs at nearly 700 colleges and universities in 28 countries. Its website is www.abet.org.