Tau Beta Pi Curriculum Appeals
- Chapters are required by Constitution Article VIII Sections 2(d) & 3(d) to list the curricula eligible for membership in Tau Beta Pi. If a chapter's host institution does not grant graduate degrees, that chapter does not have to list graduate curricula. All other chapters MUST list eligible graduate curricula even if that chapter does not consider graduate students for membership.
- All listed curricula MUST meet the criteria outlined in Constitution Article VIII Section 2(a). Curricula not meeting those criteria may be appealed as Article VIII Section 2(b).
- Chapters not meeting this requirement will NOT be eligible to receive a Chapter Excellence Award.
- Chapters may review the current list of eligible curricula in the online system from the Eligibility Menu (click Membership under Menu Selections, then Eligibility, then Eligible Curricula).
Curriculum Appeals Process
A Chapter appealing to include a non-compliant curriculum under Constitution Article VIII, Sections 2(b) and 3(b), should submit the following cover sheet and documents to Headquarters no later than June 1 of the year in which it desires to appeal to the Convention. Materials beyond those requested will be discarded. Materials submitted as part of incomplete appeals will not be brought to the Convention.
Completed checklist (download) as cover sheet.
- A one-page summary for each curriculum being appealed describing why that curriculum should be deemed worthy to qualify a student candidate for eligibility.
- One letter of support each from the dean of engineering and from the department chair of each appealed curriculum.
- A CD of or a link to the institution's current course catalog.
Recommendations:From 2004 Convention:
The following recommendations are for Chapters appealing the eligibility of students from a curriculum under Article VIII, Section 2(b) and 3(b):
- Delegates from the appealing Chapter should be prepared to answer questions from the Convention committee reviewing their appeal. They should also be prepared to contact by phone a cognizant faculty member for consultative purposes during the Convention.
- Chapters should acknowledge any accreditations the appealed curriculum may have.
- In the one-page summary, Chapters should emphasize the distinct engineering nature of the appealed curriculum at their institution and what distinguishes this curriculum from any similar curricula in liberal arts and applied sciences. This might include:
- a brief outline of a common or core undergraduate engineering program, if it exists, that the appealed curriculum shares with curricula defined under Article VIII, Section 2(a).
- an indication of the degree of overlap in coursework between the appealed curriculum and curricula from which students are considered eligible.
- a comparison of the appealed curriculum with EAC/ABET accredited curricula at the same institution or other institutions.
- representative examples of design elements in upper level courses in the appealed curriculum.
- sample career paths taken by graduates of the appealed curriculum.
From 2005 Convention:
- Do not spend too much (or any) time trying to define “Engineering.” In the end we found the most useful way to gauge acceptability of appeals was based on interviewing representatives and judging the content of appealed curricula (i.e. amount of overlap with existing approved curricula as well as the design and implementation content in the curricula). ABET requirements are a good guide to disciplines similar to those appealed.
- The following are questions used to interview appealing chapters:
- What is the name of the school or college your major falls under?
- What percentage of your classwork overlaps with an already approved engineering discipline at your school?
- What is that discipline?
- How many labs courses are there in your curriculum and how many focus on the application of engineering problems?
- Do students have to demonstrate an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within a realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability (i.e. senior design project)?
- How does your curriculum emphasize teamwork within a problem solving setting?
- How does your program incorporate an engineering approach to problem solving?
- What kinds of undergraduate research does your curriculum entail?
- How does it satisfy the spirit of engineering?
- Have all requisite materials been submitted in a timely manner?
- Is the curriculum endorsed/administered by a unit of engineering?
- Do the curriculum’s core courses constitute an acceptable engineering course of study (as determined by precedent or by committee approval)?
- Is there a senior design project, capstone project or culminating experience?
- Did the interview support a well thought-out appeal and make a compelling argument for whether the curricula should be approved?
- Final committee recommendation
- If possible, send a representative from the appealed curriculum. If not, send someone who is very familiar with the curriculum.
- Make sure all the requisite information is included in the appeal and that it is submitted on time.
- It was deemed extremely influential for a school to be able to demonstrate the appealed curriculum includes a significant design project or, better yet, one designated as a required senior project.
- Explicitly demonstrate how the appealed curricula are similar to already Tau Beta Pi approved curricula (i.e. percentage of course overlap, etc.).