Tau Beta Pi Program Appeals
- Chapters are required by Constitution Article II, Section 1(b) to list the programs 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 programs. All other chapters MUST list eligible graduate programs even if that chapter does not consider graduate students for membership.
- All listed programs MUST meet the criteria outlined in Constitution Article II Section 2(a). Programs not meeting those criteria may be appealed as Article II Section 1(b).
- Chapters not meeting this requirement will NOT be eligible to receive a Chapter Excellence Award.
- Chapters may review the current list of eligible programs in the online system from the Eligibility Menu (click Membership under Menu Selections, then Eligibility, then Eligible Programs).
Program Appeals Process
A Chapter appealing to include a non-compliant program under Constitution Article II, Sections 1(b), should submit the following cover sheet and documents to Headquarters no later than July 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.
- A one-page summary for each program being appealed describing why that program 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 program.
- 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 program under Article II, Section 1(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 program may have.
- In the one-page summary, Chapters should emphasize the distinct engineering nature of the appealed program at their institution and what distinguishes this program from any similar programs 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 program shares with programs defined under Article II, Section 2(a).
- an indication of the degree of overlap in coursework between the appealed program and programs from which students are considered eligible.
- a comparison of the appealed program with EAC/ABET accredited programs at the same institution or other institutions.
- representative examples of design elements in upper level courses in the appealed program.
- sample career paths taken by graduates of the appealed program.
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 programs (i.e. amount of overlap with existing approved programs as well as the design and implementation content in the program). 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 program 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 program 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 program entail?
- How does it satisfy the spirit of engineering?
- Have all requisite materials been submitted in a timely manner?
- Is the program endorsed/administered by a unit of engineering?
- Do the program’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 program should be approved?
- Final committee recommendation
- If possible, send a representative from the appealed program. If not, send someone who is very familiar with the program.
- 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 program includes a significant design project or, better yet, one designated as a required senior project.
- Explicitly demonstrate how the appealed prgorams are similar to already Tau Beta Pi approved programs (i.e. percentage of course overlap, etc.).