ABET Accreditation: A Way Forward for PDC Education

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National Science Foundation

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Construction Engineering Department

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Research Article

Publication Title

2021 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops, IPDPSW 2021 - In conjunction with IEEE IPDPS 2021

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With parallel and distributed computing (PDC) now wide-spread, modern computing programs must incorporate PDC within the curriculum. ACM and IEEE Computer Society's Computer Science curricular guidelines have recommended exposure to PDC concepts since 2013. More recently, a variety of initiatives have made PDC curricular content, lectures, and labs freely available for undergraduate computer science programs. Despite these efforts, progress in ensuring computer science students graduate with sufficient PDC exposure has been uneven.This paper discusses the impact of ABET's revised criteria that have required exposure to PDC to achieve accreditation for computer science programs since 2018. The authors reviewed 20 top ABET-accredited computer science programs and analyzed how they covered the required PDC components in their curricula. Using their own institutions as case studies, the authors examine in detail how three different ABET-accredited computer science programs covered PDC using different approaches, yet meeting the PDC requirements of these ABET criteria. The paper also shows how ACM/IEEE Computer Society curricular guidelines for computer engineering and software engineering programs, along with ABET accreditation criteria, can cover PDC.

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