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For HEIs: March 31, 2020 CEAB statement on COVID-19

2020.03.30

Deans of Higher Education Institutions offering CEAB-accredited engineering education programs

CEAB statement #2 on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) is closely monitoring the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on CEAB-accredited engineering education programs. The CEAB would like to commend the administration, faculty, and student bodies of accredited programs for making the necessary adjustments to ensure quality education opportunities continue to be delivered safely in this uniquely challenging environment. The CEAB acknowledges that HEIs are working diligently to maintain the integrity of their program(s) and their adherence to the accreditation criteria.

As this situation develops, the CEAB is monitoring several possible changes to program delivery for the remainder of the Winter 2020 term, and the possible impact on future semesters. As such, we wish to provide the following guidance for institutions:

  • Temporary changes to program delivery to accommodate public health requirements do not constitute substantial program modifications, and so programs are not required to inform CEAB of these temporary changes.
  • Some programs will give pass/fail or satisfied/unsatisfied standings (or similar) in some courses where letter or percentage grades would typically be given. The CEAB trusts HEIs to continue to apply their normal academic standards and that students who pass will do so by meeting their institution’s requirements.
  • Some HEIs have been required to cancel in-person final exams and make other academic accommodations. The CEAB trusts HEIs to continue to apply their normal academic standards in adapting to these changes and the subsequent determination of final grades.
  • Programs looking to the upcoming summer term with a fully on-line delivery of courses will naturally have to adjust to the lack of on-campus laboratory activities for the term. The CEAB trusts that the replacement learning activities will be appropriately developed and understands that hands-on laboratory experience are valuable and will be delivered where possible given the constraints imposed by needs for physical distancing

Solutions being implemented to ensure on-going program delivery may be unique to a HEI. To address these situations, volunteers for subsequent accreditation cycle visits will receive additional training to help them understand which aspects of program delivery they should look for when assessing accreditation criteria, and how the current disruptions may have impacted how HEIs report on these metrics.

The CEAB considers this situation to be fluid and unique, and will take into consideration extenuating factors when evaluating programs impacted in subsequent accreditation cycles that may be affected. The CEAB encourages programs to review the CEAB Accreditation Criteria and Procedures for further information and to contact the CEAB Secretariat with specific concerns.  

The CEAB continues to work closely with the provincial and territorial regulators, and reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the highest quality of engineering education is delivered via accredited programs. HEIs, regulators and the public are invited to monitor Engineers Canada’s website for further information on Engineers Canada’s and the CEAB’s response to this unique situation, and to contact Mya Warken, Manger, Accreditation and CEAB Secretary (mya.warken@engineerscanada.ca) directly with specific questions.

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff are of great importance to us and we are supportive of institutions taking reasonable measures to balance safety and academic continuity. We will continue to monitor the short-term and long-term impact of COVID-19 on CEAB-accredited programs. These extraordinary times will call for extraordinary measures and the CEAB will be receptive to any reasonable and/or innovative measures that HEIs will take to satisfy the criteria.