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New CEAB white paper proposes alternate curriculum measures


vague image of engineer arm while they writeThis week, the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) released a white paper entitled “Curriculum content measurement: Beyond the AU”. It is now open for review and feedback until October 4, 2019.

The paper makes several proposals concerning the measurement of accredited engineering education program length and the composition of curriculum. The white paper examines and proposes alternatives to the accreditation unit (AU), which measures contact time and has been in use for the past 25 years. In response to the evolution of curriculum delivery methods, the CEAB felt it was important to re-examine whether the AU was still the most effective means of measurement possible.

In its analyses, the paper proposes a model four-year program schedule that is intended to be used as a reference when considering alternative measures to the AU. The use of this model schedule may offer greater flexibility, which could potentially allow institutions to choose a consistent method of determining the percentage of each element as appropriate.

The paper makes three specific recommendations, summarized below:

  1. To consult with regulators and other stakeholder groups to consider reducing the minimum program total from 1,950 to 1,850 AUs.
  2. To consult with higher education institutions, regulators, and other stakeholder groups to consider replacing the AU definition for the current minimum curriculum elements with percentages specified in the report.
  3. To perform an analysis with higher education institutions that uses student-learning time in its definition of academic credit to consider establishing a learning-time specification as an alternative minimum program total.

From August 13 to October 4, Engineers Canada will be running its consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to inform stakeholders of the proposed AU changes and to gauge their responses. Following this, feedback will be consolidated and synthesized, with the objective of putting forward a list of recommendations for implementation. A key part of this work will be identifying barriers to change if the report recommendations are adopted and developing an implementation plan that reasonably accommodates the diverse viewpoints of stakeholders.

You can read the full paper here.

Stakeholders are invited to provide a written response which should be directed to us at or by mail to:

Mya Warken
Engineers Canada
300-55 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6L5