Program assessment has long been a staple of many academic program. ABET has accredited engineering programs since the 1930s (Program assessment is becoming increasingly important for academic programs in occupational safety and health. According to Palomba and Banta (2001), higher education has often seemed immune from the scrutiny placed on elementary and secondary education.
Academic programs are facing continuing pressure to demonstrate they are effective. One method of determining effectiveness is to conduct program assessment (Allen, 2004; Anderson, Moore, Anaya, & Bird, 2005; Petersen, 1998). Petersen (1998) offered the following views on the pressure academic institutions face.
Employers, students, parents and funding bodies all want assurance that colleges and universities are providing quality education. Concerns over the rising costs of higher education and a shift in the skills needed to secure successful employment in the post-Industrial Age have led to a national call for assessment and accountability across higher education. (p. 5)