Abstract: Quality assurance and accreditation of academic programs have received considerable attention by the higher education authorities worldwide. Saudi Arabia, for instance, necessitates the computing and engineering programs to fulfill both the local (NCAAA) and international (ABET) accreditation requirements which is often a complex endeavor. In fact, acquiring both accreditations simultaneously is exacerbated by several factors such as the use of different terminologies, redundancy of various tasks and activities and differing philosophies to assess the overall quality of the educational programs. This study details a holistic quality assurance framework that guides the computing and engineering programs in acquiring the local and international accreditation. The framework encompasses all aspects of an educational program including inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes as well as the continuous improvement quality cycle and improvement plan. To this end, the study details 11 shared accreditation tasks and 9 different terminologies used in both accreditations, aligns 11 local accreditation standards with 8 international accreditation criteria which are assigned to dedicated work groups and maps ABET student outcomes to the five NCAAA learning domains. The proposed framework is adopted and implemented by three computing and engineering programs in Saudi Arabia and high satisfaction levels of its implementation are show cased.
Ahmad Taleb, Abdallah Namoun and Mohamed Benaida, 2019. A Holistic Quality Assurance Framework to Acquire National and International Educational Accreditation: The Case of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 14: 6685-6698.