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Bolster the case you make for your ABET accreditation



Dear professors and other instructors:

Elsewhere in this website we show you how to steer your students to self-study, on their own time, for the patent-working skills that they will need in industry.

And we support you in case you want to teach them this material in a course: we provide free, comprehensive course planning materials to qualified Professors, Instructors and Course & Curriculum Planners. Email us for a link. The course might use the Patent Ready® book as the textbook for students, plus the associated Study Guide with specially curated samples, etc.

And, if you do teach them this material as a course, below we provide prepared verbiage for replying to the questions/criteria for ABET accreditation. Of course, you might have to study your outcomes for reporting and so on, but we believe you will have a very good basis for doing so.

In the below, the format is as follows: we listed the impacted ABET criteria, with the impacted words bolded. We propose entries in italics for your consideration. For the record, the ABET criteria were procured from this ABET webpage. Moreover, since as of this writing (June 4, 2016), Criteria 3 and 5 face proposed changes, both versions of them are listed and addressed, as procured from this ABET webpage.


THE IMPACTED ABET CRITERIA & WHAT YOU COULD WRITE FOR YOUR ACCREDITATION:


ABET CRITERION 3. STUDENT OUTCOMES ... CURRENT VERSION
(Sorry the elements below are not in order, and I hope you will understand why!)

...
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
[COMMENTS]Patents are for inventions, not for theories or research. An invention is defined as the process of identifying a problem and solving it. This course uses the Patent Ready® textbook, the numerous patent examples of the specially assembled Study Guide, plus the homework of identifying and reporting an invention work directly towards helping the students identify and solve engineering problems. Moreover, this homework assignment is to be completed by using a form very similar to what industry uses to report inventions for patenting. In particular this form presses the student to make mental recognitions about how his or her invention is different from other inventions, all in the identify problem/solve problem context.

...
(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
[COMMENTS]Inventions necessarily use mathematics, science, and engineering for solving problems. By requiring the student to generate and report an invention that works, this course presses the student to practice using mathematics, science, and engineering.

...
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
[COMMENTS]This course teaches the student that patents have a universal format. Further, it teaches the student to have facility with finding, reading, and learning from patents, while providing examples from vastly different technical disciplines. This facility amounts to an ability to engage in life-long learning, because the text of all patents is available on the web for free, and will be updated forever.


ABET CRITERION 3. STUDENT OUTCOMES ... PROPOSED VERSION

...
1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
[COMMENTS]Patents are for inventions, not for theories or research. An invention is defined as the process of identifying a problem and solving it. This course uses the Patent Ready® textbook, the numerous patent examples of the specially assembled Study Guide, plus the homework of identifying and reporting an invention work directly towards helping the students identify and solve engineering problems. Moreover, this homework assignment is to be completed by using a form very similar to what industry uses to report inventions for patenting. In particular this form presses the student to make mental recognitions about how his or her invention is different from other inventions, all in the identify problem/solve problem context. Inventions necessarily use mathematics, science, and engineering for solving problems. By requiring the student to generate and report an invention that works, this course presses the student to practice using mathematics, science, and engineering.

...
6. An ability to recognize the ongoing need for additional knowledge and locate, evaluate, integrate, and apply this knowledge appropriately.
[COMMENTS]This course teaches the student that patents have a universal format. Further, it teaches the student to have facility with finding, reading, and learning from patents, while providing examples from vastly different technical disciplines. This facility amounts to an ability to engage in life-long learning, because the text of all patents is available on the web for free, and will be updated forever. Moreover, additional knowledge can be evaluated and integrated when a person reads multiple patents about a topic, as the student will be enabled to do.


ABET CRITERION 4. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The program must regularly use appropriate, documented processes for assessing and evaluating the extent to which the student outcomes are being attained. The results of these evaluations must be systematically utilized as input for the continuous improvement of the program. Other available information may also be used to assist in the continuous improvement of the program.
[COMMENTS]For assessment, the author of the Patent Ready® textbook (see more information below) has provided for free to professors only (upon proof of being a professor) a set of quizzes for each chapter, which include multiple choice questions, their correct answers, and discussions of the answer options. In a a substantial number of times, the answer options have been drawn from situations that have actually arisen in industry. (Of course, the names have been removed to protect those who made mistakes costly to their companies because they had not had a course like this.)
The author of the Patent Ready® textbook indicates that he contemplates occasionally updating this textbook to reflect updated realities of patent knowledge. He already did this once in 2016, from the original version of 2014. He further indicates that he contemplates occasionally updating the associated Study Guide that he has painstakingly assembled, based on feedback by professors, which he invites. Both representations he made at the ABET page of the Patent Ready® website. Professors teaching this course have been advised to look for updated versions of both every summer, while planning the new school year.



ABET CRITERION 5. CURRICULUM ... CURRENT VERSION

...
Students must be prepared for engineering practice through a curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints.
[COMMENTS]Patents represent multiple realistic concerns that impact the design experience in real life. This course teaches incorporating patents in the design process, by specifically teaching how to search for patents, and how to parse them to understand what can be learned v. what can be avoided. For searching patents, it teaches the various types of searching, and their expected results. For parsing, it teaches the inventive “patent prism” method. Further, by teaching how patents are arranged, it helps the student perform these processes mentally faster.
[Dear professor: If the patent course is combined with the Capstone Design Course, adjust accordingly!]



ABET CRITERION 5. CURRICULUM ... PROPOSED VERSION

...
Students must be prepared to enter the professional practice of engineering through a curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple constraints.
[COMMENTS]Patents represent multiple realistic concerns that impact the design experience in real life. This course teaches incorporating patents in the design process, by specifically teaching how to search for patents, and how to parse them to understand what can be learned v. what can be avoided. For searching patents, it teaches the various types of searching, and their expected results. For parsing, it teaches the inventive “patent prism” method. Further, by teaching how patents are arranged, it helps the student perform these processes mentally faster.
[Dear professor: If the patent course is combined with the Capstone Design Course, adjust accordingly!]



ABET CRITERION 6. FACULTY

The program must demonstrate that the faculty members are of sufficient number and they have the competencies to cover all of the curricular areas of the program. There must be sufficient faculty to accommodate adequate levels of student-faculty interaction, student advising and counseling, university service activities, professional development, and interactions with industrial and professional practitioners, as well as employers of students.
[COMMENTS][Dear professor: Here it helps if the faculty teaching the Patent Skills for Engineers course has worked as an engineer, has come in contact with patent process, is a patentee, etc. Regardless, see comment below about not needing much more, since one can rely on the course organization provided by Patent Introductions, Inc.]

...
The program faculty must have appropriate qualifications and must have and demonstrate sufficient authority to ensure the proper guidance of the program and to develop and implement processes for the evaluation, assessment, and continuing improvement of the program. The overall competence of the faculty may be judged by such factors as education, diversity of backgrounds, engineering experience, teaching effectiveness and experience, ability to communicate, enthusiasm for developing more effective programs, level of scholarship, participation in professional societies, and licensure as Professional Engineers.
[COMMENTS]In addition, the faculty relies on the Patent Ready® textbook, plus the Patent Ready® Study Guide that was assembled specially to facilitate sequential study of the textbook, with examples and comments referring directly to parts of the textbook. Both the textbook and the Study Guide are provided by Patent Introductions, Inc., and were authored by its founder, Gregory T. Kavounas. Mr. Gregory T. Kavounas has a BSEE from the California Institute of Technology, an MSEE from the University of Southern California, an Engineer's degree in EE from the University of Southern California, a Law Degree (J.D.) from Loyola Law School (LA), and an Executive MBA from Seattle University with honors. Mr. Gregory T. Kavounas has been a registered U.S. Patent Attorney for over 20 years. He works with patents from all sides, namely their technical, legal, and business dimensions. As an attorney, he has worked for a decade in-house companies, and for more than a decade in law firms. He has authored papers in legal contexts on strong patenting and on managing patenting. He authored the Patent Ready® textbook with more than 60 diagrams, just like engineering textbooks do, specifically for engineers because he did not want engineers to be as in the dark about patents as he was before attending Law School. He further routinely invents, for example alongside the engineer inventors of his client companies, thus having been named an inventor or co-inventor in over 50 US patents. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member in a number of legal Bar Associations.


Good luck with the accreditation!

Greg Kavounas
Founder, Patent Introductions, Inc.