Press Release

Jessica Silwick, ABET’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Featured in AAC&U’s Next-Gen Assessment Series

Washington, DC—The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today that Jessica Silwick, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for ABET (formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.), is featured in its multimedia blog series “Next-Gen Assessment.” This series provides a platform for discussion of timely topics, best practices, and new approaches to emerging challenges related to the assessment of student learning in undergraduate education. Each blog post in the series is complemented by a moderated video discussion featuring assessment specialists, educators, and other higher education leaders.

ABET’s professional assessment offerings and its internal quality management fall under Ms. Silwick’s portfolio as Chief Operating Officer. In a wide-ranging conversation about ABET’s leadership in promoting assessment as a critical component of professional and/or disciplinary accreditation broadly, Ms. Silwick offers significant insights into how to reframe assessment from an administrative, accountability mandate to a best practice model of truly faculty-led and faculty-driven enhancement to programmatic praxis.

“It was an honor to discuss the evolution of assessment and hear Jessica’s perspective on its importance in ensuring quality in the applied and natural sciences, computing, engineering, and engineering technology degree programs. ABET has been engaging in assessment best practices for many years, and outcomes assessment is now recognized as an international standard of excellence,” according to Tammie Cumming, associate provost for institutional effectiveness at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and Next-Gen Assessment co-host.

“ABET is a well-respected accreditation authority focused on engineering and technology excellence worldwide, and Jessica has been an important voice in her role with the organization,” said M. David Miller, professor of research and evaluation methodology at the University of Florida and Next-Gen Assessment co-host. “It’s encouraging to see that accreditation organizations are embracing and helping to lead the advancements with the evolution of Next-Gen Assessment.”

“This Next-Gen Assessment conversation highlights the myriad ways assessment manifests across disciplinary boundaries,” said Kate Drezek McConnell, vice president for curricular and pedagogical innovation and executive director of VALUE at AAC&U. “It also highlights the ways in which a professional accrediting body can be a good-faith partner and resource.”

About AAC&U

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the vitality and democratic purposes of undergraduate liberal education. Through our programs and events, publications and research, public advocacy and campus-based projects, AAC&U serves as a catalyst and facilitator for innovations that improve educational quality and equity and that support the success of all students. In addition to accredited public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities and state higher education systems and agencies throughout the United States, our membership includes degree-granting higher education institutions in more than twenty-five countries as well as other organizations and individuals. To learn more, visit