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Accreditation Criteria For Determining The Qualifications Of A Degreeless Person To Teach Or Pratice Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.140.1 - 7.140.7

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Moiez Tapia

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 2000 -0912


Moiez A. Tapia, Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Miami, POB 248294, Coral Gables, FL, 33124-0640


The paper proposes criteria for determining the qualifications of a person to be an engineer or an engineering professor in a given discipline when he/she does not have a degree in the discipline, and encourages AAUP, ABET, ASEE and NSPE membership to address this problem. The US Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services [INS] considers an experience of 12 years equivalent to an engineering degree under certain conditions and, based on that, grants an appropriate visa to a person with such experience to work in the United States. Sometimes instructors and professors move into new disciplines and participate in teaching and making academic decisions along with those who have the real expertise in these disciplines. It is very important that a person be qualified to work as an engineer before he/she starts working as an engineer. A professor should have had training for teaching in a college and be fully qualified to teach and participate in decision-making committees that decide curricular and faculty evaluation matters in the discipline of which he/she claims to be a professor.


Normally, when a person receives a degree in a discipline and embarks on a career in the discipline, he/she becomes an engineer after some years. Similarly when a person receives the Ph.D. degree in a discipline and gets a faculty appointment in the department of the discipline in a university, he/she becomes an [assistant] professor of the discipline even though he/she might have had no training for teaching in a college. In both these cases, the question of their being qualified in their respective disciplines does not arise since both the engineer and the professor, under these normal circumstances, are considered to be qualified to perform their respective duties. The paper does not address such engineers and professors.

Degree Earned Through Experience

The United States Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services has some criteria, given in ‘8 code C.F.R. 214.2 (h) (4) (iii) (D)’ [given in Appendix I], to determine if the Procedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering1Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Tapia, M. (2002, June), Accreditation Criteria For Determining The Qualifications Of A Degreeless Person To Teach Or Pratice Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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