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Asce Policy 465 ? The Means For Realizing The Aspirational Visions Of Civil Engineering In 2025

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Aspirational Visions of Civil Engineering in 2025 & Policy 465

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.257.1 - 12.257.19



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Paper Authors

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Jeffrey Russell University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Gerry Galloway Univ of Maryland

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Thomas Lenox American Society of Civil Engineers

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James O'Brien American Society of Civil Engineers

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ASCE Policy 465 - the Means for Realizing the Aspirational Visions of Civil Engineering in 2025 Russell, Galloway, Lenox and O’Brien

ASCE Policy 465 –a Means for Realizing the Aspirational Visions of Civil Engineering in 2025 Jeffrey S. Russell 1, Gerald E. Galloway2, Thomas A. Lenox.3 , and James J. O’Brien4


For several decades, educators and practitioners in the civil engineering community in the United States have been calling for reform of civil engineering education. In 1995, at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Civil Engineering Education Conference (CEEC ’95), some of the educational leaders of the profession believed that the time was right to begin the long road to reformation. Their call for action ultimately resulted in the passage of ASCE Policy Statement 465 which states that, in the future, education beyond the baccalaureate degree will be necessary for entry into the professional practice of civil engineering. An ASCE Board-level committee was formed to study and implement the actions that would be necessary to achieve this vision for civil engineering. The purpose of this paper is to discuss ASCE’s current plan for implementing these actions including its development of a revised Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK), modified accreditation criteria, improved civil engineering curricula, and licensure issues.

Historical Perspective

Engineers have been advocating the reform of engineering education for over a century. Seely (NAE 2005) presented a comprehensive review of how engineering education has evolved throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It is important “…to remember that until the end of the nineteenth century, the primary means by which a young person became an engineer was through a hands-on apprenticeship in a machine shop, at a drawing board, behind a transit, or on a construction site.” In the closing years of the 19th century, engineering education, through a formal collegiate education, started to become the predominant method of developing and educating engineers.

As the education of engineers moved into the classroom, a tug-of-war between theory and practice, technical subject matter versus a broad liberal education, and engineering design versus engineering science began. The “…early debates were loud and prolonged, despite calls for changes as early as the 1880s by leading engineers, such as Robert Thurston of Cornell. The most famous study of engineering education (i.e., the Wickenden report of the 1920s) called for less hands-on specialization and more general

1 Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Madison, WI; 2 Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; 3 Managing Director, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA; 4 Managing Director, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA;

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Russell, J., & Galloway, G., & Lenox, T., & O'Brien, J. (2007, June), Asce Policy 465 ? The Means For Realizing The Aspirational Visions Of Civil Engineering In 2025 Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1585

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