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Can Asce Cover The "E" In The Moe?

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Implementing the BOK - Can it Be Done?

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.291.1 - 10.291.12



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Paper Authors

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Robert Houghtalen

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

Session xxxx

Can ASCE Cover the “E” in the MOE?

Robert J. Houghtalen, P.E. Department of Civil Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology John A. Casazza Department of Continuing Education, ASCE

Abstract The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is beginning to move the profession in the direction of requiring a certain body of knowledge (BOK) for professional licensure. This BOK would be obtained through a baccalaureate (BS) degree, work experience, and a master’s degree or equivalent (MOE). The “or equivalent” caveat was voted on in October of 2001 by the ASCE Board of Direction as a revision to the original Policy 465, and further defined by ASCE’s Board of Direction at its October 2004 meeting. A big question remains: “If a master’s degree is not the chosen route for many civil engineers, who will supply ‘an equivalent’ body of knowledge?”

This paper reviews the BOK proposed for future licensure that will be required beyond the BS degree. Then, parallels are drawn between the proposed BOK and current coverage by ASCE continuing education seminar offerings. Additional parallels are drawn between the content of typical seminars and the content of traditional master’s courses using a case study approach. Finally, the traditional forms of ASCE continuing education are broadened to include post seminar assignments (with conference calls and/or chat rooms), seminar bundling, alternative knowledge delivery (distance learning, video conferences, etc.), and alternative credit options to create something equivalent to a traditional master’s degree in meeting the BOK.

Introduction At its October 2004 meeting, ASCE’s Board of Direction adopted a policy statement on the Academic Prerequisites for Licensure and Professional Practice. The policy states that: • ASCE supports the attainment of a Body of Knowledge for entry into the practice of civil engineering at the professional level. • Fulfillment of the Body of Knowledge will include a combination of: a baccalaureate degree; a master’s degree, or approximately 30 coordinated graduate or upper level undergraduate credits or the equivalent agency/organization/professional society courses providing equal quality and rigor; and appropriate experience based upon broad technical and professional practice guidelines which provide sufficient flexibility for a wide range of roles in engineering practice.1

We are beginning to see a concerted movement in this direction as initial objections to Policy 465 dissipate. A big question remains: “If a master’s degree is not the chosen route for many civil engineers, who will supply ‘an equivalent’ body of knowledge?”

ASCE’s Continuing Education Program could play a key role in meeting this need. ASCE has more than 30 years of experience with post baccalaureate (continuing) education. Experienced practitioners and master educators deliver timely knowledge and skills through various 2-day and 3-day seminars. Currently, over 250 seminars are held each year in all of the major sub disciplines of civil engineering.2 Is it possible that a mechanism is already in place to deliver the

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Houghtalen, R. (2005, June), Can Asce Cover The "E" In The Moe? Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14252

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