June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Universities are faced with the increasing challenge of making bachelor degree programs rigorous while making them more affordable and improving graduation rates. One possible approach is to create an accredited, rigorous engineering program that can be completed in less time. Using recently published data on the content of a typical 4-year civil engineering program, a three-year civil engineering curriculum was created and critiqued. This paper evaluates the challenges associated with developing and implementing a three-year civil engineering degree with respect to the new 2019-2020 EAC-ABET criteria, the bachelor degree outcomes in ASCE’s Body of Knowledge (BOK3), state licensure laws, and regional accreditation criteria.
The new EAC-ABET Criterion 5 requirements for the 2019-2020 accreditation cycle require 30 credit hours of mathematics and science, 45 credit hours of engineering science, a broad education component, and a culminating engineering design experience. The EAC-ABET criteria do not include a minimum number of years to obtain a degree or a minimum number of credit hours. ASCE’s BOK3 is written with the premise that the outcomes should be attained through education and experience. While the BOK3 sets expected levels of achievement through formal education, there is no expectation that all education will come from one source.
A three-year civil engineering degree offers many benefits for students, but creates challenges for state licensure boards, universities, and employers. Benefits include reduced cost and time for students to complete their degree, exposure to civil engineering courses earlier in the curriculum, and program equivalency to Bologna Process universities. Challenges include regional accreditation requirements, reduced breadth in the curriculum, reciprocity of licensure laws, graduate school admissions, and public perception of a three-year civil engineering degree. Comprehensive education and licensure reform would be required to challenge the status quo and implement a three-year degree in civil engineering education.
Swenty, B. J., & Swenty, M. (2019, June), Is it Time for a Three-Year Accredited Civil Engineering Degree in the United States? A Critical Review Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33028
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015