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Not So Fast With The Demise Of Civil Engineering Technology It May Be Just About To Blossom!

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Curriculum in Civil Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.914.1 - 14.914.13



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Paper Authors

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James Lambrechts Wentworth Institute of Technology

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

Not So Fast with the Demise of Civil Engineering Technology, It May Be Just About to Blossom!!


As recently as June 2008, the skies appeared to be growing ever darker for Civil Engineering Technology as an educational platform at four year institutions in the U.S. The National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) had in September 2006 adopted the ASCE Policy Statement 465 that applicants for Professional Engineer registration possess both a BSCE degree and 30 credits of post-graduate study, effective 2015. The demise of C.E. Technology was feared to be just around the corner because graduates from such programs would no longer have the opportunity to seek registration as Professional Engineers. Currently, graduates with civil engineering technology degrees from 4-year institutions can eventually become registered professional civil engineers in about 40 states. Many students in our local area choose the technology path in higher education because the instruction they receive is viewed as more practical and ‘hands-on’. However, because there is only one professional level recognized for civil engineers, that of a registered Professional Engineer, CET programs would have a tough time attracting students if there were not ready opportunities to obtain professional credentials. But the role of the technologist in civil engineering is now being investigated by ASCE, and it may well be that the technologist will have a large role to play in civil engineering. Here at Wentworth Institute of Technology, we are holding off on elevating our successful CET program to be full civil engineering because we are seeing record freshmen enrollments and there seems to be renewed vigor in establishing professional recognition to the role of the technologist in civil engineering practice. The basis for our deliberations on this debate are explained in the paper, as well as our hopes and recommendations for future professional recognition of the civil engineering technologist.


In a paper for last year’s ASEE Annual Conference, I wrote about the a decision that Wentworth Institute of Technology was reluctantly making to elevate its thriving Civil Engineering Technology program to be a full Civil Engineering program1. That decision was in reaction to the adoption in 2006 by the National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors2 (NCEES) of the essence of ASCE Policy Statement 4653, which will “raise the bar” as to the qualifications in the future for becoming a registered professional Civil Engineer. The indications seemed clear that the position adopted in 2006 would have required the applicant for professional licensure to have achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and attained post-graduate education (either a Master’s degree or 30 credits of approved study). Even more worrisome was the initiation date of 2015 for the BSCE+30, which would have meant that the freshman class entering Wentworth in 2011 would no longer be eligible for professional licensure with the BS-CET degree that our institution confers. Our concern is that without the possibility of attaining licensure, few parents would be willing to allow their high school graduates to study four years in the Wentworth civil engineering technology program, let alone pay the $100,000+ in tuition and housing.

Lambrechts, J. (2009, June), Not So Fast With The Demise Of Civil Engineering Technology It May Be Just About To Blossom! Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5630

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