June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.983.1 - 14.983.18
Professional Engineering Licensure and Professional Experience among Civil Engineering Faculty: A Multi-Institutional Comparison
Civil engineering faculty members endeavor to prepare their students for a variety of career paths within the engineering industry. Several of those paths require or are bolstered when students decide to pursue licensure to practice as professional engineers. As students, individuals learn about the merits of professional licensure from a variety of sources. Not to be overlooked is the influence that professors, licensed as professional engineers, have on their students and the opportunity to act as a role model to those students considering a career path that includes professional licensure.
The research question explored during this study was; “Among currently licensed civil engineering faculty members, what are the perceived values of professional experience and of licensure as a professional engineer?” A reality testing, qualitative-based framework was utilized to design and execute a study in response to the research question. Within this study, the authors evaluated the existing literature, both internal and external to civil engineering, relative to prior studies of experience and professional licensure among engineering faculty. Further, the authors conducted a series of interviews with licensed faculty members at three disparate universities, using a semi- structured interview protocol. As the authors represent three distinctly unique academic institutions, the collected interview data were evaluated for commonality, as well as differentiation among the academic institutions. The interview process probed at issues including the perceived value of licensure among faculty members, the relationship between licensure and promotion/tenure, and the licensed faculty member as a role model for colleagues and future engineers.
This paper details the research design, implementation of the study, and the resulting findings. The findings and conclusions of this study will be of interest to a variety of academic and licensure stake-holders, including: civil engineering faculty members (both licensed and unlicensed), academic administrators, and licensing organizations such as the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
A Review of the Literature
In the realm of academics, what is the value of experience as a practicing engineer and the value of licensure as a professional engineer? Does the perception of experience and licensure vary among the licensed faculty of universities with different academic missions? Those were the questions that formed the inquiry behind this study and prompted a review of the existing literature.
A reasonable amount of literature discussing professional licensure of engineering faculty, both within and external to the discipline of civil engineering was found to exist. However, the amount of rigorous research in this area can best be described as limited. A fairly exhaustive review of that literature identified very few thorough studies on the
Barry, B., & Mehta, Y., & St. Clair, S. (2009, June), Professional Engineering Licensure And Professional Experience Among Civil Engineering Faculty: A Multi Institutional Comparison Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4714
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