San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1106.1 - 25.1106.13
REDUCED CREDIT HOURS AND ENGINEERING LICENSURE – A PROPOSAL TO BREAK THE IMPASSE AbstractIn recent years the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the American Societyof Civil Engineers (ASCE) have been leading an effort to require a bachelor’s degree plus 30additional credit hours in order to fulfill the educational requirements for a P.E. degree. The BS+ 30 proposal, also known as the Raise the Bar Initiative, has been met with staunch oppositionby other professional societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME),which want to retain the BS degree as the first professional degree. In many of the debates onthis issue it seems that the parties are talking past each other using specialized definitions and notreally engaging each other in meaningful debate. As a result, the Raise the Bar Initiative isstalled and the planned implementation date has been slipped from 2015 to 2020. This paper setsforth a comprehensive five-step plan to reconcile the competing interests in the Raise the Bardebate, proposing a politically feasible way to close the industry exemption, retain the BS degreeas the first professional degree, and simultaneously restore 30 hours of engineering contentsubsequent to the BS degree and prior to registration as a PE. The key to the proposal is to focusfirst on Raising the Bar for Engineering Interns, after which changing the requirements forProfessional Engineers will be more politically feasible.The five steps are: 1) retain the BS as the educational requirement for Engineering Interns, 2)eliminate the industry exemption for Engineering Interns, 3) require continuing professionaldevelopment (CPD) courses for Engineering Interns, 4) increase the CPD requirements for bothEngineering Interns and Professional Engineers to 45 hours per year, the equivalent of one 3-credit hour college course per year, and 5) after ten years have passed, require the equivalent of30 credit hours after the BS degree prior to registration as a PE. Once the first four steps areadopted, the first batch of EI’s would have the equivalent of 30 extra credit hours within 10years, at which point they would meet the educational requirements of the Raise the BarInitiative to qualify for the PE exam. By focusing first on Engineering Interns, a politicallyfeasible method is proposed to both close the industry exemption and phase in the adoption ofthe Raise the Bar initiative.
Chambers, T. L. (2012, June), Reduced Credit Hours and Engineering Licensure: A Proposal to Break the Impasse Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21863
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