June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
The Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CE-BOK) prescribes the necessary depth and breath of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of any and all civil engineers entering the practice of civil engineering at the professional level. As Abbott (1988) and others have indicated, the importance of the CE-BOK goes even further by laying a claim on the jurisdiction of civil engineering as a profession. Successful advocacy and defense of such jurisdiction carries with it the right to perform certain exclusive work on behalf of society. ASCE, as the lead civil engineering society, has taken great efforts to publish and continuously update the CE-BOK precisely for these reasons. The third and most recent version of this body (CE-BOK3) has been drafted and it will be published shortly.
What this and previous versions of the CE-BOK make clear is that a standard ABET-accredited civil engineering baccalaureate degree provides insufficient academic preparation to enter the civil engineering practice at the professional level. This implies the need for further post-graduate education, along with mentorship experience in a professional setting and self-development. In many respects, the newest version of the CE-BOK places even higher expectations on civil engineers than earlier versions did. It is also clear that licensure, as it exists in all jurisdictions, represents a bar that is significantly lower than the CE-BOK. The gap that remains between the expectations of the civil engineering profession and the reality imposed by largely intransient licensing boards is the driving focus of ASCE’s Raise the Bar (RTB) effort. The Raise the Bar Committee within ASCE is tasked with closing this gap through education, communication and advocacy of the CE-BOK on all possible fronts. In response to the newest body of knowledge, the RTB Committee is preparing an action plan to do just that.
This paper summarizes the changes made to the CE-BOK between the 2nd and 3rd editions and explains how the CE-BOK is and always has been the foundation of ASCE’s RTB effort. It will explore how ASCE has historically used the CE-BOK as a catalyst to influence change in the professional preparation of civil engineers, and how it may be used in the future. Potential hurdles to implementation will be shared, particularly considering significant changes that have been made. For example, CE-BOK3 has added an affective domain to its traditional cognitive outcomes, which no doubt will present a challenge for implementation. Other efforts underway include consideration of a credentialing system and other measures to document achievement of the CE-BOK. The three authors have been involved with RTB and CE-BOK activities within ASCE for many years and therefore this paper also provides a historical perspective and personal insight into current efforts to defend and advance the civil engineering profession.
COORDINATING NOTE: This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, the coordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s session(s) for the CE Division of ASEE in 2019. It should be considered for inclusion in the sessions on “Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE.” that the ASCE Liaison Committee is organizing.
Brandes, H., & Flicker, E. L., & Dooley, K. (2019, June), The Role of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge in ASCE's Raise the Bar Effort Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33421
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