During the annual meeting of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in Williamsburg, VA, last week, delegates voted to adopt a position statement that reiterates the NCEES stance on increased educational requirements for engineering licensure.
The position statement identifies several future pathways by which a candidate for licensure as a professional engineer might obtain the body of knowledge needed to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Among those pathways to be eligible for professional licensure in the future are earning an accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering followed by an engineering master’s degree, or earning an accredited bachelor’s degree and then at least 30 semester hours of appropriate upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level coursework in engineering inside or outside the university environment.
The concept of increased-education requirements for future licensure is in line with a key goal of the ASCE-backed Raise the Bar initiative, intended to better prepare civil engineers of the 21st century for a changing world. ASCE first approved its own policy statement on the educational requirements for licensure (Policy Statement 465 – Academic Prerequisites for Licensure and Professional Practice) in 1998 and supported passage of the NCEES position statement.
“We were excited that the Council decided to maintain this position supporting the idea that as we move into the future, engineers will need to have a broader and deeper educational background to meet the demands that will be placed on them,” said Blaine Leonard, P.E, D.GE, Pres.10.ASCE, chair of the ASCE Raise the Bar Committee.
“Regulations have increased; standards of practice have improved; technology has advanced. There’s a lot more civil engineers need to know now in order to practice effectively. We’re just concerned that engineers of the future have the tools they’ll need to practice effectively, and we believe licensure is the gateway to that practice.”
According to the position statement’s rationale, the approved language fulfills NCEES’s “responsibility to recommend changes to the licensure process that will ensure protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public now and in the future as described in the NCEES strategic plan and in the mission and vision statements.”
According to the position statement, “NCEES will continue to explore alternative educational pathways for candidates for licensure as professional engineers to develop the body of knowledge needed for entry into the profession. These alternatives will be developed through collaboration with technical engineering societies and other stakeholders engaged with the engineering profession.”
ASCE 2015 President Bob Stevens offers his President’s Perspective on the NCEES annual meeting.