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Changes in P.E. rules being discussed
2

Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

(OP)
I recently joined NSPE, and this month our local chapter had a discussion about proposed/discussed changes in licensing. In New Mexico (where I live), NSPE is lobbying very hard for undergraduate programs to REDUCE the number of engineering hours required for graduation while increasing the number of Liberal Arts hours. Their reasoning is that they don't think they can get away with making engineering a 5 year program so they want to further gut the undergraduate program to force the board to require an MS prior to taking the test. ABET has said that if New Mexico schools further reduce the number of engineering hours ABET will pull their accreditation for the undergraduate programs, but has indicated that they would consider moving the accreditation to the graduate program (only one or the other can be certified at a given school).

The course catalog that I started school with (1977) was the first one that my university had issued that allowed a BS without meeting a foreign language requirement. People screamed about how colleges were turning into trade schools. The change currently being discussed turns them into something that I can't come up with a polite name for.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Asinine idea. NSPE seems to have a bunch of hidden agendas that have nothing to do with benefiting the engineering profession or the public.

And dont get me started on how stupid the PE test system is.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Crazy stupid idea. I would go to an out of state university to avoid that if it were my state. Plus, what are they going to do for all the comity applications? They're going to become like Massachusetts where it's easier for out of state engineers to become licensed than it is for in-state engineers (though my understanding is there are some potentially legitimate reasons for that in MA).

I don't see how any engineer not tied to a university could want this.

Professional and Structural Engineer (ME, NH)
American Concrete Industries
www.americanconcrete.com

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

(OP)
It looks to me like very few non-academic types agree with this. When it was brought up at a local meeting the people in the audience were pretty much universally against it. The professor type who was presenting was the only one who saw any merit in it at all. NSPE and NEECS are so dominated by academics that there isn't much contact with reality.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Colleges or universities typically design their curricula so that one can graduate in 4 yrs, and with good high school prep, they can finish in 3 yrs. There is zero need to cut graduation requirements. They need to figure out why people need 5 yrs of college; and, it's not that there are too many graduation requirements. I personally know a EE/CS graduate who had so many credits from high school that they had senior status at the end of sophomore year. There are public high schools sufficiently rigorous that the students can pass the high school graduation exam at the end of their sophomore year.

TTFN
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RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Well, originally coming from a country where you typically only study your 'major' subject at university & hence get your bachelors in 3 years it seems like just a money making/job creation scheme for academia.

Given all the concern about cost of college & student debt etc. in the US this would seem to be be entirely the wrong way to go.

Getting all the prerequisites and general ed stuff out of the way at high school level when you are generally living at home with mom & pop at a much lower cost etc. just seem so much more sensible.

This has led to my education being equated to trade school by US members of this site - I can live with that as I don't perceive myself as significantly less 'well rounded' than the US educated folk evither on here or at my employer.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Looking back at my college experience I'm glad I studied the "classics" and took some areas of study not directly related to engineering. But, that said, I would definitely not want any more than what I took. I'd much rather have more engineering courses if I was forced into it (which I wouldn't like at all). There's nothing wrong with a career focused, trade-school mentality in my opinion.

Professional and Structural Engineer (ME, NH)
American Concrete Industries
www.americanconcrete.com

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

ASCE has been promoting the same nonsense. one reason I quit both ASCE and NSPE.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Quote:

Asinine idea. NSPE seems to have a bunch of hidden agendas that have nothing to do with benefiting the engineering profession or the public.

Well, yes and no. They're taking a page from the AMA's book, and trying to create artificial scarcity to drive salaries up through manipulation of the job marketplace.

They're also probably trying to create more jobs for the academic types who are on the NSPE board.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

The local chapters of NSPE (and sometimes ASCE) have a larger impact to your everyday practice. Local chapters of NSPE are generally tied close to the state's board of licensure or building safety divisions. They are heavily involved in disciplinary action against engineers and requirements for what types of buildings require an engineer's seal. True, the national levels of NSPE and ASCE seem to lobby congress just for more funding instead of fighting for rights of individual engineers, but the local chapters can have a lot of political sway, too. Local and state governments lean on these organizations for advice.

We can't complain about the perception of engineers compared to doctors, lawyers, and architects and then turn around and encourage not to participate in your industry organizations. The Bar association, AMA, and AIA all have strong voices about any issue related to their field. There is no reason why engineers can't have NSPE act similar. True, engineering is more diverse and it's more difficult to maintain a unified voice, but you better believe if it wasn't for NSPE and ASCE, then AIA would have already lobbied governments to require an architect to design a retaining or head wall for a sewer in the middle of the woods.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

ZDas, I interviewed a fair number of recent engineering grads from both NM State and UNM about 5 years ago, to fill entry level Mech Eng positions. All I can say is, their graduation standards appear to be so low already that curriculum changes aren't likely to make much difference. There were a couple of stand-outs that had potential, but they were outnumbered 5 to 1.

From the NSPE perspective, only 1 of the 10+ interviewed had bothered to take the Fundamentals test their Senior year, and the rest weren't planning to take it, and were surprised it could be required. Their professors had not encouraged them to take it.

The one who took the FE was very proud that he got a 25% overall score. Less than 10% in the Math section.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

(OP)
When my son was a freshman at UNM I told him he needed to find a summer internship and that the school would normally help with that. He went to his adviser who told him that internships were a waste of his time and he should go to summer school. Since Dad couldn't possibly know more than the adviser he blew me off. I found that kind of stupid attitude all through the UNM faculty. I'm not surprised that they are turning out slugs. When we were doing campus trips the point that NM State was proudest of was that they were over 60% Hispanic and Indian. I had to dig to get to actual academics and was underwhelmed.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Agreeing with zdas04, a challenging internship is worth a dozen summer school sessions.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Internships are very worth it. Do not expect help from any university. I am anticipating that they will be unifying the board for the FE and PE. It seems that the requirements and prices vary from state to state making all this shit too complicated.

I am anticipating lower requirements in order to be licensed 😋.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

(OP)
I talked to the Dean of Physics and Engineering at Ft. Lewis College in Durango (yes, their undergraduate program is ABET accredited) and he said that (1) they do not offer summer engineering classes; (2) students leaving early in the spring or arriving late in the fall due to internships are given every opportunity to do their work before/after their internship; (3) they have a member of the faculty with the responsibility to find internships and connect students with companies; and (4) all engineering students must take the FE prior to being allowed to graduate (because of the months-long delay in posting grades they don't have to have passed it to graduate, but he said that all but one in the last 5 years have passed). He also said that he talks to small to mid-sized schools every week who are looking at implementing similar programs. His feelings is that the big schools are the problem and smaller schools are the solution. His results (over 95% of engineering graduates had an engineering job lined up prior to graduation day) seem to indicate that they are doing something pretty right for their students.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

Interesting. I graduated from a rather prestigious engineering school and the FE was not a req for graduation. Like I said before, to me the requirements for "achievement x" seem to vary widely which I think is part of the problem for the "millennials" when finding a career.

And I say career because anybody can find a job/gig.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

FT. Collins College, aka Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. I graduated there in the 80's. I was both a physics and engineering major and was required to take the FE in order to graduate, I passed it easily. however, at that time they did not make any attempt to find internships or to accommodate them that I am aware of. I did not have any sort of job lined up at graduation, at that time they did not reach out to help at all. they did have summer school, I know because I finished my second semester of circuit theory in the summer. So it appears there has been some changes made. My feeling is that it really comes down to the individual. A motivated individual will generally do well. It is not up to a university to motivate or to make sure the student finds a scholarship, internship or a job.

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

(OP)
CVG,
I've edited my post to reflect that it is Ft. Lewis College in Durango. My first edit was done in a rush.

The current dean acted like he'd only been there a few years (in the 1980's he was likely in grade school, we are getting old). His philosophy is much like what you say--he doesn't have an obligation to find internships, but he does feel an obligation to help the students develop priorities that aid in success.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Changes in P.E. rules being discussed

I agree that internships are an excellent way to get one foot in the door. Our daughter did three and it was a great learning experience for her and helped with her self confidence. She got a job lead at a school sponsored job fair. I on the other hand graduated and then spent 5 months sending out resumes and hoping for a job. No job fairs, no internships, nothing. Finally a newspaper ad for a job sent to me by a relative got me an interview in Denver. As a recruiting tool, it does behoove the deans to do what they can with the resources they have to help graduates along.

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