This discussion traces the historical development of engineering education in the United States and their legacy of British and French models. Most of the U.S. system through the years has developed along the lines of the British model. The nation's industrial development in the early 1800s set the stage for the Morrill Act of 1862, which established the agriculture and mechanical land grant colleges throughout the nation. This legacy has resulted in engineering accepting the Bachelor of Science degree as the entry-level degree to practice and industry, while other professions (such as, medicine, dentistry, and law) have during this same time increased their respective entry-level curricula to 6 years or greater. Today, U.S. engineers are not being prepared for the competitive industries of the present national and world markets. Continental European engineers are better prepared to work in these competitive industries. Therefore, the United States runs the risk of having its engineers regarded as technicians. If the U.S. engineering education system is not changed, U.S. industries may eventually become less competitive. The American Society of Civil Engineers has proposed that a professional master's level degree, such as a Master of Engineering degree, be the new entry level degree to the practice and industry. By introducing an internship/apprenticeship course as part of a 6-year formal education program, the United States can dramatically improve the quality of its engineering school graduates and, thereby, their acceptance by U.S. and international industries and practice.


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  • Accession Number: 00800649
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 21 2000 12:00AM