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Annual Report 2011: Raise the Bar

Raise the Bar Banner

Raising the Bar to Prepare
Engineers for the Future

•  The Movement Finds Its Voice
•  New Tools Help Spread the Word


The complex challenges facing 21st century society will require professional engineers to advance their technical excellence and professional leadership. The engineering education of the present – a four-year undergraduate degree – will not be sufficient to prepare the licensed professional engineers of the future.
ASCE strongly supports the movement to raise the bar for entry into licensed engineering practice. 

The Movement Finds Its Voice 

Raise the BarSupport for the Raise the Bar initiative comes from a broad range of engineering organizations, individuals, and published materials across all sectors and disciplines of engineering. This support includes the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, which has changed its model state licensure law, effective no earlier than 2020, to require additional education beyond the bachelor’s degree for newly licensed professional engineers. Another key coalition partner is the National Society of Professional Engineers, which values “protection of the public welfare above all other considerations.” 

Notable engineers such as Norman Augustine, P.E., former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp; Wayne Clough, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and former President of Georgia Tech; author and civil engineer Henry Petroski, Ph.D., P.E. Dist. M.ASCE, NAE; and key committees of the National Academy of Engineering are among those who describe a future in which technological advances and societal issues will demand engineers with a broader and deeper education than can be achieved with today’s four-year curriculum. 

In 2011, ASCE engaged communications professionals to help Raise the Bar advocates from a wide range of backgrounds speak with one voice. What emerged was a common set of messages that bring clarity and immediacy to the need to Raise the Bar.  

New Tools Help Spread the Word 

Wayne CloughTo arm our members and to encourage states to adopt the Raise the Bar provisions of the NCEES model law, ASCE developed new resources to explain and define the Raise the Bar initiative.  

A new video captures the perspectives of business, professional and academic engineering leaders on the future challenges facing the profession, and the education and preparation that will be needed to meet those challenges. A companion brochure further describes how the proposed changes to engineering education and licensure will benefit future generations while respecting the qualifications of those PEs who are licensed before any new law takes effect. To foster broad dialogue and discussion on the issue, ASCE has made these resources broadly available to individuals and allied organizations actively working to Raise the Bar. Go to RaiseTheBarForEngineering.org.