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Policy Statement 140 - Civil Engineering Education - A Shared Responsibility

 

Approved by the Committee on Education on May 21, 2018
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on August 7, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 11, 2018

Policy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will participate in and influence the lifelong education of civil engineers, which is a shared responsibility of educators, practitioners, and the Society. ASCE should facilitate fulfillment in this responsibility by encouraging educators and practitioners to work collaboratively through the ASCE Regions, Sections, Branches, Younger Member Groups, Institutes, and committees.

Faculty and staff at educational institutions have an obligation to provide excellent civil engineering education, preparing students to be civil engineering professionals and advancing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes as embodied in the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge. This obligation includes:

  • Maintaining an inclusive environment that will attract, develop and retain high quality and diverse educators and students; 
    Involving practicing professionals in the planning, design, and implementation of educational programs;
  • Providing students with high quality teaching and mentoring;
  • Serving as positive role models for aspiring civil engineers; and
  • Collaborating with practitioners and employers to provide students with opportunities to experience the current and future demands of civil engineering practice.   

Practitioners and employers of civil engineers have an obligation to support engineering education. This obligation includes: 

  • Sponsoring co-op and internship opportunities for students;
  • Providing other opportunities (e.g. field trips, capstone projects) for students to experience civil engineering practice;
  • Mentoring engineers to help them attain the outcomes of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge;
  • Supporting career services activities and events; and
  • Encouraging and supporting their employees':
    • Continue professional development, including formal education;
    • Service as members of civil engineering department advisory boards and participation in outcomes assessments;
    • Service as teachers and mentors in civil engineering programs;
    • Support to ASCE student organizations,
    • Service as ABET program evaluators;
    • Participation in pre-college and other public outreach; 
    • Service on ASCE committees; and
    • Participation in other civil engineering-related education endeavors. 

ASCE has an obligation to promote excellence in civil engineering education. This obligation includes: 
Facilitating effective pre-college and public outreach activities;

  • Sponsoring and encouraging discussions of civil engineering education issues and practices through Society conferences, congresses, and other venues;
  • Facilitating the establishment and implementation of accreditation standards and procedures that support and advance the profession;
  • Facilitating the establishment, operation, and effective leadership of ASCE student organizations and encouraging active participation of practitioners and educators in these organizations;
  • Facilitating interaction between student organizations and ASCE Regions, Sections, Branches, Younger Member Groups, and Institutes;
  • Facilitating the development, publication, and routine updating of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge required for entry into the practice of civil engineering at the professional level;
  • Developing and promoting policies to advocate for state and federal support of: 1) STEM education at the K-12 level; and 2) university-level engineering education and research;
  • Developing, supporting, and promoting faculty development programs and activities; and
  • Promoting and supporting scholarships for civil engineering students.

Issue

Excellence in civil engineering education requires involvement of educators, practitioners, and ASCE throughout the education process. By providing formal education and mentored experience, educators and practitioners support students and recent graduates in developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for entry into the practice of civil engineering at the professional level, as detailed in the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge. Lifelong education of civil engineers begins at the K-12 level through preparation of students to pursue programs leading to degrees in civil engineering, civil engineering technology, and related fields. Beyond the undergraduate degree, engineers develop their knowledge and skills through continuing formal and informal education, and mentoring experience.

ASCE Regions, Sections, Branches, Younger Member Groups, Institutes, and committees play key roles in enhancing partnerships between educators and practitioners by supporting ASCE student organizations. An engineers' education must prepare them to adapt to continuing changes in the scientific, technological, economic, environmental, societal, and political arenas of a diverse, global society.

Rationale

Through participation in educational activities, ASCE entities, individual ASCE members in the private, public and education sectors, and civil engineering related companies and organizations can help meet the changing needs of industry and society. Cooperation and effective collaboration among educators, practicing civil engineers, and technologists are essential for our profession to continue to meet these changing needs. Practitioner involvement in accreditation, service on advisory boards, and support of other educational activities is vital to the continuing improvement of civil engineering education to meet the needs of engineering practice. Society benefits when ASCE, practitioners, and educators collaborate to educate and develop civil engineers at all career stages, from pre-college through continuing education. 

ASCE Policy Statement 140
First Approved 1974


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