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
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports programs that foster an appreciation for, and education in, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the K-12 level. It is essential to:
- Provide all students, regardless of background or career intentions, with basic STEM literacy;
- Encourage students to pursue careers in engineering - and especially in civil engineering;
- Establish and maintain rigorous K-12 STEM education standards that are validated by the relevant professional communities;
Introduce K-12 students to civil engineering through instruction and engineering experiences;
- Prepare K-12 students to study engineering at the college level through rigorous coursework in mathematics and the sciences; and
- Support the development and implementation of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the STEM disciplines for students who are not college bound.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as "The Nation's Report Card," administered by the U.S. Department of Education, shows that only 40 percent of 4th grade students are proficient in mathematics and science and that by 12th grade, only 25 percent are proficient in these areas. It is evident that our education system is not meeting the needs of our increasingly technological society. Moreover, many K-12 students receive little or no exposure to engineering in general, and civil engineering in particular. As a result, many students who have the aptitude to be successful civil engineers never have an opportunity to develop an interest in this career path.
STEM education is closely linked with our nation's economic prosperity, social well-being, and environmental sustainability. There is a need to provide STEM education at all levels of our education system, to promote the pursuit of STEM careers, and to guide qualified students toward civil engineering careers.
ASCE Policy Statement 377
First Approved in 1991