Professional and Career Topics

Expand all | Collapse all

PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

  • 1.  PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-11-2021 01:40 PM

    I started this new thread partially in response to the recent series of many posts under the topic "Experience vs grad school: Is a master's degree worth it?" In my view, that conversation among civil engineers should be conducted within the context of what ASCE has accomplished over more than two decades to prepare future civil engineers who want to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to be in responsible charge of projects that could put the public at risk.

    Policy Statement 465:  A Visionary and Proactive Framework for Public Protection

    In response to the consistent findings and recommendations of a series of ASCE education conferences (1960 – 1995), the ASCE Board of Direction adopted Policy Statement (PS) 465, "Academic Prerequisites for Licensure and Professional Practice" in 1998. The original PS 465 said, "ASCE supports the concept of the Master's degree as the First Professional Degree for the practice of civil engineering at the professional level [licensure]." This was ASCE's initial attempt to prepare some future civil engineers to be in responsible charge of projects that could affect public health, safety, and welfare.

    From the beginning, PS 465 was about the future, not about us and now but, instead, about them and then. PS 465 evolved over the next two decades with the most recent version being adopted in 2019 (https://www.asce.org/issues-and-advocacy/public-policy/policy-statement-465---the-civil-engineering-body-of-knowledge-and-the-practice-of-civil-engineering/).

    Why did ASCE develop, refine, and apply PS 465? The society answers that question, in today's PS 465, as follows:  "Beyond expanded technical knowledge and skills, today's civil engineers need to understand the immediate and long-term environmental, societal, political, legal, aesthetic, and economic implications of their engineering decisions. These and other changes have created a need for civil engineers to have a greater breadth of capability and specialized technical competence to meet their obligation to protect public health, safety, and welfare."  In other words, recognize inevitable change and prepare for it.

    Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge: Equipping Civil Engineers to Protect the Public

    Paralleling the refinement of PS 465, ASCE developed, refined, and applied the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CEBOK). The first, second, and third editions of the CEBOK were published in 2004, 2008, and 2019 (https://www.asce.org/civil_engineering_body_of_knowledge/).

    PS 465 defines the CEBOK as "the knowledge, skills, and attitudes [KSA] necessary to exercise responsible charge in the practice of civil engineering and is attained through undergraduate and post-graduate engineering education, mentored experience, and self-development." The KSA includes foundational, technical, and professional practice learning outcomes.

    Regarding master's degrees, PS 465 says, "ASCE believes that the most effective means of fulfilling the formal educational requirements of the CEBOK is by completing a baccalaureate degree in civil engineering from an ABET-accredited program and a master's degree in civil engineering or a civil engineering specialty area."

    Why does PS 465 say that a master's degree is the most effective formal education for tomorrow's civil engineers who want to practice at the professional level? Because fulfilling the CEBOK will require more formal education than a baccalaureate degree. We can't put ten pounds in a five-pound bag.

    Bottom Line

    Hundreds of ASCE members and staff working for about 25 years developed, refined, and used PS 465 and the CEBOK. These two documents are the evolving foundation for the future of civil engineering in the United States. As long as ASCE continues to proactively support, maintain, and use PS 465 and the CEBOK, American Civil Engineering will be a proud public-serving and protecting profession.  

     

     



    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE, Dist.M.ASCE, F.NSPE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYourFuture.com
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-12-2021 05:00 PM

    Hi Stu,

    Thanks for your post with its message.

    My intent with this post is to broaden the B.S.C.E's  career development perspective.

           I have learned:

    1. That how you think will become your life;
    2. Thinking will shape the environs you wish; and,
    3. Your own vision of the future shapes your personality,

    i.e.,  how you will think, act, and feel.

    For example, overlooked by engineers searching for their next professional contribution is to first identify existing weakness in the formal education programs for CEs.

    "Many, particularly those from a technical background, grossly underestimate the people skills that are needed to be successful. Earlier there were no classes in these people skills, let alone classes in the technical aspects of project management such as planning and scheduling. As evidenced by this book, things are getting better, but technical folks still assume that technical skills are all that is necessary."

    • Meredith, Safer & Mantel, "Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach" , John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 10th edition, 2018.

    ASCE's online Continuing Education Program's offerings currently offer ~98%~ technical courses and exclude the reality of what our CEs knowledge and skill set require for their long-term success:

    • How to manage and lead people, processes, and leadership itself.

    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,  

      Bill

     



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-12-2021 05:56 PM
    Recognizing PS 465 and the CEBOK are well-considered and thoughtful, I wonder if requiring a Master's degree is over the top - especially if we want to attract top talent as not all will be able to afford a 5-6 year course of study. I would submit it's always easier to add to something than take away. Has anyone considered applying a value engineering type approach to the CEBOK? I'm also concerned about what I've seen has happened to the educational system. Research and chasing grants has become imperative for most tenure track positions competing with the time spent on practical pursuits. I think a whole systems approach is required if we want to make fundamental change. In full disclosure i have a Masters degree and it was key to my career. I also benefited in both undergraduate and graduate school from having professors who were engaged in consulting and development of US and international design codes and standards. 

    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-14-2021 03:23 PM
    Thank you Stu for elegantly summarizing what PS 465 stands for and the significance of the CEBOK. As one of the several authors of the latest version of PS 465 I can assure everyone that the statements are not intended to be subtle or nuanced. Through three editions of the CEBOK, ASCE has documented that professional licensure no longer proves that an individual has attained the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes required for those who exercise responsible charge (as defined in the CEBOK). Given this conclusion, prior to 2018, ASCE attempted to amend licensure laws to require a master's degree as the "first professional degree", to no avail. This is despite the fact that every other comparable licensed profession (medicine, law, architecture, accounting, physical therapy...and the list goes on) all require post-baccalaureate education for licensure. Somehow engineers think we are different (special). Some worry that we will not attract the "best and brightest" if we require additional education for licensure. That is not true for any of the other licensed professions listed above, but again engineers are special.

    As Stu points out, this is not about those of us who have been in practice for 20+ years, but about those who are about to enter the profession and those still in school. The BS degree in civil engineering simply cannot cover the expanded body of technical knowledge that civil engineers will need to grasp to meet their professional obligations in the future. This is not an indictment of these programs. You simply cannot cover everything in a four-year degree. If you study graduation rates for civil engineers over time, you will find that nearly 50% of all recent civil engineering graduates already recognize this as they pursue a master's degree at some point in their career.

    The civil engineering profession must come to terms with the fact that there is a different between professional licensure (the legal authority to practice in responsible charge) and what is needed for today's civil engineers who chose to assume responsible charge of significant engineering services. Some think such a statement is heresy, but we operate this way in practice today. Many firms (mine included) encourage our engineers to obtain their PE license, but never put some of them in responsible charge as we deem them not ready or unsuitable for the role. As the leader of the civil engineering profession, it is time for ASCE (and the civil engineering community) to embrace this fact and develop a certification for those who first attain and then maintain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes defined in the CEBOK. This is paramount if we are to fulfill our most fundamental obligation to society - to protect and advance public health, safety and welfare.

    ------------------------------
    Bradley Aldrich P.E., F.ASCE
    Senior Associate
    Aldrich and Elliott, PC
    Essex Jct VT
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-16-2021 11:46 PM
    Stu,

    Thank you for reopening the discussion.  I have been biased in favor of PS 465 for much of my career.  Granted, I have a clear bias because I stayed in school to get an MS in Structural Engineering and then a PhD.  In the process, I took courses that exposed me to many details of structural analysis including several in finite element analysis.

    As a practitioner, I encountered professional engineers who were comfortable using the computer to perform complex calculations however, they selected model elements (FEM) without fully understanding the assumptions of the element and matching the element selection against the problem at hand.  While FE analysis has become more sophisticated from when I was studying it in detail, I remain concerned that engineers fully understand the analysis tools they are using.  While obtaining an MS in any CE area may not provide an engineer with deep knowledge to avoid selecting an incorrect model, obtaining more knowledge about approximation methods (or learning how to solve a 4th order PDE) might help.

    As I recall original version of PS 465, it argued for BSCE +30.  Whether the 30 was delivered in the form of a graduate degree or an accumulation of equivalent time learning more about technical and non-technical areas, was left to others.  My years of experience suggest some kind of formal additional learning is beneficial for the profession.  As a side note, it's possible the tragedies in south Florida might have been avoided with more education (I realize there are arguments to the contrary).

    As we are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the public and individuals we serve, additional education and learning (whether OJT or classroom) should not be as controversial as it has become.  Sadly, it may continue this way for a while.

    Ted Weidner, Ph.D., PE, RA, F. ASCE, NCARB, DBIA
    Professor of Engineering Practice
    Purdue University

    ------------------------------
    Theodore Weidner Ph.D., P.E., R.A., F.ASCE
    Facility Asset Consultng
    Lafayette IN
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-19-2021 09:47 AM

    After reading Stu's and Brad's post, my reaction is "I am proud to be a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers!"  Why?  Glad you asked!

    For over two decades, ASCE's presidents and Boards of Direction have been bold, consistent, and gutsy – steadfastly declaring via its Policy 465 that the existing educational and experiential requirements for licensure are not sufficient for exercising responsible charge.  And our ASCE leaders have backed up their claim with data.  Specifically, they commissioned the periodic review, refinement, and publication of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge by three different investigatory groups between 2002 and 2019.  This long-term commitment by the ever-changing volunteer leadership of a professional society is remarkable and unique.

    I am also very proud of ASCE for demonstrating great flexibility in implementing this strategic initiative.  As Stu reports, the relentless and daring objective of ASCE from 1998 to 2018 was to raise the formal educational requirement in state licensure laws.  While there were successes and substantial progress towards this objective, ASCE realized that raising the formal educational requirement for licensure was practically impossible when facing the opposition of the other engineering professional societies.  As such, ASCE demonstrated its flexibility by initiating a major change in the direction of the initiative in March 2018.  ASCE ceased legislative efforts to raise the formal educational requirement for licensure.  However, ASCE has not ceased in its resolve to require fulfillment of the CEBOK for responsible charge.  See https://www.asce.org/advocacy/policy-statements/ps465---civil-engineering-body-of-knowledge-and-the-practice-of-civil-engineering.  Consistent with the model for validating the preparation of medical doctors for practice, the ASCE Board is exploring the use of Society administered credentialing, rather than just licensure, as the principal mechanism for raising the educational and experiential requirements for exercising responsible charge.

    Twenty years ago, in a formal report to ASCE, the Board was advised that "The CE profession can engineer its future, or others will engineer it for us."  I am proud that my professional society has accepted its responsibility for being the "stewards" of the civil engineering profession – working to ensure that civil engineering remains a trusted and learned profession, both for today and for tomorrow.



    ------------------------------
    Tom Lenox, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, F.ASEE
    Charlottesville, VA
    [email protected]
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-20-2021 09:42 AM
    I appreciate the perspective and passion that has come out in this discussion. I have no doubt about the value of formal education, especially for developing deep technical skills. I'm also for standards of achievement. However, degrees and credentials while well-intended are not guarantees of success nor is licensure, for that matter. I think we like to focus on them because they can be measured and assessed. We also like them because they can be controlled and demonstrated at a central level.
     
    In my view the attributes of great engineers includes an innate curiosity, an ability to ask questions, interpret information, and assess and manages risks. A strong ethical compass is also paramount. In fact, I think the latter is probably the most important trait an engineer possesses. These attributes can be taught  - at least at the awareness level - but successful application in my view comes from experience. Furthermore, these attributes depend on structured, early career experience under the mentorship of an experienced engineer. Consequently, these attributes are likely to have a high degree of variability across employers. 
     
    A key element of leadership is a relentless pursuit of improvement opportunities. Maybe the time is right (as it's purportedly been 25 years since the effort leading to PS 465 and the CEBOK was initiated) to cast a fresh set of eyes over how we maintain and grow civil engineering expertise. This is not meant to be dismissive of PS 465 and the CEBOK but to start preparing for the next wave and ensure as a professional society we stay fluid and do not rest on laurels. 


    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-23-2021 08:38 AM
    The object of an education is to get the knowledge needed to do a task. Teachers and mentors guide the student in that effort and through their experience, they keep the student in a narrow and straight path toward that objective. Lacking such guidance, students can be distracted and pulled in different directions, thus missing the objective. The completion of the task meets our needs and provides us the means to earn a living.

    If we cannot earn a living, we cannot live.

    In my career, I have met a lot of engineers who worked their way through engineering school, got a bachelors degree, and then went to work to earn a living. They went on to get their license which increased their ability to earn that living.

    Many of those engineers will tell you that they could not have afforded to stay in school to get a masters degree. I was one of them.

    But --- Because I attained a license, I was able to go back and get a master's degree. My studies were focused on the subjects related to my work.

    And, if I had gotten a master's degree immediately after my bachelor's degree, it would have been in the wrong thing.

    This argument for a professional degree has been ongoing since the 1960's that I know of. I believe it is driven by educators.

    If educators want to promote this policy, then it should include an additional requirement. Those who aspire to be educators should be required to practice engineering for 10 years before they can begin teaching. In doing so, their theoretical knowledge would be balanced with practical experience that is rooted in real live.

    As is, I believe a few educators are trying to force their dream on too many other people who are trying to live in reality.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Mills P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Tulsa OK
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-24-2021 03:34 PM
    Pursuing a Masters before you have certainty of what focused area of practice you are passionate about is like putting the "cart before the horse". If in fact you are fortunate to know what are of practice you want to pursue as an undergraduate then yes, focus you efforts and classes towards a follow up Masters. If unsure, spending some period of time in practice is prudent and may afford you the experience to realize that passion. But don't wait too long. Going forward, if we truly have a sense of what fundamentals are essential for future Civil Engineers now, then consideration of incorporating those studies into undergraduate programs maybe warranted.

    ------------------------------
    Joseph Detor P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Associate
    Liverpool NY
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-13-2021 11:10 AM
    Bill:  Consistent with your intent to broaden the B.S.C.E. career development perspective, the CEBOK seeks to broaden the perspective and preparation of tomorrow's CE graduates who aspire to be in responsible charge of engineering projects. It does this by establishing outcomes to be achieved in these professional categories: communication, teamwork and leadership, lifelong learning, professional attitudes, professional responsibilities, and ethical responsibilities.

    The professional categories are in addition to foundational, engineering fundamental, and technical categories.

    The overriding goal: Prepare Professional Civil Engineers to be effective in an increasingly complex world.

    Stated differently, the PS 465 and the CEBOK will prepare professionals who will not be limited by the lack of people skills, like you cite. Future in-responsible-charge CEs will have broad and deep knowledge and skills.  This assumes that ASCE continues to build on the PS 465 - CEBOK foundation.

    Thanks for contributing.

    Stu


    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYour
    Future.com
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-13-2021 06:07 PM
    Thanks Stu for leading this educational-system change.

    On the chance you may not yet have read the ABET posts on the same subject,
    and the posted reactions to date, please consider incorporating such herein as time allows.
    Cheers,
    Bill
    .

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-14-2021 12:08 PM
    Bill:

    You are correct in saying that the ABET posts are "on the same subject" in that those posts refer to how ASCE is updating/refining its ABET Program Criteria to be consistent with the ASCE PS 465 and CEBOK. Civil Engineering Program Criteria drive CE formal education and provide an example of the practical use of PS 465 and the CEBOK.

    Speaking of ABET Program Criteria, they exist for 28 engineering programs. As I understand ABET, only two programs require that students receive validated instruction in engineering licensure and those two programs are Civil Engineering and Construction. Accordingly, the vast majority of young people who earn an baccalaureate degree in engineering have not learned, in class in a validated manner, about the purpose of licensure and the process followed to achieve it. I also cannot find any reference in anywhere in ABET criteria to what is widely said to be engineering's responsibility -- holding public protection paramount.

    These differences and inconsistencies among engineering disciplines illustrate why each discipline needs to decide and articulate what it stands for and make sure those principles are explicitly reflected somewhere in the ABET criteria.

    Up to now, ASCE has been unique among engineering disciplines in that its two-decade aspirational and specific PS 465 and CEBOK are designed to continuously drive the formal education and the experience of tomorrow's CEs who aspire to be in responsible charge of engineering projects. The goal is to provide students with the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills needed to be competent and accountable professionals whose paramount responsibility is public protection and do so in an increasingly complex society.

    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYour
    Future.com
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-18-2021 04:22 PM
    The issue is that civil engineering is very broad, and not all areas of civil engineering require a Masters to meet the requirements to be the responsible in charge. For example, I'm in site development. We have to apply a very broad scope of knowledge, but we don't need Masters level courses to be absolutely competent in our area of practice. For us, experience under another PE is more valuable to what we do. There aren't Masters programs targeted at our discipline that I've ever heard of, which I think demonstrates my point.
    I'm not against encouraging post-graduate studies where they are needed, but it is an oversight to presume that is the case for all work requiring a civil seal.

    I'm currently completing post-graduate studies in construction project management. Does some of what I'm learning apply at least tangentially to my job? Yes. Did I need any of these courses to meet the qualifications of being the responsible in charge on my site development projects? No.

    I also think to compare all areas of civil engineering to fields like medicine and law is not accurate. It's not that I think we're special. It's that the body of knowledge needed to complete certain kinds of civil work is no where near the depth of knowledge to understand medicine or the entire legal system. The process for Architecture licensure is basically the same as the current requirements for civil engineering -- you can get licensed with a Bachelor's degree.

    I think we have to acknowledge that within the umbrella of civil engineering there are large differences education necessary to safely be the EOR. Should you have a Masters degree to seal the designs for a dam? I'd say yes. Do you need a Masters degree to seal the designs for a small detention pond? No.

    ------------------------------
    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-19-2021 09:45 AM

    You make a good (and commonly argued) point that not all types of civil engineering require a masters degree to be able to perform the services competently, though I would argue that the majority of sub-specialties of civil engineering do. However, that the PE license doesn't differentiate between these sub-specialties and grants legal authority to practice in responsible charge of any of them once licensed. The license relies solely on the licensee to "practice only within their area of competency". Having served on a PE Board for nearly ten years I know that the only time we deal with a licensee once the license is granted is if/when a complaint is filed. And from my experience, complaints are rarely filed except for the most egregious offenses. 

    To be clear, the CEBOK does not state that a masters degree is a requirement. It simply defines technical depth in a specialty (like land development in your example), post BS degree. You must acknowledge that there is a great deal of engineering you had to learn post-BS that you use in your practice. And there is much more you will need to learn in the future to stay abreast of the advances in technology, our understanding of our world and changing environmental and societal needs, in order to meet your professional duty.

    The CEBOK defines competencies in both the cognitive and affective domains (Blooms taxonomy - which is a widely accepted educational assessment standard). Why is this important? The PE license measures cognitive ability to practice, though I would argue that it doesn't adequately measure the depth of knowledge needed to practice today. It doesn't measure the affective knowledge at all, which is where responsible charge lies. Simply having the technical knowledge to solve an engineering problem (what the PE tests) is not enough. The person in responsible charge must take into account many other factors such as sustainability, resiliency, and other societal factors in their decision-making (before they even start to execute the final design) if they are to meet their professional obligations to society. We know this through the scholarly work that ASCE has completed through three editions of the CEBOK that defines the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for responsible charge. We also see that with the rapid pace of change in the world, these factors only grow in importance.

    The CEBOK is valid for all sub-specialties of civil engineering with different logical pathways toward fulfillment of the outcomes depending on the individual and field of practice. It serves all of us to understand the CEBOK, assess where we stand and to stay cognizant of what we need to do to maintain our competencies to serve in responsible charge once we accept the responsibility to do so. 



    ------------------------------
    Bradley Aldrich P.E., F.ASCE
    Senior Associate
    Aldrich and Elliott, PC
    Essex Jct VT
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-19-2021 12:05 PM

    Heidi:  I agree that we should not, as you say, "compare all areas of civil engineering to fields like medicine and law."  Instead, broaden the comparison. View the educational requirements for in-charge practice of civil engineering with the educational requirements for the in-charge practice of essentially all American professions, such as members of the following 17 professions (not all-inclusive, meant to be representative):

    Advanced Practitioner Registered Nurses

    Audiologists

    Clergy

    Dentists

    Doctors of osteopathic medicine

    Lawyers

    Medical doctors

    Occupational therapists

    Ophthalmologists

    Optometrists

    Pharmacists

    Physical therapists

    Physician assistants

    Psychiatrists

    Psychologists

    Speech therapists

    Veterinarians

    Each follows its undergraduate program with a multiyear professional school program. Although licensed architects and certified public accountants (not in the preceding list) do not need to earn graduate degrees, they do have the equivalent of more than four years of college education. As with engineers who seek to become licensed, would-be members of all of the listed professions complete an internship, residency, or other means of acquiring experiential knowledge and skills.

    Consider the irony. Engineering was the first major occupation in the United States to establish formal education (over two centuries ago) but now has the least formal education for licensure compared to the listed licensed professions. They started after and then passed us. The first in formal education became the last.

    Is that knowledge gap the best way to prepare aspiring engineers, strengthen engineering, and serve while protecting society? American engineering also uses a basic Model Law (four years of education and four years of experience) originally published by NCEES nine decades ago. Does that make sense? In asking that, I am assuming that staying current and keeping public protection paramount is engineering's ideology.

    In addition, consider this irony: If a surgeon, lawyer, or veterinarian errs, the consequences -- however dire -- are limited to one or a few people or pets. If engineering fails, like in the Boeing 737, Merrimack Valley gas distribution system, BP oil spill, or I-35W bridge tragedies, then  dozens or hundreds of people are killed, injured, or otherwise harmed and/or the environment is fouled.

    Seems to me, going forward and considering engineering's impact, we would want engineers to be educated at least as well as most professions. However, we don't. Based on my experiences and studies, most of us (civil and other engineers) are satisfied with the current education system (and also the current massive licensure-exemption system, but that is another topic not closely connected to civil engineering).

    You refer to the body of knowledge (BOK). ASCE first determined, over two decades ago, and has confirmed many times since, that the Civil Engineering BOK (the published version is now in its third edition) cannot be achieved with formal education that ends with a baccalaureate degree. Check out here the very demanding CEBOK, Third Edition: https://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784415221 . Of course, many of us can choose to ignore what massive numbers of volunteer CE academics and practitioners, working together, concluded.

    You say: "… the body of knowledge needed to complete certain kinds of civil work is nowhere near the depth of knowledge to understand medicine or the entire legal system." I suspect we can find, in any profession/occupation, a tiny group of individuals who have very narrowly defined themselves to a miniscule role that could be carried out with minimal education and low expectations.

    ASCE should not waste its time and resources preparing them. Instead, focus on creating the future. Aspire and work, by using PS 465 and the CEBOK, to prepare tomorrow's civil engineers who want to be in responsible charge of projects and be part of a proud public-serving and protecting profession. 

     

     



    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYour
    Future.com
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-20-2021 11:45 AM
    My main issue is that for years we've heard "masters degrees are going to be required soon for licensure." That has changed from what I understand, but I still see a huge push for getting a masters right after or soon after graduation. I had classmates afraid to enter industry without a masters because one of the proposed cutoff dates was the year we would have been eligible to apply for the PE.

    My personal reservation is this: several of the Civil Engineers that came and spoke to us in undergrad along with a few of my coworkers switched their area of focus after they started their careers. How helpful is that structural masters to your body of knowledge if after 3 years you end up deciding you like transportation better?
    In school I preferred classes like reinforced concrete design because there were clear inputs and outputs. I was frustrated by hydrology because there are so many assumptions to make. However, in practice I'm the opposite. I get bored with repetitive calculations but enjoy the variety of what I engineer. Some students I knew learned from their internships only what they *didn't* want to do.

    I think a lot of more experienced engineers need to step back and put themselves in the shoes of a 22 year old graduating engineer. Don't just blanket encourage a masters. Help those younger engineers find their passion within civil and then have those tasks about how they individually can reach the necessary depth in their chosen focus area.

    ------------------------------
    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-23-2021 04:23 PM

    Well said, Mitchell. Pursuits to perfection must continue – things need to be built upon from what were achieved. But perhaps seeing things more through the lens of Simplicity (we have discussed aspects of it, on earlier postings and in different contexts) – that has the power to open up the issues and constraints from different perspectives.

    In this regard, I am tempted to quote Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011; his 1998 interview with the Businessweek): . . . simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains . . .

    -----

    Dilip

    Website

    ORCID ID

    Google Scholar



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Dilip Barua, Ph.D, P.Eng, M. ASCE
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-23-2021 06:59 PM
    • In the spirit of Mitch's post:

    "Integrating input from full-time practitioners provided us with a balanced vision for our introductory curriculum in project management.[1] The results of the practitioner survey showed that hiring professionals with well-developed behavioral skills and capabilities, is regarded very highly, and in some cases considered even more important than technical PM knowledge and skills. The reason for this bias is that well-developed teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills allow for rapid and successful integration of entry-level employees. Even the full-time faculty who were surveyed ranked knowledge and skills in the behavioral areas highly and recommended their coverage in a comprehensive manner in the PM curriculum."

    -Page 128, "GUIDELINES FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CURRICULA AND RESOURCES Volume I: The Curriculum Framework, 15 January 2015"

    • Project Management Institute, pmi.org

    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,
    Bill


    [1] https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/ugcr-vol-one-and-vol-two.pdf?v=4f7f7946-5ce6-42ed-9277-3b8bb2bd3885



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-20-2021 05:36 PM

    I agree with your premise that it makes sense to wait on the masters for many graduating engineers. Get into the workforce and decide what you like best unless it is obvious what you want to study during your undergraduate years, and you're ready to immediately pursue a masters. I believe having some work experience enhances your educational outcomes as you can apply "real world" experience to your learning. Further, graduate degree programs have transformed over the past 10+ years with many great programs offered in a hybrid on-line and in-person format (or entirely on-line) that is well suited to those who want to pursue a masters while working and raising a family. Since getting the masters (or other pathway to obtain additional technical depth in a civil engineering specialty) is not tied to licensure there should be no perceived urgency to complete this step before licensure.

    The "old messages" are still valid only to the point that they articulate the need for additional depth in an engineering specialty (among other things) before assuming responsible charge. ASCE has determined that pursuing licensure law changes are not likely to succeed and no longer pursues this pathway for fulfillment of the CEBOK for responsible charge. It's important that the civil engineering community understand this and not confuse what is stated in PS 465 as simply another incarnation of the push to change licensure laws. That initiative was terminated in 2018 by a clear and emphatic vote of the ASCE Board of Direction.

    What PS 465 clearly states is that professional licensure no longer demonstrates that an individual is prepared to assume responsible charge (even though the license grants them the legal authority to do so). This is true for any of us who competently assume responsible charge, regardless of whether we have an advanced degree or not. Those of us in the latter years of our careers have adapted our practice (knowledge and skills) to the pace of change in engineering knowledge necessary to meet our professional obligations. I personally do not have a masters degree, but can comfortably go through the outcomes defined in the CEBOK and be confident that I not only attained, but maintain the necessary KSAs for responsible charge. But I say this with forty years of experience. The body of engineering knowledge needed today is exponentially higher than it was forty years ago (when I got licensed) which is why early career civil engineers need to pursue post-BS technical depth in their engineering specialty to close the gap, before assuming responsible charge. if they plan to do so in a "traditional timeline". 



    ------------------------------
    Bradley Aldrich P.E., F.ASCE
    Senior Associate
    Aldrich and Elliott, PC
    Essex Jct VT
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-30-2021 02:49 PM

    Thanks to those who have shared their views. <o:p></o:p>

    What follows. . . .briefly . . is the case for myself.<o:p></o:p>

    The object of my CE education over a twenty-year period was to gain insights into why, what, and how engineers translated their ideas into physical communities of infrastructure by working collaboratively with others. And learned that "Others" had their own interpretations of what and how to accomplish tasks that were part of larger plans.<o:p></o:p>

    No doubt earning a living wage is part and parcel of most folks' efforts.<o:p></o:p>

    And lives of others illustrate that doing so is a common objective regardless of your current type of skill-sets to do so.<o:p></o:p>

    Looking back, setting aside individuals' specific life variables as to resources to study at school versus earning a living wage, each adjusted their life objectives to fit their sense of reality.<o:p></o:p>

    While each of us can theorize with 20/20 hindsight what we did "Back then" and how it worked for us, I imagine that tale would change depending on which of us was sharing our story.<o:p></o:p>

    I eventually learned that for my objective, stopping my formal professional education at the BSCE level would never have worked given the direction I was heading.<o:p></o:p>

    As I reflect on the past, going forward the working professionals need to stop complaining about what educators need to learn and commit each semester to provide real-world engineering experience to certain engineering classes. What's better than telling others how to become team players is to model it for them.<o:p></o:p>

    I continue to be impressed with the educator's self-improvement and educational system upgrades within the ABET dialogue elsewhere herein.<o:p></o:p>

    Stay Healthy!<o:p></o:p>

    Cheers,<o:p></o:p>

    Bill<o:p></o:p>



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-30-2021 01:27 PM
    I also agree with Michael here; gaining experience in both life and career allows one to make better, more informed choices.  For me, civil engineering is a second career as I received my bachelor's degree shortly before I turned 40.  When I was 18, my first choice in studying engineering was aeronautical; through life's events I left school after 2.5 years and moved out of state where I fell into a totally unrelated career for the next 15 years.   When I returned to school at 36, civil engineering was a much better fit for my lifestyle and personality.  And some of the teachers I learned the most from were adjunct professors.   I've had no regrets in my career choice, nor by "only" obtaining a B.S, and my P.E.

    ------------------------------
    Steve Adams P.E., M.ASCE
    City Engineer
    Wilsonville, City Of
    Milwaukie OR
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: PS 465 & CEBOK: The Foundation of ASCE's Future

    Posted 08-25-2021 05:59 PM

    I agree with Joseph's post regarding the timing of getting a Masters Degree in an engineer's career progression. A recently graduated Bachelors Degree student most often has learned problem solving skills but generally only the basics of the more rigorous technical skills required in the various disciplines within Civil Engineering. These need to be learned on the job but can be greatly accelerated by getting a Masters. Graduate degrees are more specialized and unless the entry level engineer is absolutely certain which discipline to pursue, the advanced degree can be almost a wasted effort. I believe that exposure early in ones career to various disciplines will point to the graduate degree specialty that will lead to a more rewarding and successful career. 

    Another factor is that many employers have programs that will pay all or part of the tuition for a Masters in which the young engineer is best suited for and more interested in. 

    That being said, my Masters degree was highly instrumental in my career satisfaction and success. My BS was in Chemical Engineering but my first five years were served as a commissioned officer in the US Army Corps of Engineers where I practiced Civil Engineering. I learned then that Chem E. was not something I wanted to pursue but that I could apply that knowledge to the CE discipline of water/wastewater engineering.  After leaving the service I got my Masters in what was then called Civil/Sanitary Engineering. Upon graduating I had the skills necessary to jump into this discipline with both feet and my civilian career was off to a great start. 



    ------------------------------
    Bevin Beaudet P.E., M.ASCE
    President/Owner
    Bevin A. Beaudet, P.E., LLC.
    Bethlehem PA
    ------------------------------