ERIC Number: ED440863
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Engineering Education in the United States: Past, Present, and Future.
Prados, John W.
Over the past half-century, engineering education in the United States has undergone a profound transformation, from a strong focus on engineering practice and design before World War II to the current emphasis on scientific fundamentals and mathematical analysis. This change was driven by the Cold War and the accompanying major federal investment in university research, which also produced a major shift in engineering faculty culture away from its traditional roots in professional practice toward an academic science perspective, with rewards based primarily on research achievement. Beginning in the 1980's, the emergence of global competition as the major driver for engineering employment, along with the rapid growth of information technologies, have focused increasing attention on the need for new forms of engineering education that will equip graduates with stronger skills in communication, teamwork, knowledge integration, and economic understanding, in addition to sound technical competence. Led by far-sighted educators and industry executives, engineering education is now beginning to adopt this new paradigm. However, academic culture changes but slowly, and some time will elapse before the new paradigm becomes dominant at a majority of U.S. engineering schools. Driving forces for change are discussed, including efforts of engineering professional societies, engineering college advisory boards, the National Science Foundation, private foundations, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. (Contains 41 references.) (Author/ASK)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE-98) (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 17-20, 1998).