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ERIC Number: EJ911584
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 45
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-6173-5102-0
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Land-Grant Colleges and American Engineers: Redefining Professional and Vocational Engineering Education in the American Midwest, 1862-1917
Nienkamp, Paul
American Educational History Journal, v37 n2 p313-330 2010
During the twentieth-century, American engineers harnessed the atom, sent men to the moon, and literally reshaped the world. They re-routed rivers to create giant hydroelectric dams, created a massive and interconnected highway system, and designed skyscrapers, jets, computers, and the internet. As a modern profession, engineering boasted strong national organizations, journals, conferences, and most significantly, an array of world-famous degree programs to turn out new generations of well-qualified experts. Between 1862 and 1917, American educators transformed the earlier occupation of "mechanic arts" into modern professional engineering, establishing new disciplines and defining their importance for the century to come. It was not elite East Coast universities that contributed most to this, but rather Midwest land-grant colleges, whose very newness and frontier opportunity gave their leaders a free hand to experiment. Midwestern land-grant colleges had come to dominate the new profession, vastly outstripping Eastern schools in the sheer number of engineering degrees issued. One can fully understand the creation of modern engineering by studying this land-grant history, how individual teaching philosophies, application of skills, and the introduction of new technologies at Midwest schools guided the transformation of nineteenth-century mechanic arts into modern professional engineering. In this article, the author discusses the birth of land-grant engineering and the evolution of its education methods. (Contains 10 notes.) [ISBN: 978-1-61735-102-0]
IAP - Information Age Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 79049, Charlotte, NC 28271-7047. Tel: 704-752-9125; Fax: 704-752-9113; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa; Michigan; Nebraska; Wisconsin
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Morrill Act 1862