National Science Board Report on Improving Engineering Education

Posted on February 9, 2008  Comments (0)

Moving Forward to Improve Engineering Education a report from the National Science Board:

Changes in the global environment require changes in engineering education. Markets, companies, and supply chains have become much more international and engineering services are often sourced to the countries that can provide the best value. Basic engineering skills (such as knowledge of the engineering fundamentals) have become commodities that can be provided by lower cost engineers in many countries, and some engineering jobs traditionally done in the U.S. are increasingly done overseas. To respond to this changing context, U.S. engineers need new skill sets not easily replicated by low-wage overseas engineers.

Society at large does not have an accurate perception of the nature of engineering. Survey data indicate that the public associates engineers with economic growth and defense, but less so with improving health, the quality of life, and the environment.

The third challenge for engineering education is to retain those students who are initially attracted to engineering. Attrition is substantial in engineering, particularly in the first year of college. About 60 percent of students who enter engineering majors obtain a degree within 6 years. Although this retention rate is comparable to some other fields, it is especially critical for engineering to retain the pool of entering students.

Related: NAE Report on Educating the Engineer of 2020Engineering Education Study DebateEducating Engineers for 2020 and Beyond by Charles VestThe Future is Bright with Engineering and EntrepreneurismGlobal Engineering Education StudyUSA Under-counting Engineering GraduatesLeah Jamieson on the Future of Engineering EducationImproving Engineering Education the Olin Way

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