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Engineering education initiative

For more than a decade, NCEES has focused on the minimum foundational engineering education required to become a professional engineer. The following timeline provides links to related background materials that describe how the initiative has evolved as well as the arguments for and against the expanded education requirement.


At the annual meeting in August 2017, Council delegates voted to amend the NCEES position statement regarding additional education for initial engineering licensure.


At the annual meeting in August 2015, Council delegates voted to adopt a new NCEES position statement regarding additional education for initial engineering licensure.


At the annual meeting in August 2014, Council delegates voted to remove language related to MLE 2020 and MLSE 2020 from the NCEES Model Law and Model Rules. As part of the vote, annual meeting delegates decided to instead develop an official NCEES position statement about general reform in engineering education to ensure that graduating engineers are ready to enter the professional practice of engineering. Read the news release.


The Alternate Licensure Pathway Task Force (PDF) was created to address the Engineering Education Task Force Motion 2 from the 2010 annual meeting (see 2009–10 entry below for details). The motion was to charge a group to investigate an alternate pathway to initial licensure that would allow a combination of assessed learning days and structured mentoring. The task force presented its findings as a motion for Council action at the 2011 annual meeting. The motion did not pass.


The Engineering Education Task Force (PDF) was charged with considering additional pathways to the education requirement. The task force presented two related motions at the 2010 annual meeting; both motions passed with friendly amendments (shown in the report with double strikethroughs and underlines). Related Licensure Exchange article: April 2010 (PDF)


The Engineering Education Task Force (PDF; previously called the Bachelor’s Plus 30 Task Force) was charged with developing a response to the 2009 Southern Zone resolution, developing a model for a clearinghouse, and writing a history of the initiative (PDF). At the 2009 annual meeting, the NCEES member boards voted on a resolution for the task force to be charged with exploring alternatives; the resolution passed. Related Licensure Exchange articles: April 2009 (PDF) and October 2009 (PDF)


The Bachelor’s Plus 30 Task Force (PDF) was established to build on the work of the 2007 UPLG Committee. At the 2008 annual meeting, the NCEES member boards voted to approve Model Rules definitions of acceptable coursework and approved course providers. The boards also passed a Southern Zone resolution (PDF) to explore other alternatives to the additional education requirement. Related Licensure Exchange articles: December 2007 (PDF), February 2008 (PDF), April 2008 (PDF), August 2008 (PDF), and October 2008 (PDF)


The Committee on Uniform Procedures and Legislative Guidelines (PDF) presented motions to revise the Model Rules definitions of Model Law Engineer and Model Law Structural Engineer to include the B.S. plus 30 requirement. This change passed at the 2007 annual meeting to make the Model Rules consistent with the related Model Law language that the member boards passed at the 2006 annual meeting. Related Licensure Exchange articles: April 2007 (PDF) and October 2007 (PDF)


The Committee on Uniform Procedures and Legislative Guidelines (PDF) presented motions at the 2006 annual meeting to add language to the Model Law and Model Rules requiring a master’s or equivalent for initial licensure. The motions passed as described in the annual meeting news release (PDF). Related Licensure Exchange articles: April 2006 (PDF) and October 2006 (PDF)


NCEES began the process of 
changing language in the Model Law through the work of the Licensure Qualifications Oversight Group (PDF).


The Licensure Qualifications Oversight Group (PDF)—made up of NCEES licensing board members—was established after the 2003 annual meeting to further explore the findings of the Engineering Licensure Qualifications Task Force from an NCEES perspective. Related Licensure Exchange articles: March 2004 (PDF) and December 2004 (PDF)


The Engineering Licensure Qualifications Task Force presented its findings at the 2003 annual meeting in a report (PDF) that was accepted by the Council. Related Licensure Exchange articles: April 2003 (PDF) and June 2003


The Engineering Licensure Qualifications Task Force continued its work. Related Licensure Exchange articles: December 2002 (PDF)


The Engineering Licensure Qualifications Task Force (PDF) was commissioned to assess the current licensure system and develop recommendations for enhancement or change. Related Licensure Exchange article: December 2000 (PDF)

In the conclusion to its conference report, the Engineering Licensure Qualifications Task Force stated, “The future of licensure is unclear, and it is time to assess the condition of our current system. Task force members also understand the sensitive nature of the issue and want to acknowledge that the ultimate direction of the NCEES will be decided by the Council body, not by the task force. It is entirely possible that the result of this effort will simply be to stay the course and make no enhancements or changes at all. It is difficult to tell at this time where the work will take us, but we hope that the membership of NCEES and the engineering organizations will be partners in this endeavor and will work to stay informed. The issue is broad and complex, and we all must be prepared when the time comes for decisions that may shape the future of engineering licensure in the United States.”