The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has recently been engaged in the Engineer of 2020 Project with a goal to envision the future two decades from now and to use this knowledge in an attempt to predict the roles engineers will play in the future and to position engineering education in the US for what lies ahead. Two reports outlining this effort have been published. The first, The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century provides the questions, observations, and background for the second, Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century, which presents a series of recommendations (abbreviated below):
1. The BS degree should be considered as a pre-engineering or "engineer in training" degree.
2. Engineering should be accredited at both the BS and MS levels, so that the MS degree can be recognized as an engineering "professional" degree.
3. Institutions should take advantage of the flexibility in the ABET EC2000 criteria in developing the curricula and students should be introduced to the essence of engineering early in their undergraduate careers.
4. Colleges and universities should endorse research in engineering education as valued and rewarded activity for engineering faculty.
5. Institutions must teach students how to be life long learners.
6. Engineering educators should introduce interdisciplinary learning in the undergraduate curriculum and explore the use of case studies of engineering successes and failures as a learning tool.
7. Four-year schools should work with community colleges, with two-year technology programs, to develop realistic, workable articulation agreements.
8. Institutions should encourage domestic students to obtain MS and Ph D degrees.
9. The engineering community should encourage participation in efforts to improve public understanding of engineering and the technology literacy of the public and efforts to improve Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) education at K-12 levels.
It is clear from these two reports that the professional engineering societies are strongly in favor of a professional engineering degree to allow graduates to fully enter into the real practice of engineering upon graduation. Internationally the five-year program is the standard for professional practice in the field.
The proposed program, presented below and approved by the Board of Governors for Higher Education earlier this year, addresses the need for five-year degree program that will fully prepare students for professional practice.
Junior standing in Ocean Engineering, grade point average of 3.0, or higher, overall and 3.2 in engineering courses.
Follow the application procedure for the Ocean Engineering MS program provided at the Graduate School web site (http://www.uri.edu/gsadmis/) (application form, three letters of reference, unofficial transcript, and statement of purpose). Submit this material to Sau Lon James Hu, Ocean Engineering (email@example.com) not later than February 1. Applications will be reviewed and a decision made by mid February. For those accepted into the program they will need to formally file their application (pay application fee and submit official transcript).