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The data in Table 2 check the conclusions reached by the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education as a result of the survey of all of the engineering colleges of the United States; that is, that practically 1.8 academic years, or about 45 per cent of the total time in the engineering curricula, are given over to science, mathematics, and humanities, a type of general training which would be entirely acceptable toward a degree in any arts college. Engineering education can not be characterized as specialized or illiberal only in as far as devotion of one-half of the time to technology makes it so. Land-grant engineering colleges are not attempting to turn out a finished product, but to graduate students with capacity to become engineers.
Number of subjects carried at one time. The number of subjects carried by students in the several engineering curricula, as given by reports from the institutions are summarized in Table 3.
39 40 38 24 14
7.0 7.0 6.9 6.6 6. 6
65 7.0 6.4 60 6.6
6.8 6.8 6. 5 67 67
Table 3 indicates that the engineering student at the land-grant college carries at one time between six and seven different subjects. This practice was criticized by both the Carnegie and the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education surveys. More experimental information is needed to demonstrate the number of subjects a student may carry at one time most advantageously. However, it appears probable that the engineering colleges will secure better results by reducing the number of subjects carried at one time to six or even to five.
Quantitative requirements for graduation.—The replies from institutions with reference to the semester hours required for graduation are summarized in Table 4.
TABLE 4.-Trend in semester hours required for graduation
Table 4 indicates that 145 to 150 semester hours are required at present for graduation. The trend in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering seems to have been to reduce the requirements in semester hours. This is due mainly to the reduction in the time devoted to shop practice, surveying, and drawing. A requirement of 146 semester hours is not excessive for an engineering curriculum, and particularly in the case of land-grant institutions where an average of 6 semester hours out of the 146 is devoted to military training and physical education.
Of the semester hours required for graduation, an average of 84 semester hours, or 58 per cent, is common in the three curricula of civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. The differentiation between these and chemical or mining engineering is greater, but the basic requirements in mathematics, science, and the humanities are practically the same in all engineering curricula.
Practical experience during summers.—Twelve land-grant engineering colleges expect their students to be employed in industry during the summer vacations. This is not a definite requirement for graduation since difficulty is encountered in finding employment which will give large numbers of students industrial experience. Furthermore, the homes of students are often located at great distances from industrial centers and the majority of students attending land-grant colleges must find profitable employment during the summer in order to continue their studies without interruption.
Inspection trips.—To give the undergraduate student some contact with industry, inspection trips are required by practically all land-grant institutions. Four institutions require inspection trips during the sophomore year, 15 during the junior, and 29 during the senior year. An average of five days is devoted to such trips during
the senior year and in all cases attendance is a requirement for graduation. Short informal inspection trips to local industries are arranged throughout the undergraduate years.
Survey camp8.—Only eight institutions own camps for instruction and practice for civil engineering students in surveying. The distances of such camps from the colleges vary greatly; 12 to 60 miles is common, but in some cases the distance is in excess of 150 miles. The total acreage covered by these camps in the eight institutions is 4,135 and their value is estimated at $183,650. Instruction is given during the summer, usually between the second and third years. The average length of time for camp practice is six weeks.
Special noncredit technical subjects.-Seven land-grant engineering colleges offer in addition to the regular engineering subjects of the curricula, special courses in elementary mechanics, electricity, power plants, and machine design. These special courses require less mathematical preparation than the corresponding subjects in the standard curricula and can not be used for credit toward a degree in engineering but are designed for special students and for others who are not candidates for engineering degrees. Land-grant engineering colleges will do well to increase such offerings for the benefit of their engineering students who can not graduate on account of the lack of mathematical ability, but who will be more useful to industry if they leave college with some knowledge of elementary mechanics, drawing, electricity, power plants, and other technological subjects which can be taught to those who have had no calculus.
Commercial training.-Only two land-grant institutions offer distinct engineering curricula in which an effort is made to treat both engineering and commerce as major subjects. All institutions are requiring all engineering students to pursue certain courses in economics and a number have available either as required or as elective courses work in accounting, personnel administration, marketing, business law, money and banking, corporation finance, and business administration. To an increasing extent engineering colleges are also offering either as required or electives course work in industrial engineering and management. However, the great majority of landgrant engineering colleges do not favor the teaching of both commerce and engineering as majors in a 4-year undergraduate curriculum.
Cooperative plan of engineering instruction.—Only one land-grant engineering college is now offering engineering instruction on the cooperative plan. Two other institutions are planning to offer such instruction in the future. The cooperative plan, which is now in operation at one land-grant college and which is contemplated by another, is limited to only a small fraction of the total enrollment and leads certain selected students to the master's degree in five years. The students devote all of their time during the first one and three
fourth years to resident studies. Beginning with the summer of the second year they alternate between industry and college, the length of the period of alternation being a semester or a summer term. The cooperative students spend their entire time in one plant and have also theoretical instruction during the practice periods. About 150 weeks are devoted to resident collegiate instruction and about 60 to practice in industry.
The locations of most land-grant colleges do not lend themselves to the cooperative plan. Furthermore, the results of the survey by the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education indicate that equally satisfactory results may be accomplished by the allresidence plan.
Undergraduate degrees. From 1873 to 1928, all the land-grant institutions conferred 47,677 bachelor's degrees in engineering. The number of engineering bachelor's degrees awarded varied as follows: From 1873 to 1886 fewer than 100 were awarded per year. The number rose to 131 in 1886, 294 in 1890, 594 in 1900, and 1,449 in 1909. Then there was little change in tendency until 1918, when the degrees awarded dropped to 940, fell to 879 in 1919, rose to 1,384 in 1920, to 1,828 in 1921, and to 2,467 in 1923. In 1924 the number awarded dropped to 2,132 and has remained nearly stationary since that time.
Nearly all land-grant colleges confer upon those who complete the undergraduate curriculum the degree of bachelor of science to which a specifying phrase may be added; for example, bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. In rare cases the bachelor of engineering is conferred and in one institution the professional degree of civil engineer, electrical engineer, and mechanical engineer is conferred as the first or bachelor's degree.
Trends in Graduate Study For the period from 1873 to 1928, all the land-grant institutions report only 5,012 engineering master's degrees. For the same period all the land-grant engineering colleges report 47,677 bachelor's degrees in engineering. From 1873 to 1884 the number of engineering master's degrees conferred per year remained below 10; this rose to 14 in 1885, 27 in 1890, 42 in 1900, 97 in 1908, 213 in 1916, 148 in 1917, remained below 150 until 1921, varied from 200 to 300 from 1921 to 1927, and was 331 in 1928.
For the year ending June 30, 1928, all of the land-grant engineering colleges conferred 331 master's degrees in engineering, and during the same year 2,072 undergraduate engineering degrees were conferred. Thus the number of master's degrees conferred in 1928
is 16 per cent of the number of bachelor's degrees in that year, a ratio well above that found by the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education study of all engineering schools. Of all the master's degrees conferred in 1928, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is credited with 179, or 54 per cent. Seven doctorates in engineering were conferred in 1924, 9 in 1925, 10 in 1926, 14 in 1927, and 13 in 1928. Outside of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology very few doctorates in engineering have been conferred up to date.
The foregoing data indicate that the land-grant engineering colleges, as well as other engineering colleges, are mainly undergraduate institutions. The great demand for engineers with bachelor's degrees and the inadequate recognition on the part of industry of resident graduate study are the two main factors which are responsible for the small number of engineering students who are pursuing graduate study. Furthermore, the training of the engineer in most cases can not be completed at college. To an increasing extent the young engineering graduate finds that industry has set up special facilities for advanced study, research, and broad experience. In some cases industries have special arrangements with the higher educational institutions of their localities so that the engineering college graduate may pursue courses leading to the master's and doctor's degrees.
Another factor which has limited resident graduate study is the fact that only a very few of the land-grant engineering colleges have proper facilities for graduate study. In nearly all cases the staff members are fully occupied with undergraduate instruction and have inadequate special equipment for advanced courses. In many cases staff members are excellent teachers of undergraduate subjects, but have not extended their own study beyond their undergraduate years. It is true that many of these have had considerable experience, but are not sufficiently grounded in theory to be successful with graduate students.
Graduate instruction in engineering has received a new impetus in connection with the development of engineering experiment stations at land-grant colleges, but the number of students who will pursue resident postgraduate study will remain small until the industries, the utilities, and the public works of the Nation come to appreciate the value of more thorough engineering education that is provided in the undergraduate engineering curricula. However, the stronger land-grant institutions have a responsibility to develop graduate study in engineering in order to train teachers and to give their exceptional students a better scientific knowledge and a better preparation for research as a career.