About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Engineering Class Of 2009 - Report

Over the past several years Carol & I have worked very closely with Donors Trust, The American Council of Trustees & Alumni, The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, & the American Institute Of Chemical Engineers re several projects to improve higher education in America.
My educational concerns started over 50 years ago when it became apparent (to my mother) that government schools were deteriorating in the K to 12 grades.  More recently I realized this deterioration had spread to  liberal arts fields in colleges across America. 
Our biggest concerns are that America's universities are dumbing down & that the deterioration has spread to science & engineering curriculums.  Two good measures to see if my suspicions are true are 1) the willingness of employers to hire American graduates & 2) the ability of these graduates to pass a Professional Engineering exam - especially an exam given in a state where the student did not attend college.
The year I graduated from Engineering school there were two jobs available for every graduating chemical engineer.  The latest survey for the engineering class of 2009 for chemical engineers shows that 40% of the graduates found industrial employment, 30% went on to graduate school, 21% are still seeking employment, 4% found employment with the government, 2% are undecided, & 3% miscellaneous.  I all too frequently receive unsolicited letters from firms I never heard of asking me if I am interested in pursuing employment.  What is wrong with the new graduates?
Below is my letter that the AIChE's Chemical Engineering Progress magazine published (sentence in red was omitted) in the September edition re this subject that is another contributing factor to the robbery of America's future increase in our standard of living by not graduating the scientists & engineers who are capable of being the bedrock of our innovation, productivity, & growth.
Dear Editor,
In October 2007 I attended a seminar given by a firm specializing in higher education excellence.  A representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spoke about "Mickey Mouse" courses, verifying my suspicions that engineering schools are dumbing down the curriculum.  I have recently read in Chemical Engineering Progress a series of editorials about changing the Ch E curriculum for the worst.  Regarding American students he noted that employers complain that "the skills are not there," so foreign students get the jobs.
I believe that an excellent criteria for determining whether graduates of American universities have the technical ability necessary to gain the experience required to contribute to improving America's standard of living is their ability to pass the exam to become licensed Professional Engineers.
I disagree with the sentiment that getting a P. E. license is unimportant for chemical engineering graduates.  I do, however, believe that after earning a BSChE that requires 144 credits or more, one does not need a master's degree to qualify to take the P. E. exam.

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