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The University of Kansas also makes provision for students to take five years in the university for the completion of the engineering requirements. This is based primarily on the plan of the student devoting the first year of the period to general work in the college of liberal arts, but during which time he would make a start in mathematics. With 30 semester hours to his credit he then enters the school of engineering, where he completes the schedule as required of regular four-year students, but with a considerable number of optional hours which he may devote to business subjects. Of the comparatively small number of students who have followed this plan, a considerable portion actually take several additional hours in economics and sociology.
The average number of semester hours required for graduation in the 29 reported institutions is 142.5. The average for the first 14 is 137.4-hours. These figures should be given some weight in judging as to the significance of the semester hour.
The western institution is gradually coming to the idea that the engineer needs to have at least an introduction to economics and business principles. Many of the smaller schools are unable to carry through the program on an effective scale. For the bulk of students trained in this section of the country, however, there are afforded abundant opportunities to secure the work recommended by the first national conference on commercial engineering, held in Washington, June, 1919.
R. L. SACKETT, dean of engineering, Pennsylvania State Col'ege. This report is based upon data from 27 institutions, having a total enrollment of 15,536 technical students. All except 2 offer economics for engineers, and all but 6 require it or some related subject. The average number of credits required by those specifying economic subjects is 7.5 semester credits, or almost 5 per cent of the total. There are numerous variations in the same institution in the requirements in different courses. In such case, the representative course was included. In practically all institutions listed, economics, political science, and related subjects are offered, and probably elections are more numerous than the table shows.
Economics and related subjects are valuable to the engineer; so are psychology, logic, social science, law, medicine, and theology, but manifestly only a limited amount of them can be included in our engineering curricula. We may in the future discard some of the engineering subjects. Some are decreasing the amount of modern language or other cultural subjects, but on the whole the change is very slight.
A previous speaker has referred to the usual course in industrial engineering as being practically the same as that in mechanical
engineering. My interpretation would be slightly different. In the institutions east of the Mississippi which have such a course, it is not a course in mechanical engineering, with certain subjects omitted, and certain business subjects, such as those mentioned, included. It is rather a more distinctive course, in which, while mechanical engineering is included, and electrical engineering also, there is a backbone which has for its emphasis production, management, organization, routing, and those fundamental factors in American economic industrial production.
We can give in a four-year course the fundamental training in engineering and also in economics or even in business practice—a superficial form of economics. Four-year curricula in engineering in American institutions have a fairly well-defined purpose. The same is true of those in economics, business administration, commerce, and finance. Five and six year engineering curricula are already here and in a few years will probably be more numerous. These contain and will contain more of the cultural subjects and will permit limited instruction in economics or business methods. But at present there is a very definite and logical course for the student of engineering in a four-year curriculum who desires to further fit himself for business or executive work, and that is by taking a postgraduate course in an institution specializing in that particular subject.
The conferences held on this subject by the committee on commercial engineering have been valuable because they have emphasized the commercial side of engineering, but the commercial is not the most important of high-grade undergraduate training in engineering The table shows that engineering college administrations appreciate the value of economics and related subjects and have given them some part in their curriculum. Engineering is more broadly interpreted to-day than ever before, and service to humanity is the goal. Engineering curricula are overcrowded, and the difficult problem is what to omit and how to broaden engineering subjects so that new emphasis may be placed on economy in design and operation of engineering enterprises and to so develop the instincts of management and responsibility to the public that the engineer and the profession shall perform a more positive public service.
Students enrolled in certain institutions-Credits and hours required.
Average number semester credits required to graduate.
Average number semester hours of business required.
Average number semester
Georgia School of Technology
1, 250 1, 221
150 543 330 200 132
490 31, 278
DUGALD C. JACKSON, professor of electrical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This report is based upon data from 56 engineering schools other than State universities. The institutions range from schools of special character like the Lowell (Mass.) Textile School, Drexel Institute (Philadelphia), and certain smaller municipal universities of the Central West to long-established large engineering schools like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the engineering schools at Cornell and Columbia Universities. The territorial range is from our Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific slope and from the Gulf States to our northern border. The 56 institutions are located in 22 States and the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania stands first in number of these institutions, with 10 of the 56 within its borders. New York State runs a close second. Massachusetts and California stand third and fourth. The range in character of institutions is fairly illustrated by the 10 in Pennsylvania : Bucknell University, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Drexel Institute, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania College (Gettysburg), Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Villanova College. In this list of 10, the scope of
engineering instruction differs widely. The number of engineering students goes from less than 70 in one institution to nearly 800 in another.
The questionnaire relates to instruction in subjects which are associated with the business aspects of engineering practice and are collateral to the economic applications of the sciences underlying engineering.
Many of the answers do not distinguish between some of the subjects. Several observations of definite character and service, however, are to be drawn from the answers. In the 56 institutions the subject of general economics is omitted from the instruction of only 7, and these are mostly institutions giving what may be called introductory or partial engineering courses, e. g., the University of Toledo, which gives only the first two years of the engineering courses and expects those students who wish to finish in engineering to complete their courses at the Ohio State University or elsewhere. Two wellestablished institutions with comprehensive engineering courses are among those that omit general economics, however. Moreover, the variety of time allotted to this subject in the various institutions shows that no consensus of policy has been reached regarding the methods of teaching it or the scope needed.
Business law is a required study in a large majority of the institutions, and most of those omitting it as a direct subject include some business subjects in the curriculum of which legal illustrations must be a part, so that the curricula of very few contain no content partaking of the nature of business law.
The variety of treatment or the avoidance given to the other subjects named in the questionnaire shows that the presence of any one in a curriculum is the result of some individual opinion or some local condition. The results indicate that there is no unit of thought on their relative importance respecting each other or respecting other subjects. As the answers do not show the experimental changes that have been tried in the curricula here, there, and elsewhere, the questionnaire gives no indication of tendencies in opinions regarding these subjects. Perhaps trial has not gone far enough to say that any real tendencies exist in this matter.
Finally, the status of one subject, psychology, deserves thought. In 9 of the institutions psychology is a required subject in one or more of the engineering courses. In 7 more it is optional in one or more of the engineering courses. The questionnaire thus shows that 16 out of the 56 institutions recognize psychology as an appropriate subject in the engineering curricula. As its introduction by these has in most cases been recent, it may be fairly assumed that the subject is under test, that other institutions will also try the effect of its introduction, and after a few years psychology will have proved its worthiness or unworthiness for a permanent place.
* For lists of subjects, see p. 15.
Generalizations from the questionnaire are impracticable, but the data seem to support the writer's opinion that the engineering-school faculties generally are giving some thoughtful study to the best content of engineering curricula, that they are doing some experimenting with changes on their own initiative, and also are utilizing opinions and suggestions reaching them from outside their own organizations. Too great readiness to change would be unfortunate, as it might result in much confusion in educational processes. Experiment must progress cautiously and in an orderly manner, but more definite reflection and experiment on educational processes and the content of curricula are necessary to bring the engineering courses into their most serviceable place as feeders for the professional engineering groups serving the industries and other engineering branches. If these conferences of the committee on commercial engineering should stimulate to deeper reflection and more thorough experimenting of the nature referred to, they will perform a great service to the cause of engineering education.
G. L. SWIGGETT, United States Bureau of Education. The following report on current practices relating to engineering courses for students of business in colleges and universities is based upon data furnished by deans or head professors of business or economics in colleges or universities in which engineering is taught. The questionnaire dated January 3, 1922, sought this information number of semester hours, elective or required, for students in business in the following engineering subjects 5: (a) Shopwork; (6) properties and strength of materials; (c) drawing and machinery analysis; (d) applied mechanics, including hydraulics; (e) general course in mechanical engineering; (f) general course in civil engineering; (g) general course in electrical engineering.
ENGINEERING SUBJECTS AND BUSINESS STUDENTS ALABAMA.
University of Alabama. The problem of combining engineering and com
inercial work is satisfactorily solved in this university by the industrial management course, of four years, in the college of engineering, leading to the degree of bachelor of science in industrial management. In the first two years the work is straight engineering, with the exception of the course in American economy. In the third and fourth years other commercial subjects are introduced, constituting in all approximately one-fourth of the four-year curriculum.
5 Reference to these subjects in the body of this statement will be according to letters in the assigned order; for example, shopwork, (a); general course in mechanical engineering, (e) ; etc,