Fla. Admin. Code R. 61G15-20.006

Current through Reg. 50, No. 035; February 20, 2024
Section 61G15-20.006 - Educational Requirements
(1) The evaluation of curricula and standards of accreditation for approval of degree programs required by Section 471.013, F.S., shall be made by the Education Advisory Committee and shall be based upon an overview of engineering programs within the United States accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission or Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., (EAC/ABET or ETAC/ABET), and an evaluation of such programs and schools, following the definition of the practice of engineering set forth in Section 471.005(7), F.S. Acceptable curricula requirements and degree programs shall conform to the criteria for accrediting engineering programs set forth by the Engineering Accreditation Commission or Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., (EAC/ABET or ETAC/ABET) and found in the applicable Annual Report of EAC/ABET or ETAC/ABET.
(2) A non-EAC/ABET or ETAC/ABET accredited engineering program which seeks approval pursuant to Section 471.013(1)(a), F.S., shall submit the following to the Board:
(a) A completed application form "Request for Evaluation" [FBPE/007 (11-07)] and "Self-Study Report" [FBPE/008 (1-08)] hereby incorporated by reference (which may be obtained from the Board by writing to: Executive Director, Florida Board of Professional Engineers, 2639 North Monroe Street, Suite B-112, Tallahassee, Florida 32303);
(b) A current catalog and student and faculty handbook.
(3) The Board's survey and evaluation of an engineering program shall consist of two elements:
(a) A review of the documents submitted by the applicant. The purpose of the review is initially to determine if the application is complete. The applicant will be notified if the application is not complete. If the application is complete, the Board will begin the survey and evaluation of the engineering program and will provide the documents to any outside consultants which the Board may retain to survey and evaluate the engineering program.
(b) A visit to the engineering school, including visits to facilities at locations other than the main campus, at the expense of the applying engineering program. This site visit will encompass all elements of the standards for approval set forth in this rule. A site visit is an essential requirement in the review of an engineering program seeking certification, without which no approval may be granted by the Board.
(4) The Meaning of Approval.
(a) Purpose.
1. Approval of an engineering program is the responsibility of the Board and is based on standards established by the Board. The same standards as are applied in the accreditation of engineering programs by EAC/ABET or ETAC/ABET will be applied for approval of an engineering program.
2. In practical terms a graduate of an engineering program that has been certified by the State of Florida will be eligible for the Fundamentals and Principles and Practice examinations, or for licensure by endorsement.
3. Application for approval is entirely voluntary on the part of the school.
(b) Standards.
1. To be approved, engineering programs must meet the standards set forth by the Board in this rule as judged by the Board. These standards are sometimes stated in a fashion that is not susceptible to quantification or to precise definition because the nature of the evaluation is qualitative in character and can be accomplished only by the exercise of professional judgment by qualified persons.
2. In these standards, the words "must" and "should" have been chosen with care. Use of the word "must" indicates that Florida considers meeting the standard to be absolutely necessary if the program is to be certified. Use of the word "should" indicates that Florida considers an attribute to be highly desirable and makes a judgment as to whether or not its absence may compromise substantial compliance with all of the requirements for approval.
(5) Objectives.
(a) An essential objective of a program in engineering education leading to a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering (BSE) or Bachelor's of Science in Engineering Technology (BSET) degree must be to meet the standards herein described for approval that its graduates will be prepared to qualify for licensure, to provide competent engineering services and to have the educational background necessary for lifelong learning. An engineering program may establish additional objectives consistent with its available resources. Objectives must be defined in writing and made known to faculty and students. While recognizing the existence and appropriateness of diverse institutional missions and educational objectives, the Board subscribes to the proposition that local circumstances do not justify approval of a program that fails to meet the standards as set forth in this rule.
(b) Approval is granted on the basis of evidence of an appropriate balance between the size of the enrollment in each class and the total resources of the program, including the faculty, physical facilities, curricular time and methods of instruction, and the budget. If there is to be substantial change in any of the above functions, the Board must be notified in writing so that reevaluation may be instituted.
(6) Governance.
(a) Preferably an engineering school should be a component of a university that has other graduate and professional degree granting programs. The environment of a university fosters intellectual challenge, the spirit of inquiry, the seeking of new knowledge and the habit of lifelong learning.
(b) The engineering school must be accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
(7) Administration.
(a) General.
1. Administrative officers and members of an engineering school faculty must be appointed by, or on the authority of, the governing body of the engineering school.
2. If the engineering school is part of a university, the dean must have ready access to the university chief executive officer and to such other university officials as may be necessary to fulfill the dean's responsibilities. If the engineering school is not part of a university, the dean must have ready access to the chief officer of the governing body.
3. The dean must be qualified by education and experience to provide leadership in engineering education, in scholarly activity and research, and in the practice of professional engineering. The dean should have the assistance of such professional associates and staff as are necessary for administration of admissions, student affairs, academic affairs, business affairs, physical facilities and other activities normally associated with the office of the dean.
4. The manner in which the engineering school is organized, including the responsibilities and privileges of administrative officers, faculty, students and committees must be formally set forth in writing. It is through committee structure and function that faculty and at times students and others become involved in decisions concerning admissions, promotions, curriculum, library, research, etc. The number and composition of committees may vary among engineering programs.
5. A budget, showing available revenue sources and expenditures must be prepared for the engineering school at regular and specified periods. To facilitate effective planning, each engineering program should know in advance a reasonable estimate of its available operating resources.
(b) Geographically Separated Campuses.
1. If components of the program are conducted at sites geographically separated from the main campus of the engineering school, the administration of the engineering school must be fully responsible for the conduct, and maintenance of the quality of the educational experiences offered at these sites and for identification of the faculty at all sites. In order to ensure that all educational components of the school's program are equivalent in quality, the principal academic officer of each geographically separated site must be administratively responsible to the chief academic officer of the engineering school conducting the certified program. Similarly, the faculty in each discipline, in all sites, must be functionally integrated by administrative mechanisms that ensure comparable quality of the geographically separated segments of the program.
2. A large number of program sites or a significant distance between sites may require extra academic and administrative controls in order to maintain the quality of the entire program.
(c) Design and Management.
1. The program's faculty must be responsible for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the educational program. A faculty committee should undertake this responsibility with full support of the chief academic officer and staff. The curriculum of the program leading to the professional engineering or engineering technology degree must be designed to provide a general professional education, recognizing that, this alone, is insufficient to prepare a graduate for independent, unsupervised practice throughout a professional lifetime.
2. The committee responsible for curriculum should give careful attention to the impact on students of the amount of work required. The committee should monitor the content provided in each discipline in order that objectives for education of an engineer are achieved without attempting to present the complete, detailed, systematic body of knowledge in that discipline. The objectives, content, and methods of teaching and learning utilized for each segment of the curriculum, as well as for the entire curriculum, should be subjected to periodic evaluation. Undue repetition and serious omissions and deficiencies in the curriculum identified by these evaluations should be corrected. Review and necessary revision of the curriculum is an ongoing faculty responsibility.
(d) Content.
1. The engineering faculty is responsible for devising a curriculum that permits the student to learn the fundamental principles of engineering, to acquire skills of critical judgment based on evidence and experience, and to develop an ability to use principles and skills wisely in solving engineering problems. In addition, the curriculum must be designed so that students acquire an understanding of the scientific concepts underlying engineering. In designing the curriculum, the faculty must introduce current advances in the basic engineering sciences.
2. The curriculum cannot be all-encompassing. However, it must include the sciences basic to engineering and ethical, behavioral, and socioeconomic subjects pertinent to engineering. There should be presentation of material on engineering ethics and human values. The faculty should foster in students the ability to learn through self-directed, independent study throughout their professional lives.
3. The required subjects which must be offered are probability and statistics, differential calculus, integral calculus, and differential equations; general chemistry and calculus-based general physics, with at least a two semester (or equivalent) sequence of study in either area. Additional courses may include linear algebra, numerical analysis, and advanced calculus, life sciences (biology), earth sciences (geology), and advanced chemistry or physics.
4. The curriculum should provide grounding in the body of knowledge represented in the disciplines that support the fundamentals of engineering practice, such as, mechanics, thermodynamics, electrical and electronic circuits, and materials science. Courses in engineering design stress the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing, and evaluation. In order to promote breadth, at least one engineering course outside the major disciplinary area is required.
5. The faculty committee responsible for curriculum should develop, and the chief academic officer should enforce, the same rigorous standards for the content of each year of the program leading to the BSE or BSET. The final year should complement and supplement the curriculum of the individual student so that each student will acquire appropriate competence in general engineering care regardless of subsequent career specialty.
6. The curriculum should include elective courses designed to supplement the required courses and to provide opportunities for students to pursue individual scholarly interests. Faculty advisors must be available to guide students in the choice of elective courses. If students are permitted to take electives at other institutions, there should be a system centralized in the dean's office to screen the student's proposed extramural program prior to approval and to ensure the return of a performance appraisal by the host program. Another system, devised and implemented by the dean, should verify the credentials of students from other schools wishing to take courses at the school, approve assignments, maintain a complete roster of visiting students, and provide evaluations to the parent schools.
(e) Evaluation of Student Performance.
1. The faculty must establish principles and methods for the evaluation of student performance and make decisions regarding promotion and graduation. The varied measures utilized should determine whether or not students have attained the school's standards of performance.
2. The faculty of each discipline should set the standards for performance by students in the study of that discipline. The faculty should review the frequency of examinations and their scheduling, particularly when the students are enrolled in several subjects simultaneously. Schools should develop a system of evaluation that fosters self-initiated learning by students rather than frequent tests which condition students to memorize details for short-term retention only. Examinations should measure cognitive learning, mastery of basic engineering skills, and the ability to use data in realistic problem solving. If geographically separated campuses are operated, a single standard for promotion and graduation of students should be applied.
3. The engineering school must publicize to all faculty members and students its standards and procedures for the evaluation, advancement, and graduation of its students and for disciplinary action. The school should develop and publish a fair and relatively formal process for the faculty or administration to follow when taking any action that adversely affects the status of a student.
4. The institutions must maintain adequate records. These records should include summaries of admission credentials, attendance, measurement of the performance and promotion of the student, and the degree to which requirements of the curriculum have been met. Evaluation of each student in each course should be part of the record.
5. Academic Counseling. The chief academic officer and the directors of all courses must design and implement a system of evaluation of the work of each student during progression through each course. Each student should be evaluated early enough during a unit of study to allow time for remediation. Course directors and faculty assigned to advise students should consider this duty a primary responsibility. All course directors or departmental heads, or their designates, should serve as expert consultants to the chief academic officer for facilitation of performance of both students and faculty.
(8) Resources for the Educational Program.
(a) Finances. The cost of conducting a certified educational program leading to the BSE or BSET must be supported by sufficient financial resources. Dependence upon tuition must not cause schools to seek enrollment of more students than their total resources can accommodate and provide with a sound education experience.
(b) Faculty.
1. Members of the faculty must have the capability and continued commitment to be effective teachers. Effective teaching requires knowledge of the discipline, and an understanding of pedagogy, including construction of a curriculum consistent with learning objectives, subject to internal and external formal evaluation. The administration and the faculty should have knowledge of methods for measurement of student performance in accordance with stated educational objectives and national norms.
2. Persons appointed to faculty positions must have demonstrated achievements within their disciplines commensurate with their faculty rank. It is expected that faculty members will have a commitment to continuing scholarly productivity, thereby contributing to the educational environment of the engineering school.
3. In each of the major disciplines basic to engineering sciences, a sufficient number of faculty members must be appointed who possess, in addition to a comprehensive knowledge of their major disciplines, expertise in one or more subdivisions or specialties within each of these disciplines.
4. In addition, engineers practicing in the community can make a significant contribution to the educational program of the engineering school, subject to individual expertise, commitment to engineering education, and availability. Practicing engineers appointed to the faculty, either on a part-time basis or as volunteers, should be effective teachers, serve as role models for students, and provide insight into contemporary engineering methods.
5. There must be clear written policies for the appointment, renewal of appointment, promotion, retention and dismissal of members of the faculty. The appointment process must involve the faculty, the appropriate departmental heads and the dean. Each appointee should receive a clear definition of the terms of appointment, responsibilities, line of communication, privileges and benefits.
6. The education of engineering students requires an academic environment that provides close interaction among the faculty members so that those skilled in teaching and research in the basic sciences can maintain awareness of the relevance of their disciplines to engineering problems.
7. The dean and a committee of the faculty must determine engineering school policies. This committee typically consists of the heads of major departments, but may be organized in any manner that brings reasonable and appropriate faculty influence into the governance and policymaking processes of the school. The full faculty should meet often enough to provide an opportunity for all to discuss, establish, or otherwise become acquainted with engineering school policies and practices.
(c) Library.
1. The engineering school library should be a major component of the school's program of teaching and learning. Attitudes of lifelong learning can only be instilled by instruction in the production, storage and retrieval of new knowledge. Use and importance of the library can be imparted to students by example of faculty.
2. The engineering students and faculty must have ready access to a well-maintained and catalogued library, sufficient in size and breadth to support the educational programs offered by the institution. The library should receive the leading national and international engineering periodicals, the current numbers of which should be readily accessible. The library and any other learning resources should be equipped to allow students to learn new methods of retrieving and managing information, as well as to use self-instructional materials. A professional library staff should supervise the library and provide instruction in its use.
3. If the library serving the engineering school is part of a university library system, the professional library staff must be responsive to the needs of the engineering school, the faculty, resident staff and students who may require extended access to a journal and reference book collection, some of which may be virtual. The librarian should be familiar with the methods for maintaining relationships between the library and national library systems and resources, and with the current technology available to provide services in non-print materials. If the faculty and students served by the library are dispersed, the utilization of departmental and branch libraries should be facilitated by the librarian and by the administration and faculty of the school.
(9) Site Visit.
(a) The site visit team shall consist of the Educational Advisory Committee and individual(s) designated by the Board who are or have been engineering educators and practitioners experienced in engineering program evaluation. The applicant must assist the Board in making all necessary arrangements for the site visit, including the opportunity to meet trustees, owners or their representatives, administrators, faculty, students, and any others connected with the program.
(b) Following the site visit, the Educational Advisory Committee will report its findings to the Board.
(10) Board Approval.
(a) Upon receipt of a report from the Educational Advisory Committee, the Board will notify the applicant of its intent to grant or deny approval. Approval must be denied if deficiencies found are of such magnitude as to prevent the students in the school from receiving an educational base suitable for the practice of engineering.
(b) If the Board gives notice of its intent to deny the application for approval, the notice shall include a specific list of deficiencies and what the Board will require for compliance. The Board shall permit the applicant, on request, to demonstrate by satisfactory evidence, within 90 days, that it has remedied the deficiencies specified by the Board.
(c) If the Board gives notice of its intent to approve the application, it shall specify which type it intends to grant: provisional or full approval.
(d) Provisional approval may be granted where deficiencies exist but are not of such magnitude to warrant denial entirely. The Board shall determine the period of provisional approval, not to exceed three (3) years, based on the nature of the deficiencies found, and an estimate of the reasonable period of time which may be necessary to remedy the deficiencies. Failure to remedy the deficiencies within the time specified by the Board may be grounds for denial of approval. The Board may, however, extend the period within which deficiencies may be remedied, if there is good cause to do so. A site visit may be required by the Board if it deems it necessary to determine whether the deficiencies have been adequately remedied and whether any other conditions may have changed during the period of provisional approval.
(e) Full approval will be granted to an engineering school which is in substantial compliance with all of the standards set forth in this rule. The school shall submit to the Board evidence of continued compliance annually.
(f) Periodic surveys and evaluations of all approved schools shall be made at least every four (4) years.
(g) Renewal applications will be evaluated on the basis of standards existing at the time renewal is acted upon by the Board. A site visit may be required as an element of the evaluation.

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 61G15-20.006

Rulemaking Authority 471.013(1)(a)3. FS. Law Implemented 471.013(1)(a)3., 471.005(6) FS.

New 8-18-87, Formerly 21H-20.006, Amended 12-26-94, 4-10-08, Amended by Florida Register Volume 45, Number 243, December 17, 2019 effective 12/29/2019.