Sustainability extends beyond infrastructure. The concept also applies to ASCE as an organization, as the Society pursues enhanced benefits and opportunities aimed to attract and empower more students and young professionals.
To that end, ASCE’s Board of Direction voted to approve the desired outcomes for a strategy roadmap for student transition and Younger Member retention at its quarterly meeting, March 17-18, in Arlington, VA.
Attracting, retaining, and engaging young professionals remains a key Society priority, and the new roadmap seeks to address the needs expressed through a recent Younger Member survey.
To achieve success, the roadmap suggests eight action items, including an emphasis on giving Younger Members a greater voice in the Society.
Updated mission statement
As part of its ongoing strategic planning process, the Board took a fresh look at the Society’s goals and how ASCE will measure success in serving the members and the profession.
In the process, the Board reaffirmed the core elements of the current ASCE mission statement while approving an update that reads: “Deliver value to our members, advance civil engineering, and protect the public health, safety, and welfare.” The primary refinement aligns the mission with ASCE’s first canon in the Code of Ethics related to protecting the public, a key responsibility that sits at the heart of what it means to be a professional civil engineer.
The Board will take a deeper dive into establishing new goals and metrics at the forthcoming meeting in July.
The Board also approved a revision of Professional Policy Statement 465: Academic Prerequisites for Civil Engineering Related Licensure and Professional Practice to make it civil-centric.
The policy statement, first adopted by the Board in 1998, lays out the need for civil engineers to attain the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge before entry into professional practice. The previous iteration left it broad enough to address all engineering disciplines.
This change is part of a multifaceted effort by the new Raise the Bar Committee to hone the Raise the Bar strategy and explore how the civil engineering body of knowledge should best be attained for future professional practice.
A potential new Academy
Also on the education front, the Board heard a proposal from ASCE’s Transportation and Development Institute to establish a new specialty certification academy. It would be known as the American Academy of Transportation and Development Professionals.
If approved, the academy would be the fourth under ASCE and its subsidiary, Civil Engineering Certification. The Board will consider the proposal at the July meeting.
More than 1,300 professionals to date have received Diplomate/Board-certified credentials through the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, the Academy of Geo-Professionals, and the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port, and Navigation Engineers.
Our engineers tend to be a bit tunnel vision about our professional improvement. We only emphasize how to improve our knowledge, how to perfect out work and all these inward type of things, but we seldom pay attention to promote our profession in a way that will attract young people as a good option for their life. We need to think more about how to raise our pay scales to bring it up to the comparable level with other professions such as doctors and lawyers. If we can’t not raise our pay scale to an acceptable level, we’ll never attract smart kids to our profession.
Michael Han, PE