Skipping Ethics Class

Graduate engineering programs at U.S. colleges and universities aren’t giving enough attention to the teaching of engineering ethics, according toan articlefrom U.S. News.

The article refers toNSPE’s Code of Ethicsand the engineer’s obligation to “hold public safety ‘paramount,’ be truthful, and only perform services in their areas of competence.”

While some of the article’s sources point out that ethics courses aren’t getting the attention they deserve, the article notes that “engineering faculty say graduate engineering programs are starting to focus more on ethics, particularly in light of recent ethics guidelines from ABET (previously known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Those guidelines require that schools provide students ‘an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility,’ according to the ABET site.”

Braden Allenby, a professor of engineering and ethics at Arizona State University who haswritten for PE magazine, describes a debate in engineering programs about whether ethics courses are effective or simply a box to be checked. What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Learn more about NSPE'sengineering ethics resources.

Published June 1, 2012 by NSPE

Filed under: ethics,

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of and should not be attributable to the National Society of Professional Engineers.

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