Skipping Ethics Class

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

The article refers to NSPE’s Code of Ethics and 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 has written 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's engineering ethics resources.

Published June 1, 2012 by NSPE

Filed under: ethics,

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