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SE Examinations

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In the past day, there has been a thread going as to the various Structural
Engineering Exams administered by NCEES, California and others.  I thought that
the following update may be of interest to the list server members.

California is also strongly considering moving away from the so-called Western
States Examination (or California Examination) for Structural Engineering, based
primarily on charges by the Sunset Review committee that this exam is expensive
to administer and arbitrarily applied.  Also, there has been constant concern
over past years that the percentage of applicants who actually pass the exam is
too small, and that therefore, it must be unfair and intended primarily to
preclude more engineers from obtaining registration, so as to "protect" the
business interests of those who already have a license.  In truth, the exam is
very difficult, both in technical content and with regard to time requirements,
and only those who are knowledgable, fast and excellent exam takers can pass it.

At any rate, California BOPELs recently adopted a resolution to do two things:

1- Work with NCEES to develop a Structural III Exam, which when taken together
with the existing Structures II Exam would be an adequate qualification for
Structural Engineering title authority in California.  The basic concern is that
the SE II exam is not rigorous enough for California's needs and does not focus
on seismic principles and design applications in sufficient detail.

2- As soon as an acceptable SE III exam is adopted by NCEES, to drop the
California exam and adopt that.

AT the same time, NCEES is considering abandonment of the SE II exam.
Apparently they only recieve about 200 requests per year for people to take this
exam, and this does not justify the expense of administering it.  The NCEES
board is meeting on March 5, to discuss this in more detail.  SEAOC and BOPELs
are coordinating to see if we can send a delegate to the meeting (in the east
coast) to see what can be salvaged.