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RE: Engineering Education & Professional Practice

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Are you sure that it is "Mirror Image" in architectural engineering?  I
checked the curriculum at West Valley College in Saratoga and it looked
like their course was "Mirror Image" for the architecture only.  

In reviewing a 1994-97 Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) catalog, the following
majors are listed in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design:
1.	Architectural Engineering which will provide you with a BS degree. - 4
2.	Architecture, where you can get a B. Arch and Masters - 5 years for B. Arch
3.	City and Regional Planning, which provides a BS and a MCRP.
          with the college of engineering - Transportation Planning - a
4.	Construction Management - BS
5.	Landscape Architecture - BS.

Cal Poly also has a separate College of Engineering  which offers nine
majors, including civil.  I am aware that some employers have hired civil
engineers from Poly thinking that they were getting ARCE's and there was
some problems.  That is unfortunate.

In reviewing the freshman year, I notice that the students get a course in
Materials of Construction and introduction to drawing and perspective.
This is somewhat of a change from my days, where we were required to take 9
units of architectural drafting in the freshman year.  

In the 2nd year, the student takes elementary structures, architectural
design basics, mechanics of structural members, structural analysis,
structural computing analysis and architectural practice.  This is another
change from my days, where we were required to take 9 units of structural
drafting.  It appears that drafting has been downgraded and more analysis
courses added.  Also there is more math required, four quarters of calculus
and then differential equations, digital computer applications and
numerical linear analysis.

The third year the student takes courses in steel, timber and masonry
design.  (How many schools teach timber in the undergraduate level?)  Also
required is matrix analysis of structures and dynamics and more courses in
structural computing.

The fourth year the student takes advanced steel structures laboratory or
advanced reinforced concrete laboratory, soil mechanics, foundation design,
reinforced concrete lab and prestressed concrete lab, timber and masonry
structures design lab, concrete structures lab, structural CAD for building
design and structural models laboratory, as well as seismic analysis and
design plus some approved electives.

Of course, along the way, they have to take some chemistry and physics,
thermo and fluid mechanics as well as the general state mandated general
education courses.

This is a tough school.  The freshman classes start fairly large and it use
to be about 2/3rds of the students didn't make it.  I don't know what the
drop out rate is today.  A few years ago I tried to hire two graduates.
The graduating class was about 25; half had already been hired and the
students who I gave offers to didn't accept; getting about $10,000/year

Obviously this school is really geared toward people who know that they
want to be a structural engineer.  I personally had a hard time passing the
EIT test (3 times); my civil test got by fairly easy, but the S.E. exam was
the easiest - mainly because of the education at Poly and the employers
that I picked to work for.  (That's important!); and because at the time
when most of us were going for our licenses, there was some excellent
continuing education structural engineering evening courses being presented
by Cal  Berkeley with excellent teachers (who were all practicing S.E.'s
from the leading firms in San Francisco).  This is matter of luck to be
working in this area at this time as these kinds of opportunities are not
available to all.

I believe the department head is Paul F. Fratessa, S.E.  In 1992, Mr.
Fratessa was the president of SEAOC and was in private practice for many

If there are other colleges in the U.S. who have similar curriculums, we
need to let prospective students know about them.  Cal Poly is a hard to
school to get admitted to and I believe similar curriculums should be
taught in other areas.  I have often felt and said that some of our
brightest students go to the wrong schools; they eventually catch up but
there sure is a waste of effort and probably some frustration on their part.  

For additional info check:

Neil Moore, S.E.
neil moore and associates

At 05:11 PM 12/13/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>I had the conversation with my class today and COD (College of the Desert)
is considered a "Mirror Image" curriculum for Cal-Poly. >The students who
are in the class are completing their first two years at COD and expect to
enter Cal-Poly to begin their third year.
>My other concerns still stand.
>Dennis S. Wish, PE
>California Professional Engineer

>From: Neil Moore [mailto:nmoore(--nospam--at)] 
>Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 4:42 PM
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>Subject: RE: Engineering Education & Professional Practice
>I guess you missed my point.  When I talked about a "mirror image"
curriculum, I was thinking of  the first two years of the Cal Poly
>curriculum being taught at a community college and then directly
transferable to CP.  I believe West Valley College has this.  
>I also believe that the student had to make some sort of contract with the
schools; maybe someone else can elaborate.  
>I'd also be interested to know how many Cal Poly ARCE's have their
California S.E.  I'm more interested in the per centage of your
>graduating class.  Mine, I believe, is 100%.
>Neil Moore, S.E.
>neil moore and associates
>At 04:04 PM 12/12/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>>No, I was not privileged to be around when it was originally set up, but
the former head of the Architecture department created the curriculum about
four to six years ago. With that said, Elementary Structures (Arch 015) was
part of the curriculum. The last instructor was a local architect and after
discussions with past students, I discovered that the course could never
have transferred. When I started teaching nearly two years ago, I e-mailed
Paul Frattessa (sorry  Paul, I did not have time to seek out the correct
spelling of your name as I should) and requested a copy of his class
syllabus. He sent it back to me and I discovered how deficient those
students had been. The biggest problem we...."

>>Dennis S. Wish, PE
>>California Professional Engineer

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