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Engineering grads continue seven year streak

How long can they maintain a perfect record?

That’s the question as a seventh class of Dordt College engineering grads achieved a perfect pass rate on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

“This is quite an impressive accomplishment for the students,” says Dr. Ethan Brue, professor of engineering at Dordt. “Many of the elite engineering schools in the country cannot achieve this 100 percent pass rate for a single year, not to mention seven consecutive years.”

The national average pass rate was 79 percent for students graduating from general engineering programs who took the April, 2007, FE exam. The national average pass rates in specific disciplines (e.g. chemical, civil, electrical or mechanical) ranged from 55 to 82 percent on previous exams.

Over 10,000 engineers and engineering graduates across the nation take the FE exam each year. It is the first step toward professional licensing as an engineer, leading to four years of supervised work experience and culminating in the professional engineer examination for professional licensing.

“You are apparently doing everything right! It just doesn’t get any better than 100 percent!” said Ruth Knapp, senior secretary for the South Dakota Board of Technical Professions Licensing and Renewals in comments accompanying test score results to Dordt College. “If anyone should ask me what I think about your college’s ABET-accredited program, I would tell them about your pass rate...and that I would not hesitate to recommend your school to my grandchildren in a few short years. Your students are obviously well prepared.”

The FE test results also reflect strongly on the quality of Dordt College’s math, physics, and chemistry programs, as the rigorous eight-hour test extensively evaluates student competencies in these subject areas. Test questions include calculus, geometry, trigonometry, mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, circuitry, chemistry, ethics, and other engineering subject areas.