CEDARVILLE — For someone who is desiring to work as a professional engineer following college graduation, the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is the first step toward achieving this goal. The exam features seven academic disciplines, including civil engineering, and for Cedarville’s first group of civil engineering graduates, their success rate has exceeded traditional expectations.
While the national pass rate average for recently graduated engineering students is 62 percent, according to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), Of the 18 graduates who have taken the exam in Cedarville’s first civil engineering cohort — 100 percent — passed the FE exam in their first attempt.
“It is particularly important in the field of civil engineering for students to get on the path toward licensure,” said Dr. David Dittenber, associate professor of civil engineering. “By passing the FE exam so quickly, our graduates demonstrated their academic aptitude and are now on their way toward gaining licensure to work on public projects.”
Six students from this class are preparing to enroll in graduate school, including one studying at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland — one of the world’s leading engineering programs. The remaining students will work for various civil engineering companies.
Like the 100% FE exam pass rate, Cedarville’s first group of civil engineering graduates have a 100 percent career/grad school placement rate so far, just a few weeks out from graduation.
“Looking at our senior class, I am not surprised with this tremendous outcome because they all were diligent in their studies and worked very hard,” said Dittenber. “For these graduates, it took some courage to be a part of the first civil engineering program at Cedarville University. I am confident they are going to be great engineers and researchers.”
Cedarville began its civil engineering program in 2017 after conducting years of research within the industry and interests of college students. Dr. Stephen Ayers is the assistant dean of the school of engineering and computer science and was the initial faculty member in civil engineering.
In August 2020, the new 22,000-square-foot, two-floor Civil Engineering Center was completed, providing necessary classroom, laboratory, office, project and study spaces. The civil engineering program currently has more than 75 students enrolled in the program, and the fully implemented program now features an established core faculty group and a carefully designed curriculum, resulting in an impressive first showing on the FE Civil exam and job placement rates.