The evolution of professional associations, engineering education and information literacy

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Change has become a constant in our society, especially in methods of creating and transferring knowledge. In the 19th century, the professional associations pioneered rapid knowledge acquisition and transfer as groups formed, met, and shared ideas that led to more ideas. Associations such as the ASCE, AIME and ASME were the original knowledge owners and brokers, building libraries, publishing transactions and instituting professional requirements that entitled the bearer to such designations as M. E. and C. E. College education began in America in the 19th century as well, but it was not until after the Morrill Land Act and the colleges' gradual growth that they had to power to become the primary disseminators of knowledge. After the colleges were firmly established, they took over the credentialing of engineers including the granting of degree titles. At this point, the associations began to withdraw from the business of education and knowledge management. They combined their libraries and offices in single location: the Engineering Societies Library in New York City. As technology became more complex, the associations splintered into smaller groups, weakening the original structures. By the late 20th century, the Engineering Societies Library was disbanded as well. In the 21st century, the transmission of knowledge has moved beyond both the associations and the universities to a wide array of resources that require information literacy to penetrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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