Preparation of MET Students for the NCEES FE Exam: Lessons Learned

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology


The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) provides professional licensure for engineers and surveyors. The fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam is the first step in the process to becoming a professional licensed engineer (PE), which is required for professional engineering positions governed by the GS-0800 policy for individual occupational requirements. Private companies may also require having a certified PE on staff for liability protection. There are some obstacles in place in the U.S. for engineering technology graduates, even if they successfully pass the FE exam. Engineers are licensed at the state level by professional licensing boards, each having different regulations, even though the examinations to become a PE are the same in all states. The purpose of this study is to investigate the process used to prepare students for the FE Mechanical exam in an ETAC/ABET-accredited manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology (MMET) department. Data gathered from 2014-2019 have influenced program improvement efforts and professional practice teaching course methodology. FE exam results increased over time, but some factors influencing the increase remain unknown. Methods used to teach the professional practice course include creating question banks developed from sample course exam questions in the university’s learning management system (LMS), utilizing PPI resources such as FE review manuals (Lindeburg, 2011, 2014) and access to the practice problems and exams for students online. FE results can assist in program improvement efforts, and these credentials provide advantages for many students in the job market. Support for baccalaureate graduates from ETAC/ ABET-accredited engineering technology programs to become licensed professional engineers without additional requirements is evidenced by the 2020 ASEE Position Statement on Professional Licensure of Baccalaureate ETAC/ABET Graduates.

Publication Title

Technology Interface International Journal