Olivet's Department of Engineering announces a 90 percent pass rate for its students who took the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam during the 2013–2014 academic year.
Dr. Shane Ritter, chair of the department, underscores that a 90 percent pass rate is a phenomenal achievement. “This test sets the standard across the country,” he says. “Since the average pass rate was 76 percent for 2013 and 84 percent for 2014, our high score indicates that we are on the right track.”
Passing the FE exam is half of the requirement in order to become a Professional Engineer in the United States; the next step is to pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE exam). Generally, engineering students take the FE exam during the fall or spring semester of their senior year.
The FE exam incorporates several branches of engineering: chemical, civil, electrical and computer, environmental, industrial and mechanical. The exam became computer-based in January 2014 and is made up of 110 questions to be answered in five hours, with additional time set aside for a break and a survey.
“It was more difficult than I had expected,” says Kaleb Soller, who spent hours in preparation by taking pretests with classmates. “The pretests really helped and made me feel more confident after I took the test.”
Due to the test’s transition to a computer-based format this year, students received their test results just one week after taking the exam. Kaleb took the test on May 8, 2014; graduated on May 10; and learned his results the very next week. Now he is a test engineer at Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio.
Dr. Ritter knows that the high pass rate is a testament to the dedication and hard work of Olivet’s engineering department. “We are confident that our students are well-equipped to enter the workforce as engineers,” he says.