Texas Tech University's distance learning courses in engineering ethics, formerly known as correspondence courses, have been updated and revised in content and format. The original courses were created by the Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism in the early 1990s with encouragement and financial support from the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
During the early years, the courses were taken by several staff and board members of engineering licensing boards to determine their applicability to and appropriateness for licensed engineers in their jurisdictions who had shown a need for various levels of reminders about the importance of ethics in engineering practice.
Since 1990, over 1,000 licensed engineers from all 50 states have enrolled in Texas Tech University Murdough Center's distance learning courses in ethics. In addition, about 2,000 engineering students have taken an academic version of these courses.
Although not required to do so, some enrollees inform us that they are being compelled by their licensing board to take one or more of our courses. A few of these individuals initially express negative feelings towards the course and/or their board. However, these and other individuals frequently end up praising our courses and expressing the view that all practicing engineers should take at least one course in engineering ethics.