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U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/05/2015 2:58 PM

According to the U.S. Census Bureau the 1st engineering school in the United States was founded on this day -- November 5th, 1824 in Troy, New York. The Rensselaer School later became Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Its first ten students graduated with engineering degrees in 1826.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-census-bureau-daily-feature-for-november-5-first-engineering-college-300171444.html

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#1

Re: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/05/2015 5:47 PM
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#2

Re: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/05/2015 8:03 PM

Not that I want to doubt the Census Bureau, but wasn't the US Military Academy at West Point the first engineering school?

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#3
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/05/2015 8:16 PM

I believe you are correct....

Three schools in the United States that were the first to offer an engineering education: 1817 - The U.S. Military Academy (West Point, New York) 1819 - An institution now known as Norwich University (Vermont) 1825 - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York)...

..."The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point."...Prior to that most engineers started out as an apprentice to an engineer, who taught them as best they could...

http://www.ee.washington.edu/research/dms/Tools_for_Teaching/Tools_for_Teaching/Professional_Development_files/History_Engineering_Education_Gateway.pdf

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#4
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/06/2015 12:17 AM

Norwich University....

"The university was founded in 1819 at Norwich, Vermont by Captain Alden Partridge, military educator and former superintendent of West Point. Partridge believed in the "American System of Education," a traditional liberal arts curriculum with instruction in civil engineering (the first in the nation)[citation needed] and military science. After leaving West Point because of congressional disapproval of his system, he returned to his native state of Vermont to create the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. Partridge, in founding the academy, rebelled against the reforms of Sylvanus Thayer to prevent the rise of what he saw as the greatest threat to the security of the young republic: an aristocratic officer class. He believed that a well-trained militia was an urgent necessity and developed the American system around that idea. His academy became the inspiration for a number of military colleges throughout the nation, including the Virginia Military Institute, the first state senior military college, founded in 1839, The Citadel, and later the land grant colleges created through the Morrill Act of 1862.[3] Today, Norwich offers substantial online distance graduate programs and is similar in many regards to The Citadel in mission, online offerings, student body composition, and size. Partridge was the founding father of ROTC and the Citizen-Soldier concept.[citation needed][4]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwich_University

I guess they mean the first non-military engineering school.....

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#5
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/06/2015 12:29 PM

RPI was the first engineering school (granting degrees) where courses not just part of the curriculum, I believe.

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#6

Re: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature - 1st Engineering School

11/06/2015 12:37 PM

Great thread! Did anyone notice that the two young women -- RPI's first two coeds -- were called girls?

This discussion reminded me that Union College in Schenectady has a distinct place in engineering education history: Union was the first liberal arts college to offer an engineering degree. Maybe the proximity to RPI influenced Union's decision to expand its curriculum.

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