The Engineering Liaison Council (ELC) is a unique organization in California that has been serving a very important and critical function in engineering education since 1947. In 1959, the Pre-Engineering Liaison Council, as it was first called, recommended that its title be changed to the Engineering Liaison Council, and that it be comprised of six representatives from each segment: The UC system, the CSU system, and the California Community Colleges.
Throughout the next several years, the ELC functioned as one of the committees of the now defunct Articulation Council. In 1987 the ELC re-established itself under the auspices of the Transfer and Articulation Cluster of the Intersegmental Coordinating Council which in turn reports to the California Education Round Table. The ELC moves into its new phase of operation with the same dedication and determination it exhibited in its original inception.
The functions of the ELC are as follows:
- To serve as a body for exchange of information and development of recommendations for action in regard to engineering and engineering technology education in California.
- To improve communications in matters of mutual interest.
- To develop, review, or act on proposals for policy, plans and procedures which affect engineering education in more than one segment.
- To provide advice and counsel to individuals and groups in order to promote effective engineering education.
- To focus its activities on identifying and solving problems in engineering education, such as those arising in connection with the transfer of students from community colleges to four-year colleges, and admission to graduate study including interpretations and implementation of policy.
The current prime areas of concern addressed by the ELC are:
- Improved articulation between two- and four-year programs of engineering and engineering technology.
- Uniformity of basic concepts in core courses.
- Continued concerns with up-to-date and accurate guidance information, especially for high school students, women, and minorities.
- Continued and improved assessment of statistics pertaining to the numbers of incoming and completing engineering majors.
Regular standing subcommittees under the ELC include lower-division requirements; guidance; enrollment; cooperative education; engineering technology, and student services/counseling. From time to time, special function ad-hoc committees are established to handle specific needs falling outside the purview of the regular standing subcommittees.
The ELC’s greatest strength is the dedication and concern of its participants in enhancing quality education for engineering students who seek an engineering education in California.
The ELC meets biannually. The ELC meetings are held alternately in the northern and southern sections of the state, rotating facilities among the segments. These meetings normally extend to two days, usually Thursday and Friday, with committee and individual segment meetings held the first day; the general meeting for the entire ELC on the second day. At this time reports from all segments and committees are heard; issues are presented and debated. Various motions, recommendations and communications to appropriate bodies and agencies go out under the aegis of the ELC in an effort to strengthen and improve the quality of engineering education.
The ELC is open to visitors and is not limited to engineering faculty. Many visitors have been attending on a regular basis for years. Community college counselors play an important part in the ELC activities and are encouraged to participate.