The National Science Foundation published a report in November 2007 on the need to improve engineering education in the U.S. The report is called “Moving Forward to Improve Engineering Education” (NSB-07-122). You can access the report via the link above or the following URL: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2007/nsb07122/index.jsp
This report builds on the 2005 National Academy of Engineering report Educating the Engineer of 2020.
Both reports make the argument that American engineering education needs to retain more students, become more diverse both in terms of who enters the programs and who teaches those students, give students a sense of what is involved in engineering design early in the program (rather than in the fourth year), and train them to be creative, self-motivated thinkers with broad skill sets. Some of these changes are already taking place at Western’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which debuted a freshman level engineering design course in Fall 2005.