June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.4.1 - 13.4.9
A “Global” Curriculum to Support Civil Engineering in Developing Nations
The Civil Engineering (CE) program at the United States Military Academy (USMA) is a traditional program emphasizing the foundations of civil engineering with a focus on structural engineering. Typically, about 65 percent of the cadets majoring in CE select the United States Army Corps of Engineers as their branch of service following graduation. To ensure that programs maintain relevance, ABET requires that all programs identify their constituencies and demonstrate that the program meets the constituents’ needs. The United States Army, the Corps of Engineers and program graduates are the three principal constituents of the USMA CE program.
Over the last six years, the Army has been involved in ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. As directed in Department of Defense Directive 3000.05,1 the Army and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has become intensely involved with the development, management, and security of infrastructure as a means to shape success and bring future stability to both countries. Feedback from the field, personal experiences, and common sense have shown that current USMA CE program course requirements may not be optimal for preparing graduates to meet the needs of constituents. The ASCE Body of Knowledge (BOK) has suggested also new curricular requirements which must be considered as part of the program review process. The Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025,2 an ASCE publication, articulates an “aspirational global vision” for the civil engineering profession and includes significant discussion about the need to focus on infrastructure and for civil engineers to find their role in a “radically transformed world.”
In response to these developments, a major curriculum review is underway to ensure the USMA CE program content will prepare graduates to be relevant as Army officers, meet the anticipated requirements of the BOK, and be prepared to function in a radically transformed world. This paper discusses collection and analysis of survey data from constituents, evaluation of the data, and initial development of a revised CE curriculum. The paper also provides a framework for further analysis and development efforts focused on developing a curriculum that will enable its graduates to be relevant, flexible, and ready to face future civil engineering challenges.
The United States Army has become increasingly involved with the development, management, and security of infrastructure in developing nations, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the nation’s infrastructure manager, USACE is also extensively involved with activities related to infrastructure within the United States (US). Graduates of the USMA CE program who select the Army Corps of Engineers as their branch of service often find themselves involved in activities related to infrastructure during their first and subsequent tours of duty both overseas and in the US. Communications with Army officers serving in the US and deployed in the field and an evaluation of the missions typically faced by engineer units has shown that certain vital
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