June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.115.1 - 15.115.12
A “Global” Curriculum to Support Civil Engineering in Developing Nations: The Final Result
At the 2008 ASEE Conference in Pittsburgh, we reported on our initial plans to overhaul the West Point Civil Engineering curriculum based on initial constituent survey results and faculty focus group efforts. Following an ABET visit in the fall of 2008, we were able to again focus on refining our initial plan. Further efforts involved more detailed planning to ensure all identified subjects were included, all ABET requirements were satisfied, and that the resulting plan made sense from a pedagogical perspective. The end result of this process is a revised CE program that better meets the needs of our constituents. Along with providing a strong foundational basis for the study of civil engineering and for continued lifelong learning, the program now addresses aspects of infrastructure that our graduates need as Army Officers— deployed overseas as well as assigned within the United States. In addition, the program makes great strides at satisfying the requirements of the ASCE Body of Knowledge (BOK), in many cases beyond those listed as being required at the bachelor’s degree level. This paper reports on development efforts since 2008 and provides the final result submitted to the USMA Curriculum Committee for approval. Background on specific decisions is provided as well as other pertinent information relevant to curriculum development. The paper provides a very brief summary of previous efforts; additional detail on initial development efforts is available in the 2008 paper.
The Civil Engineering (CE) program at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point has been a traditional structures-based program emphasizing the foundations of civil engineering for almost three decades. The program typically has about 50 students enrolled per year; about 65 percent of the students select to serve in the Army Corps of Engineers 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 US Army and the US Army Corps of Engineers are our two principal constituents. Over the last eight years, the US Army has been engaged in ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan that has required the development of proficiencies related to the identification, protection, assessment, maintenance, rebuilding, and development of infrastructure as a means to shape success and bring future stability to both countries. Within the United States, the issue of our deteriorating infrastructure has been brought to light by ASCE and our Nation’s leaders. Substantial government funding has been focused on repairing infrastructure as a means to improve economic conditions.
In the early stages of curriculum development, a survey was sent to constituents of the USMA CE program. 1 The survey posed seven questions focused on identifying which CE topics are most useful to graduates. Those surveyed were Army officers, many of whom were recent graduates of the program, and civilians. Many of those surveyed had over 20 years experience working in or around the field of civil engineering. Survey results showed that many topics
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