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A Possible Civil Engineering Bok2 Curriculum

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Fulfilling the CE BOK2 - Case Studies

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.73.1 - 15.73.28



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Paper Authors


Debra Larson Northern Arizona University

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Debra S. Larson is a Professor and Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. She served as department chair for civil and environmental engineering at NAU for four years. Prior to her faculty appointment at NAU, Debra worked as a structural and civil engineer for various companies. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Arizona. Debra received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.

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Joshua Hewes Northern Arizona University

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Joshua Hewes is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering at Northern Arizona University. He received his BS, MS, PhD in structural engineering from the University of California at San Diego. Prior to NAU, Hewes spent 4 years as consulting bridge engineer in California. His research interests are related to the analysis and design of bridge structures for seismic loads, and the development of new ductile fiber reinforced masonry materials. Hewes is a registered professional engineer in the state of California.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

  A Possible Civil Engineering BOK2 Curriculum at Northern Arizona University


The second edition of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century (BOK2) is a comprehensive, coordinated list of 24 outcomes which define the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected of the future civil engineer. The BOK2 outcomes use Bloom’s Taxonomy for cognitive development to help define the levels of achievement (LOA) expected to be achieved prior to entry into the professional practice of civil engineering, as well as the levels of achievement for each outcome relative to each stage in the engineer’s development, from the baccalaureate degree program, to post-baccalaureate formal education, to pre-licensure working experience.

As part of a continuing effort, ASCE’s Body of Knowledge Educational Fulfillment Committee (BOKEdFC) is examining how programs are responding to the BOK2 and possible ways the BOK2 outcomes may be integrated into civil engineering curricula. Previously, the BOKEdFC examined survey data illustrating how well programs, in their current design, achieve the educational outcomes of both the first and second editions of the civil engineering BOK. Based on the survey data and analysis, the BOKEdFC concluded that several BOK2 outcomes may be “challenging” for many programs to address in today’s civil engineering curricula. These include the nine “red outcomes”: Outcomes 3 – Humanities, 4 – Social Sciences, 10 – Sustainability, 11 – Contemporary Issues & History, 12 – Risk & Uncertainty, 17 – Public Policy, 18 – Business & Public Administration, 19 – Globalization, and 20 – Leadership. In addition, the committee identified Outcomes 5 – Material Science and 24 – Professional & Ethics as outcomes that may be challenging for programs to fully implement.

The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) provide an analysis of Northern Arizona University's current undergraduate civil engineering curriculum with respect to the BOK2 with attention given to the challenging outcomes; (2) propose a revised BOK2-orientated curriculum within Northern Arizona University's context; and (3) provide an analysis of that curriculum.

Engineering science courses and senior-level technical electives were removed to make room for courses more suitable to the BOK2 and to reduce overall program credit hours. Compliance to the current ABET EAC was maintained, along with the commitment to our unique program of meaningful, varied, and multiple design experiences delivered in a problem-based format every year of the curriculum. Constraints including budgetary pressures and implementation of the XBOR’s 2020 vision coupled to an evolving and complicated general education program with a


Larson, D., & Hewes, J. (2010, June), A Possible Civil Engineering Bok2 Curriculum Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15820

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015