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Adding Civil Engineering To A Department That Currently Is Home To Civil Engineering Technology

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Issues and Direction in ET Education and Administration: Part I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.162.1 - 14.162.17



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Paper Authors

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Scott Wolcott Rochester Institute of Technology

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Todd Dunn Rochester Institute of Technology

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

Adding Civil Engineering Curricula to an Existing Civil Engineering Technology Department 1. Introduction The purpose of this Civil Engineering Program Exploration Report is to investigate the feasibility, benefits, and potential costs of administrating an ABET-EAC accredited civil engineering (CE) program within a single administrative unit at our University. Our department would be “home” for both civil engineering (ABET-EAC) and civil engineering technology (ABET-TAC) programs. It should be noted that the idea of starting a civil engineering program at our University is not new. In 1996, the Civil Engineering Technology (CET) chair had conversations with members of the Engineering College at our University. The Engineering College is a separate administrative unit from the college in which the existing CET program is now housed. In 2001, two professors from the CET department approached administrators in the Engineering College with a proposal to administer a new CE program in the mechanical engineering (ME) department, but teach essential civil engineering courses from the existing Civil Engineering Technology offerings. The administrators of the mechanical department and the Engineering College did not pursue the proposal. It’s possible that such an arrangement would have created more problems than it solved and could have had a negative impact on the existing CET program. The reason for starting a CE program at our University has never been to increase student enrollment. The motivation is simple and centered around how best to serve our primary constituents – the students. A CE program would provide a track for interested and capable CET students to pursue an ABET-EAC BS degree in civil engineering at our University. There are seemingly straightforward and compelling advantages of a CE program – elimination of temporal and spatial licensure issues, easier graduate school acceptance (sometimes a bias issue), and avoiding professional prejudice. However, this document will report that some of these advantages are not as clear today as in the past. In fact, the graduate school and licensure opportunities for holders of BS degrees in CE or CET may be nearly identical in the future. 2. Proposed Curriculum A proposed CE course list (Figure 1) and block schedule have been developed based on ABET- EAC criteria for 2008-2009 Accreditation Cycle21, conversations with ABET-EAC/TAC evaluators, and review of curricula at selected peer institutions. The existing CET check list is presented in Figure 2 for comparison. Courses that have been dropped from the existing CET curriculum are shaded. Please note that our University is on a quarterly schedule.

Wolcott, S., & Dunn, T. (2009, June), Adding Civil Engineering To A Department That Currently Is Home To Civil Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4912

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