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Addressing Professional Practice Issues within the Curriculum

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Civil Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.141.1 - 22.141.27



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Paper Authors


Ronald W. Welch University of Texas, Tyler

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Ron Welch is Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas, Tyler. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. Until January 2, 2007, Ron was an Academy Professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA). Ron received a B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from the USMA in 1982 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1990 and 1999, respectively.

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Addressing Professional Practice Issues within the CurriculumMany programs struggle with how to accomplish all that is required in the current Bodyof Knowledge (BOK) while constantly facing state-mandated decreasing credit hours.Some programs are already beginning to investigate how to possibly add additionaloutcomes listed under the new BOK II document knowing that some of those outcomeswill migrate eventually into the ABET CE program criteria. How to do more with less(people, time, and resources) is a common theme on many campuses across the countryespecially with the current economic crisis. If these challenges are not enough to worryabout, many programs are faced with the challenge of limited to no coverage within thecurriculum of professional practice issues facing current graduates. This paper willprovide a methodology that one civil engineering program is using to addressprofessional practice issues within the curriculum.This paper will present the program’s current capstone course, the new senior levelcourse, and adjustments to other courses in the curriculum that provide coverage ofprofessional practice issues such as leadership. business practices, public policy andadministration, asset management , ethics, contemporary issues, constructability,solutions within a global and societal context). Through the sequencing of events andassessments of 10, 35, 100 percent submittals within the capstone as well as assignmentswithin other courses, students are required to demonstrate their abilities associated withprofessional practice issues. This type of assessment of the capstone along side ofselected embedded indicators in other courses and associated survey data provides a clearpicture of the actual demonstrated performance of professional practice outcomes bystudents. A number of embedded indicator assessment methods for capstone experienceswere assessed, evaluated and combined to build the resulting accumulation of rubricresults from each submittal to allow the program to determine if the students within ateam and the entire group of students have achieved the proper level of demonstration ofan outcome by performance level and percentage of overall grade.The process, rubrics, data collected over four cycles, assessment of the results andchanges instituted will be presented. The program results of the most recent ABET visitwill be presented as well as how the use of the embedded indicators in courses and thecapstone rubrics were viewed by the program evaluator and effected the overall programresults.

Welch, R. W. (2011, June), Addressing Professional Practice Issues within the Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17422

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