June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Employers are implementing various strategies to improve construction students’ interests in residential construction careers to address workforce shortages. In order to advance construction students’ learning experiences and residential career interests, the National Housing Endowment, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and True Homes USA, awarded a $100,000 grant to a historically black college/university (HBCU). The goal is to strengthen industry-university collaborations between residential construction organizations and the HBCU through an NAHB - Residential Construction Certificate Program, which includes NAHB memberships, scholarships, educational programing, and networking opportunities. Key NAHB program components include: (1) Residential construction modules in construction courses; (2) Travel and participation in NAHB International Builders Show (NAHB-IBS); (3) NAHB student organization; (4) Recruitment; (5) Scholarships; (6) Residential construction employment; (7) Field trips; (8) Professional development sessions; (9) NAHB student competition team for national NAHB four-year universities competition; (10) Residential construction certificates; and (11) Program evaluation and reporting. Drawing from foundational principles in professional career identity development, the purpose of this research was to gain insights into the residential construction learning experiences of HBCU-NAHB program participants. This limited case study approach involves the authors’ experiences, NAHB program data analysis, and the administration of two self-reporting surveys with open-ended questions to gain insights into HBCU students’ learning experiences as they participated in various components of this NAHB program. Thematic data analysis involves coding, categorization, and descriptive statistics. Also, the best practices, challenges, and lessons learned from the NAHB program are described.
Results indicated that students’ had gained residential construction knowledge and career interests. Positive experiences included increased understanding of the technical and managerial aspects of residential construction, real-life industrial experiences, professional development, development of soft skills, improved sense of belonging, and lowered financial burden through scholarships and internships. The few negative experiences included long travel times, new group discomfort, and feelings of inadequacy during NAHB competition team preparation. Seventy-five percent (75%) of students were interested in residential careers because of their desire to flip homes, prior residential construction experiences, NAHB activities, and passion to provide people with quality housing. Twenty-five percent (25%) of students were disinterested in residential careers because of prior commercial construction experience, higher salaries in commercial construction, and uncomfortable weather conditions at residential sites. Key challenges included difficulty in student selections and schedule conflicts. The proposed best practices model for industry-university collaboration had four components: (1) Initiation; (2) Establishment; (3) Engagement; and (4) Evaluation.
The NAHB program has had positive impacts on construction students’ learning experiences and residential construction career interests, as students feel better prepared for residential construction careers. This program described may be replicated at other universities, particularly at HBCUs, for improved residential construction learning and career interests. In the long term, this would increase the quantity and quality of residential construction professionals for 21st century built environments.
Ofori-Boadu, A. N., & Pyle, R. B., & Borders-Taylor, I., & Bock Hyeng, C. A., & Graham, T. E. (2019, June), Advancing HBCU Students’ Interests in Residential Construction Careers through an NAHB program: An Industry-University Collaboration Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32046
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