Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
College Industry Partnerships
The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) recently launched a “Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals” (SCTPP) program that targets a wide range of road construction occupations to include engineers as well as construction managers and supervisors. The certification development process documented industry demand for safety-specific competencies. The objective of this paper is to determine to what extent the industry-driven safety competencies identified in the SCTPP certification development process are currently being covered at the degree level in construction engineering, construction engineering technology, construction management, and civil engineering programs. This paper documents results of a survey of civil engineering and construction degree programs.
Analysis of survey responses from 110 institutions of higher education across the United States indicates that construction safety content is typically embedded in general coursework and/or offered in a separate course. Fifty-eight percent of responding institutions offer full courses devoted to construction safety. Safety content focuses primarily on workplace safety standards and enforcement (e.g. OSHA), followed by recognizing project site hazards and preventing personal injury. The vast majority of responding programs reported having at least some course content devoted to these topics. Survey responses on what construction engineering and management students would be expected to know upon graduation reflect this emphasis. Respondents expected most or all graduates to be able to: identify and assess safety risks (88%); communicate the importance of safety to a broader audience (80%); identify and implement regulatory safety requirements (71%); develop a safety plan (66%); implement a safety plan (63%); and assess the effectiveness of safety measures (59%). These skillsets map back to competencies outlined in the ARTBA certification exam blueprint and reveal that some topics gain more emphasis at the degree level than others.
The authors utilize survey results to develop recommendations on how professional certifications in general can be used by education providers as “industry benchmarks” to drive curriculum development. In addition, safety certifications may provide a catalyst for expanding opportunities for experiential learning and other industry-education partnerships that ensure students are gaining the full range of competencies that reflect industry demand.
Gallagher, S., & Villwock-Witte, N. M. (2018, June), An Example from Construction Safety: Professional Certifications as Potential Drivers of Degree Program Enhancements Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29784
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