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Assessment of Industry Perceived Benefits of Accreditation to Construction Education Program Graduates

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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

Global Education in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.256.1 - 22.256.10

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Paper Authors

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John Hildreth University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Bruce Gehrig University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Associate Chair and Associate Professor
Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Management Program
Department of Engineering Technology
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Assessment of Industry Perceived Benefits of Accreditation to Construction Education Program GraduatesAbstractAccreditation is a process for evaluating an academic program for the purpose of determiningwhether externally defined standards of educational quality are being met. Adherence of theprogram to a set standard and maintaining an accredited program presumably benefits theacademic institution, the students, and those in industry that eventually employ graduates of theprogram. When the program is focused on education for a profession, such as engineering, theprofession itself may benefit by requiring successful completion of an accredited program forprofessional licensure.Benefits to the academic institution include enhanced prestige and an enhanced ability to attracthighly qualified faculty and students. Students benefit from the requirements for qualityclassroom and laboratory facilities and the quality educational program delivered by qualifiedfaculty. While employers presumably benefit from greater quality in the applicant pool, aprincipal benefit for employers of students in a professional program is professional recognitionand registration.Construction employees can pursue certifications that are administered by professionalassociations within the construction industry. Certification does not require completion of anaccredited academic program and is not required for practice in the construction industry.Therefore, the benefits of accredited academic programs to the construction industry are not asclear as those in the engineering industry.This paper presents the results of a survey of construction industry personnel regarding theirperceptions of graduates from accredited construction education programs. Of particular interestis whether graduates of an accredited program tend to: • Be preferred for employment and receive greater salaries; • Be assigned greater responsibility and be promoted at a greater rate; and • Possess greater technical and managerial skills.This paper concludes with a discussion of potential implications of accreditation for constructioneducational programs.

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