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Assessment Of Student Work Experiences In Civil Engineering

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.220.1 - 6.220.7



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Enno Koehn

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

Session 1615

Assessment of Student Work Experiences in Civil Engineering

Enno “Ed” Koehn Lamar University


The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has adopted a revised set of criteria for accrediting engineering programs. Nevertheless, as in the past, civil (construction) engineering departments will be required to demonstrate proficiency in specific subject areas which are included in the ABET program criteria.

This paper investigates, according to civil engineering and construction related students, the level at which their understanding of various subject areas required by ABET has been enhanced by part-time and summer work experiences. In particular, the findings suggest that both undergraduate and graduate students believe that three areas have been greatly enhanced with engineering work. They include structural engineering, project management/scheduling and estimating, and team work. In addition, undergraduates also perceive that their understanding of health and safety issues, and ethical considerations has also increased. In contrast, graduate students believe that their knowledge of hydraulics/hydrology/water resources, constructability and economic factors has been enhanced by work experiences.

I. Introduction

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) believes that the practice of civil engineering is broad and diverse, including numerous disciplines. As a result, the breadth of the professional component of civil engineering education is necessarily broad. This precept is recognized by the ASCE Committee on Curriculum and Accreditation and has been adhered to in the development of the criteria for accreditation6,7,8. In this regard, numerous students and practitioners believe that being involved with part-time and summer engineering work complements the theoretical concepts developed in class. To further investigate this perception, data was obtained from a survey instrument which was distributed to graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in courses taught by the Department of Civil Engineering at Lamar University. Respondents were requested to indicate whether (and at what specific level) various design activities and academic subjects have been enhanced by gaining practical experience in civil and construction engineering. The subjects chosen are those that have been included in the criteria that has been adopted by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and must be satisfied for a program to be accredited1. For comparative purposes, the findings of this investigation could be utilized by other institutions and departments that may wish to study their curriculum.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Koehn, E. (2001, June), Assessment Of Student Work Experiences In Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8935

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