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Board # 25 : The Journey to Initial Accreditation of a Civil Engineering Program

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Kenneth R. Leitch P.E. West Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Kenneth R. Leitch holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from New Mexico State University and M.B.A. from Colorado Christian University. He is an Associate Professor of civil engineering at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. He is a registered P.E. in Texas and Indiana and a LEED Green Associate. His primary interests are in sustainable development, construction materials, photogrammetry, structural analysis, transportation safety and structures, STEM outreach, and engineering instruction.

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Byungik Chang P.E. University of New Haven

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Dr. Byungik Chang joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering in Fall 2013. Dr. Chang’s background and research activities are in the areas of structural engineering, wind engineering, and wind energy. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Civil engineering from Iowa State University in 2002, 2004, and 2007, respectively. Dr. Chang was also awarded his MBA degree from West Texas A&M University in 2012. His doctoral work focused on addressing a critical need related to the unexpected failure of slender light poles. Prior research from his master’s degree work at Iowa State University included design verification, behavior analysis, and nonlinear modeling of an incrementally launched bridge to obtain roller-girder contact stresses using the finite element method.

Before Dr. Byungik Chang joined the University of New Haven, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Computer Science and a Director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University. Dr. Chang also worked for the Arizona Department of Transportation for two years. He is a registered professional engineer in Arizona.

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Erick Benjamin Butler West Texas A&M University

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Dr. Butler has graduated of Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio with a BS in Environmental Science (2007), an MS in Environmental Engineering (2009), and a Dr. Eng. in Civil Engineering (2013). Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas since August 2013. He is a registered P.E. in the state of Louisiana. His research interests include biological, electrochemical, and photochemical wastewater treatment methods. He teaches courses in water and wastewater treatment, solid and hazardous waste, surveying, and programming fundamentals.

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J. Arn Womble P.E. West Texas A&M University

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Dr. J. Arn Womble is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering (Structures) at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. He is a graduate of the wind engineering programs at Colorado State University and Texas Tech University, and he has examined the effects of high winds on structures since 1989. His consulting engineering background includes structural design, wind-tunnel testing of structures, and failure analysis. He worked extensively in engineering expert-witness investigations for wind/water damage causation studies in the unprecedented insurance litigation following Hurricane Katrina. His research emphasizes the use of remote-sensing technologies for visual and automated wind damage assessment. He currently chairs the Remote Sensing Subcommittee of the ASCE Standards Committee for Tornado Wind Speed Estimation.

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Nathan Howell West Texas A&M University

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Abstract – Starting a new engineering program that fulfills ABET 2000 requirements is a major undertaking. With a new program, there is great responsibility to develop the curricula and assessment tools to meet university, community, and stakeholder requirements while meeting ABET outcomes. In this paper, the authors will discuss the process of implementing a new civil engineering program at (Name Was Removed, for blind review) University in City, State (in the City, State metropolitan area). This discussion includes the planning, launch, and implementation of curricula that lead to a successful initial ABET accreditation, as these events occurred over a five-year period (2010 – 2015). The authors will describe the curriculum, development of courses and laboratories, the senior design capstone, and preparation of the ABET self-study report necessary for accreditation. All curricula and assessment tools are linked to a modified Bloom’s Taxonomy and ABET Outcome 3 Criteria a through k. A description of the university and its service area that features a large proportion of first-generation and non-traditional students is also provided. In 2015 (Name Removed) University became a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI, 25% or more of enrolled population) and is seeking to improve participation of women and underserved populations in STEM fields, such as civil engineering. Lessons learned and future improvements for the civil engineering program at (Name Removed) University are provided, which include curricular revisions (such as the revision of the third science requirement), implementation of a unique approach to the senior design capstone, a continual assessment and improvement process, ABET self-study preparation, and other insights and reflections.

Leitch, K. R., & Chang, B., & Butler, E. B., & Womble, J. A., & Howell, N. (2017, June), Board # 25 : The Journey to Initial Accreditation of a Civil Engineering Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27815

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