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Community-engaged Learning in Construction Education: A Case Study

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Construction Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Saeed Rokooei Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16

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Saeed Rokooei is an assistant professor of Building Construction Science at Mississippi State University. Saeed obtained his bachelor's degree in Architecture and then continued his studies in Project and Construction Management. Saeed completed his PhD in Construction Management while he got a master of science in Management Information Systems. He is continuing his research on simulation to provide a comprehensive supplementary method in construction management education.

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Michelle Garraway Mississippi State University

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Michelle Garraway rejoined the Mississippi State family as the Center for Community-Engaged Learning's (CCEL) Program Coordinator in August 2013. After graduating from MSU with a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education in 2003, Michelle spent some time teaching in Alabama before moving to Hattiesburg, MS. There she served over 20 different area nonprofit agencies in her position as Community Impact Coordinator with the United Way of Southeast Mississippi. In 2010, Michelle and her husband David moved back to Starkville where she worked in the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District before coming on board with CCEL. Michelle enjoys connecting faculty with community partners and seeing their shared visions come to life.

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Ali Karji

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Community Engaged Learning (CEL) integrates academic education with the application of institutional resources to manage challenges facing communities through engagement in a way that societal needs identified by a community will be addressed. CEL provides opportunities to critically examine social issues and situate students within a community setting. CEL enhances the engagement with a community to address and embodies principles of ethical and effective service, which result in producing reciprocal benefits for students, faculty, and community partners. CEL is commonly connected to innovation, learning, and partnership and all these together make a better life. Through mutually beneficial partnerships within the community, students cultivate their identity as lifelong learners and active citizens. Community engaged learning promotes a culture of active and engaged learners by integrating opportunities for students to apply construction theories and knowledge through real-world experiences. Although CEL classes can be taught in all disciplines, the learning approach fits well with the characteristics of the construction area and learning objectives that educators in this field pursue. Construction educators and administrators envision CEL projects that give students the opportunity to conduct market research and contribute to public and private buildings. CEL coursework underscores the critical connection between learning and doing, giving our students the knowledge and experience to be lifelong citizens, whether they are in their hometown or across the world. This paper briefly describes the process of community engaged learning in the construction program at Mississippi State University. A qualitative method was utilized to ensure an in-depth exploration of the triangular learning space, consisting of students, community partners, and educators. The results indicate the effectiveness of the CEL paradigm in construction education.

Rokooei, S., & Garraway, M., & Karji, A. (2021, July), Community-engaged Learning in Construction Education: A Case Study Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36817

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