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Developing a Professional Internship for Faculty in Construction Higher Education Programs

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Industry Collaboration in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.386.1 - 24.386.10



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Paper Authors


Rogelio Palomera-Arias Ph. D. University of Texas at San Antonio

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Dr. Rogelio Palomera-Arias educational and professional background is multidisciplinary and multilingual in nature. He obtained his Ph. D. in Architecture with a concentration in Building Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge MA; and the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.

Dr. Palomera-Arias has over 15 years of experience teaching at the college level, in engineering and construction management courses. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Construction Science at UTSA, he was an assistant professor in the Construction Management department at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts where he was the lead instructor for the Mechanical and Electrical Building System courses.

The main teaching responsibilities in the department of Construction Science at UTSA are the courses in Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Building Systems in Construction, as well as the Structural Design for construction management courses. He is also part of the team that is developing course content and exercises for the upcoming course in Graphics Communications for the new Construction Science and Management curriculum.

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Craig D. Capano Everglades University

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Developing a Professional Internship for Faculty in Construction Higher Education ProgramsFor attaining accreditation, construction programs must hire teaching candidates with theappropriate academic, professional and scholarly credentials. Most advertisements for openpositions require or prefer that candidates possess both a doctoral-level degree and constructionindustry experience, among other credentials. This is occurring as the number of constructionprograms engaged in research increases, and the focus on professional experience in constructiondecreases. However, the majority of junior faculty hired by construction programs possessing adoctorate-level degree has little professional experience relating to their teaching areas.Recognizing the need of faculty for professional development opportunities, the AssociatedGeneral Contractors of America’s Education and Research Foundation (AGC-ERF) launched aprofessional paid internship initiative for construction faculty starting on the summer of 2013.Prior to the official program launching, a pilot program was tested in the summer of 2011, withan AGC member contractor hosting a single faculty member selected from an ACCE accreditedinstitution. The internship was designed as a three-way partnership between the AGC-ERF, thefaculty host institution, and the contractor host company. The initial budget of the program was$30,000 funded in equal parts by the three internship partners to cover an internship period oftwo months. During the internship, the faculty was a member of the construction jobsitemanagement team at a level similar to a project engineer or assistant project manager.This paper presents the model followed for the implementation of the internship, as well asevaluates the results of the pilot program from the perspective of the academic side of thepartnership. The internship proved to be an excellent opportunity to develop closer ties betweenacademia, the construction companies, and AGC; by promoting the free exchange ofinformation, knowledge, and ideas that benefits the construction industry as a whole.

Palomera-Arias, R., & Capano, C. D. (2014, June), Developing a Professional Internship for Faculty in Construction Higher Education Programs Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20277

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