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Developing Civil Engineering Faculty

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.401.1 - 8.401.8

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Paper Authors

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Steven Kuennen

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James Pocock

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

Session 2793

Developing Civil Engineering Faculty

JAMES B. POCOCK and STEVEN T. KUENNEN Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, United States Air Force Academy


There is a wide variety of credentials and experience among civil engineering faculty in the United States. Instructors in the classroom may range from teaching assistants or adjunct faculty with a master’s degree to full professors. Full-time faculty members in accredited civil engineering programs usually have doctoral degrees as well as teaching and research experience. At many schools, faculty development is dominated by committee service and research with tenure being the ultimate goal. Other universities, including some without graduate programs, have a much heavier emphasis on developing excellence in teaching.

The United States Air Force Academy is a four-year undergraduate institution without a traditional tenure system, but with a comprehensive faculty development program. Instructors in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Air Force Academy may begin teaching with only a master’s degree. However, they benefit from a variety of faculty development opportunities designed to improve their skills.

These include their own professional experience, new instructor orientation and training, required faculty development presentations during their first semester of teaching and unique, hands-on teaching experiences. Other facets of this faculty development program include regular feedback sessions with the department chair, interaction with a new visiting professor every year, attendance at professional conferences, a strong emphasis on professional registration and working experience early in the teaching career. Feedback to instructors includes peer classroom visits and student course critiques. This paper examines the total faculty development program with the intent of provoking discussion and sharing good ideas for faculty development.


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the United States Air Force Academy employs approximately 20 full-time faculty members, both military and civilian, and also sponsors one visiting professor each year. The department offers undergraduate degree programs in both civil engineering and environmental engineering. There are no graduate programs or graduate students at the Air Force Academy. Military officers must have at least a master’s degree to begin teaching, while all four current civilian faculty members have Ph.D.’s. Of the 21 current faculty members, 10 have doctoral degrees and 18 have professional registration. There are no part-time instructors or teaching assistants.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Kuennen, S., & Pocock, J. (2003, June), Developing Civil Engineering Faculty Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015