June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.485.1 - 13.485.10
Employer's Expectations of the Performance of CM Graduates
Graduates from professional courses are often described by employers as lacking in useful and instant fee-earning skills. This study explains the development and testing of a paired `customer satisfaction' survey used to determine the development of general skills by graduates from professionally accredited construction management degree programs. This survey reveals the extent of differences in expectations and achievement of skills by graduates and their employers. Graduates are apparently not as ill-prepared for the workplace as anecdotal comments from employers would suggest. This survey is part of a program of quality assurance measures and provides useful information for curriculum design and revision.
Key Word: Construction, Education, Employer, Student Performance
The objective of many degree professional programs is to prepare students for the workplace. Students of professional studies programs have what can be regarded as an additional benefit or hurdle they expect to join a particular profession and have a clearly identified career path in return, employers often expect students of such courses to be instantly able to fee-earn. Academics involved with such courses have to balance such demands of employers with broader educational aims that will prepare graduates for not just the immediate work-entry years but a life-long career with suitable skills that will allow them to be adaptable to changing work practices and market skills needs (Banik, 2007).
This paper discusses the ways in which construction management department addressed this balancing act when revising curricula and developing assessment surveys to measure the skills achievements of its graduates. The Construction Department at Southern Polytechnic State University offers construction management program in three concentrations-General, Development and Specialty. Construction Program is accredited by the professional bodies of ACCE. As part of the review of their curricula, the department wished to address the following concerns:
1. Do the abilities of the graduates match employer's expectations? 2. What other essential skills do graduates and employers feel are required from this education? 3. Do graduates feel they were well-equipped for the workplace by their education?
But what are the differences between expectations of employers and academics preparing students for the workplace in terms of a knowledge base which is useful? One difference is in the type of knowledge that is required. Mole (1997) has suggested that professional knowledge can be divided into three broad domains:
• Generic areas of knowledge (propositional knowledge as defined in curricula); • Generic skills (process knowledge);
Banik, G. (2008, June), Employer's Expectations Regarding Performance Of Cm Graduates Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3514
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