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Evolution of Short-term International Service-learning Class in Quito, Ecuador

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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

Construction 2: Teaching Using Projects, Case Studies, and Service Learning

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Paper Authors


Robert Alan Bugg P.E. Auburn University

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Alan Bugg recently joined the faculty of the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University as an assistant professor. Prior to joining the faculty at Auburn, he worked for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers in a variety of positions for over 33 years. Most recently, he served as the Area Engineer at Fort Benning, Georgia where he directed a staff of 40 engineers and technicians and was responsible for the execution of a construction program averaging $200 million per year. Mr. Bugg earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering in 1983, a master’s degree in Business Administration in 2003, and a master’s degree in Building Construction in 2011, all from Auburn University. Mr. Bugg is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alabama, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a certified DBIA Design-Build Professional, and a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC).

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Wesley Collins Auburn University

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Wesley Collins is an assistant professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University. Dr. Collins completed his PhD in Construction Management at Arizona State University in 2015, and was awarded the Outstanding CII Graduate Research Assistant Award from the Construction Industry Institute for his doctoral research. Dr. Collins has over 15 years of experience as a construction professional and academic. He spent his professional career working as an estimator and project manager, managing a variety of projects across the United States. As an academic, he has published papers at national and international conferences, and in academic journals.

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Scott William Kramer Auburn University

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Scott W. Kramer, Ph.D. is a Professor in the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction at Auburn University. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and Ph.D. in Learning Design & Technology from Purdue University. Since 1993, he has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in scheduling, project management, and information technology. His research and consulting work involves international construction and designing study abroad classes for university students. His project management experience includes 9 years of professional practice working for two Engineering News Record (ENR) top 50 commercial builders. Kramer co-authored the research article, Teaching Project Management Through an Information Technology-Based Method, which was named the 1997 Paper of The Year by the PMI Project Management Journal. Kramer has also received several national teaching awards including the Associated Schools of Construction National Teaching Award (1996) and the Outstanding Educator Award (2003). In 2013, Kramer received the McWhorter School of Building Science Faculty Excellence Award for Leadership in Study Abroad classes.

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Many study abroad classes typically provide opportunities for students to travel and learn about different cultures in developed countries. The overwhelming majority of American students study abroad in Western Europe and Australia. However, the cost, duration, and timing of these classes, often prevent some students from being able to participate during their undergraduate education. In order to help alleviate these common barriers, two faculty members at XXXXX University designed and implemented a 10-day Service-Learning class to Quito, Ecuador. An international Service-Learning class is defined as: "A structured academic experience in another country in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that addresses identified community needs; (b) learn from direct interaction and cross-cultural dialogue with others; and (c) reflect on the experience in such a way as to gain a deeper appreciation of the host country and, an enhanced sense of their own responsibilities as citizens, locally and globally" (Bringle et al 2011). The class was designed to appeal to students who would not have otherwise considered studying abroad. In order to minimize the cost and curriculum disruption, the program fee was limited to $2,500 and the 10 days coincided with the students’ academic spring break. Academic credit was not offered in the 2010 initial class, but since 2012 – 2017, the class has been offered as a construction elective within the xxxxxx curriculum. The students and faculty typically work with a community construction project, usually an after school care center for 200-350 underprivileged children, consisting of a 4-story, 30,000-sf concrete framed building. Students are given the opportunity to work on an Ecuadorian construction site using rudimentary tools and methods in order to serve an underprivileged population. This paper describes the design, implementation and evolution of this International Service-Learning class and international experience offered in the construction management curriculum.

Bugg, R. A., & Collins, W., & Kramer, S. W. (2017, June), Evolution of Short-term International Service-learning Class in Quito, Ecuador Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28313

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