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Innovative Curriculum Development Partnering With An Industry Advisory Board To Evolve The Educational Process

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Civil ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.739.1 - 9.739.5



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Paper Authors

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David Cottrell

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Joseph Cecere

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

Session 2649

Innovative Curriculum Development – Partnering with an Industry Advisory Board to Evolve the Educational Process

David S. Cottrell, Joseph J. Cecere Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg


This paper documents an ongoing process involving a comprehensive revision of the curriculum of the Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology (SDCET) Program at the Pennsylvania State University. These curriculum innovations testify to the school’s dedication to continuous assessment, self-evaluation, and implementation of deliberate process improvements developed in concert with our constituencies. In an effort to make an already successful program even more responsive, the staff and faculty in conjunction with the Program Industry Advisory Board initiated a comprehensive program review and assessment. The paper presents the results of this evaluative process by recording the emerging short and long term initiatives designed to refine the fit of the program to the envisioned need of its constituents – students, the resident staff and faculty, alumni, employers, and the construction industry. The curriculum revisions will enhance program flexibility and work to maximize the degree of fit of the program to the talents and aspirations of the students to better meet the diverse needs of the industry they were destined to join. This paper discusses the transition from the current single-tracked curriculum into a program with three separate academic options – Structural Design, Construction Management, and General Engineering and provides a comparative analysis of the separate tracks.

Current Curriculum Supporting a Bachelor of Science Degree in SDCET

This program is designed to ultimately prepare students for careers in a highly specialized construction industry. Table 1 details the current academic requirements for graduation from the program. SDCET is currently accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology enabling graduates to continue their professional development by sitting for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam as well as the Professional Constructor Certificate Examination. The engineering course requirements are fundamentally sequential, but still provide some flexibility, allowing students to focus to a small degree in either engineering structural design or construction management. The program curriculum provides the student with a well-rounded basic education in both structural and construction principles such as construction methods, estimating and scheduling techniques, aspects of construction management, design principles in steel and concrete

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cottrell, D., & Cecere, J. (2004, June), Innovative Curriculum Development Partnering With An Industry Advisory Board To Evolve The Educational Process Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13144

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