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Mission And Goals Of Civil Engineering Departments: A National Survey

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.326.1 - 1.326.6

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Paper Authors

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Norbert L. Ackermann

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Anthony G. Collins

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

1 .— - .. -–.. Session 1615 :

—. .. ---- Mission and Goals of Civil Engineering Departments: A National Survey

Anthony G. Collins and Norbert L. Ackermann Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY


The Mission and Goals statements of 67 Civil Engineering departments were analyzed to identify areas of difference as well as commonality. The analysis identified 13 global goals for the departments as well as subgoals in the areas of under~aduate education, research an~ schoi&hip, and pro~am prominence. Significant differences do exist amongst departments in their global goals as well as subgoals related to undergraduate education.


Currently the Engineering Accreditation Commission states that institutions seeking accreditation are expected to articulate program goals in keeping with the overall institutional goals, the student body served as well as other constraints and demonstrate success in meeting those goals. When accrediting programs, the criteria of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)l, addresses issues related to curricular content and objectives; faculty and facilities; administration attitudes towards research, teaching and scholarly production; leadership; and institutional commitment to the program. These statements imply global goals for departments of which the undergraduate educational aspects are only a part. On the other hand, the ABET review process appears to seek more specificity of goal articulation with regard to undergraduate education only and couples this with the need to demonstrate success in achieving the goals. Within the context of these remarks, the analysis described in this paper covers both global departmental goals and specific undergraduate educational goals. It is appropriate to also put the discussion within the context of the proposed ABET 2000 Criteria*. One of three objectives of the criteria is to “encourage new and innovative approaches to engineering education”. Specifically Criteria 2 (Program Educational Objectives) states; “Each engineering program for which an institution seeks accreditation or reaccreditation must have in place: (a) detailed educational objectives that include the outcomes specified by these criteria; (b) a curriculum and process that ensures the achievement of these objectives; and (c) a system of continuous evaluation that demonstrates achievement of these objectives and uses the results to improve the effectiveness of the program.” Criterion 8 (Outcomes Assessment Process) calls for an outcomes assessment process to demonstrate the outcomes that are most important to the goals of the institution and the program being ,

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Ackermann, N. L., & Collins, A. G. (1996, June), Mission And Goals Of Civil Engineering Departments: A National Survey Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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