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New Civil Engineering Program Criteria: The Rest of the Story

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1185.1 - 26.1185.31



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Paper Authors


Allen C. Estes California Polytechnic State University

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Allen C. Estes is a Professor and Head for the Architectural Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Until January 2007, Dr. Estes was the Director of the Civil Engineering Program at the United States Military Academy (USMA). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. Al Estes received a B.S. degree from USMA in1978, M.S. degrees in StructuralEngineering and in Construction Management from Stanford University in 1987 and a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997.

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Thomas A. Lenox , Dist.M.ASCE, F.ASEE American Society of Civil Engineers

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Thomas A. Lenox, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE is Executive Vice President (Emeritus) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy (USMA), Master of Science degree in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from Cornell University, Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. Dr. Lenox served for over 28 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S Army Field Artillery in a variety of leadership positions in the U.S., Europe, and East Asia. He retired at the rank of Colonel. During his military career, Dr. Lenox spent 15 years on the engineering faculty of USMA – including five years as the Director of the Civil Engineering Division. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1998, he joined the staff of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In his position as educational staff leader of ASCE, he managed several new educational initiatives – collectively labeled as Project ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education). As ASCE’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Lenox led several educational and professional career-development projects for the civil engineering profession – with the overall objective of properly preparing individuals for their futures as civil engineers. An example is his staff leadership of ASCE’s initiative to “Raise the Bar” for entry into professional engineering practice. Dr. Lenox’s recent awards include ASCE’s ExCEEd Leadership Award, ASEE’s George K. Wadlin Award, ASCE’s William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award, and the CE News’ “2010 Power List – 15 People Advancing the Civil Engineering Profession.” In 2013, he was selected as a Distinguished Member of ASCE. In January 2014, Dr. Lenox retired from his staff position with ASCE. He continues to serve the engineering profession as a member of the ABET Board of Directors, an active member of several ASCE education and accreditation committees, and ASEE’s Civil Engineering Division.

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Richard O. Anderson P.E. Somat Engineering, Inc.

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Mr. Anderson is Chair of the ASCE Civil Engineering Program Criteria Task Committee. He served as ABET President and Chair of the ASCE BOK-2 Committee. He is a consulting geotechnical engineer in Michigan.

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New Civil Engineering Program Criteria: The Rest of the StoryThe American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) developed the first edition of the CivilEngineering Body of Knowledge (BOK1) in 2004 defining the knowledge, skills and attitudesrequired of future civil engineers. Several of the outcomes of BOK1 were incorporated into theABET Civil Engineering Program Criteria (CEPC) effective with the 2008-2009 accreditationcycle. The CEPC was supplemented with an associated commentary. The Body of Knowledgeis a living document that will continue to be updated and revised. The second edition of the CivilEngineering Body of Knowledge (BOK2) was published in 2008 and increased the number ofexpected outcomes from 15 to 24.In 2013, ASCE created the Civil Engineering Program Criteria Task Committee (CEPCTC)whose charge is to determine if the current CEPC should be changed to reflect an additional oneor more of the 24 outcomes of BOK2. The committee consists of academic faculty and industrypractitioners who have been active in both ABET evaluation and ASCE educational activities.The authors shared a review of the literature, the committee’s methodology, and the interimresults of the committee’s work in a paper presented at the 2014 ASEE Annual Conference inIndianapolis.1This proposed paper begins where the last paper left off and will report:The rest of the story. The CEPCTC shared its draft criteria with all constituencies, gatheredtheir input, and presented the results to the assembled CE department heads at their annualconference in Oklahoma City. The committee analyzed the input and revised the criteria inresponse. The revised criteria were approved by the relevant ASCE committees and submitted toABET in June. The criteria are going through the two-year ABET approval process and areexpected to go into effect in September 2016. This paper will share the changes that were madeto the proposed criteria and the rationale behind them. It will provide additional details on theapproval process.The gap. The BOK2 is an aspirational and visionary document which does not account for thereal-world constraints faced by engineering programs in terms of mandated maximum units in anundergraduate program and additional requirements imposed by a state government or auniversity. Conversely, the ABET program criteria define the minimum requirements for aprogram to receive accreditation. There will naturally be a gap between those two standards andthis paper will help define the size and extent of that gap.The commentary. The CEPCTC is currently working on a commentary that will accompany thenew program criteria. The commentary helps faculty, program evaluators, and other constituentsinterpret the program criteria. While a separate paper is being submitted on the details of thecommentary content, this paper will summarize how this commentary relates to the rest of thecommittee’s work.Future work of the committee. Once the commentary is written and approved, the CEPCTCwill be dissolved and the implementation of the program criteria will be the responsibility of theASCE Committee on Accreditation. Such work will not be complete by the submission date ofthis paper, so the remaining tasks will be described. The committee’s work is part of a longerrange plan to continuously update both the BOK and CEPC in a systematic manner.COORDINATING NOTE:This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, the coordinator ofthe ASCE Liaison Committee’s program for the CE Division of ASEE in 2015. It should beconsidered for inclusion in the session that Tom Lenox is organizing and moderating.Bibliography1 Estes, A.C. and Lenox, T.L., “New Civil Engineering Program Criteria: How the Sausage is Being Made”Proceedings of the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, June 2014.

Estes, A. C., & Lenox, T. A., & Anderson, R. O. (2015, June), New Civil Engineering Program Criteria: The Rest of the Story Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24522

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