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Overcoming the Challenges of Distance Education Delivery of a Master of Science Degree in Construction Management

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Panel on Innovative Graduate Education Concepts: Organized by the National Institute of Aerospace

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1134.1 - 22.1134.11



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Paper Authors


Mark Shaurette Purdue University

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Mark Shaurette, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette
BBCN, Building Construction, University of Florida, 1975
M.S., Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980
Ph.D., College of Technology, Purdue University, 2007

Mark’s 30+ years of construction industry experience includes owning and operating a custom homebuilding company in addition to senior management positions with one of the largest homebuilders in the nation as well as a regional commercial/residential development company in Florida. He has also worked as a research engineer for the National Association of Home Builders Research Foundation where he was a project manager for the EER energy efficiency research and demonstration residence. He recently completed his Ph.D. concentrating on reconstruction and demolition with a cognate specialty in education. He currently teaches in and administers the Purdue Department of Building Construction Management’s graduate program.

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Joe Orczyk Purdue University

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Joseph J. Orczyk, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette.

1989 Purdue University, Ph.D., construction engineering & management.

1981 University of Michigan, M.B.A.

1975 Pennsylvania State University, B.S., civil engineering.

Joe began his engineering/education career in 1975. He worked both on site as well as in the office for Bechtel, Foster Wheeler, and the Badger Company. Locations included Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Since 1984, Joe has been a professor in the Purdue University Department of Building Construction Management. He also consults with construction contractors.

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Overcoming the Challenges of Distance Education Delivery of a Master of Science Degree in Construction ManagementAbstractThe Master of Science in Construction Management (CM) is beneficial to actively employedconstruction professionals who desire to broaden their educational background for careeradvancement or support for their current job demands. Unfortunately many who desire additionaleducation in the CM field have personal or professional demands that do not allow them toattend resident graduate programs. At many universities distance delivery has become a means toprovide graduate professional educational opportunities. Since 2006, ***** University has beenoffering a MS in Construction Management through a synchronous distance delivery format.From its inception the program has included a fixed course schedule and the requirement for adirected project (an applied thesis format) to be completed under the supervision of a traditionalthree person graduate committee that emulates the longstanding approach to graduate study thathas been provided at the university.As an outcome of working with several cohorts of students in the program, the challenges inusing the traditional faculty mentored thesis research and writing format through a distancedelivery method have become apparent. This paper describes some of the most significantchallenges faced by the program, corrective actions that have been implemented, evaluations ofthe corrective actions, and additional changes that are planned for the most recent cohort ofstudents enrolled in the program.

Shaurette, M., & Orczyk, J. (2011, June), Overcoming the Challenges of Distance Education Delivery of a Master of Science Degree in Construction Management Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18727

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