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Project-Based Capstone Course in an Undergraduate Construction Management Program

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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

Construction Education Topics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1264.1 - 26.1264.11



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Paper Authors


George D. Ford Western Carolina University

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Dr. George Ford P.E. is an associate professor in the Construction Management Department at Western Carolina University.

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Aaron K. Ball Western Carolina University

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Dr. Aaron K. Ball

Dr. Aaron K. Ball is currently a full Professor of Engineering Technology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Dr. Ball holds a B.S. and an M.S. from Appalachian State University, and earned his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to his arrival at Western Carolina University, Dr. Ball worked in production engineering at Chicago Telephone Supply and Vermont American Corporation. He has been active in working with manufacturers and distributors in developing automation and training programs in fluid power, quality, and automation. Dr. Ball teaches Design of Experiments (DOE) and Advanced Quality Design and Control in the Master of Science in Technology program. He also directs graduate students working on thesis and Automation, Fluid Power, Reverse Engineering and Quality Control at the undergraduate level.

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Sungho Tae School of Architecture & Architectural Eng., Hanyang Univ., Ansan, Korea

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Dr. Sungho Tae is an associate professor at Hanyang University, Korea. He received his Ph.D from University of Tokyo in 2005. Dr. Tae has focused his research on development of sustainable building materials, building LCA program, development of sustainable durability design system and building optimum design technology. He was a research professor of Sustainable Building Research Center (ERC). He is a board member of the International Sustainability Council (ISC). And he is also a member of Journal Editorial Committee of Korea Concrete Institute, Committee of Korea Industrial Standards Commission (ISO TC 184/SC 5), ISO/Fairness Committee, Journal Editorial Committee of Architectural Institute Korea, Green Store Institution Committee and Green Building Certificate Deliberation Committee of Korea Environmental Industry Technology Institute.

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Michael E. Smith Ph.D. Western Carolina University

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Michael Smith is Department Head and Joe W. Kimmel Distinguished Professor of Construction Management at Western Carolina University.

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Project based capstone course in an undergraduate construction management program using BlackboardAbstract: The undergraduate Construction Management program at Western Carolina Universityis 124 credit hours in duration and is accredited by the American Council for ConstructionEducation (ACCE). The program currently has 140 students enrolled as majors and emphasizesestimating and scheduling skills. The program includes a construction capstone project whichstudents complete in their last semester. The capstone course serves many purposes for the Construction Management program and students. The course is a simulation of a general contracting construction company project from obtaining work through the estimating, bidding, scheduling, and cash flow projections using plans and specifications provided by an Advisory Committee company. The learning objectives are to: 1. Develop managerial and ethical skills as they relate to an actual project. 2. Prepare complete detailed estimate and specification analysis. 3. Prepare complete detailed construction schedule. 4. Prepare construction contracts, project manuals and project administration documentation. 5. Develop work package and project start-up procedures. 6. Understand and utilize construction resources & databases. 7. Prepare and deliver a professional presentation. 8. Provide an independent assessment of individual skills and knowledge.A project binder is completed by each student during the last week of the semester whichprovides a summary of their work for grading.In addition to the educational objectives of the course, there are other, non-curriculumgoals. All Advisory Committee members are invited to the final group presentations.Advisory companies are interested in recruiting the best students. The presentationsprovide an opportunity for these companies to scout the graduating class for potential hires.In turn, students often obtain jobs, a win for both parties. All Capstone students are alsorequired to sit for the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) level 1 exam providing abenchmark for program assessment. Lastly, all Capstone students are provided exitinterview forms which provide additional program assessment data plus potential alumniinformation.This paper discusses the evolution of the Capstone course at Western Carolina University,the positive contributions to the program and positive experiences of students, and lessonslearned from past offerings.

Ford, G. D., & Ball, A. K., & Tae, S., & Smith, M. E. (2015, June), Project-Based Capstone Course in an Undergraduate Construction Management Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24601

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