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Sequential Course Outcome Linkage: A Framework For Assessing An Environmental Engineering Curriculum Within A Ce Program

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Curricula

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1119.1 - 11.1119.12



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Paper Authors


Kevin Bower The Citadel

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Dr. Bower is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Prior to his employment at The Citadel, he worked as an environmental engineer in Akron, Ohio. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from The University of Akron and specialized in modeling carcinogenic chemical production in the drinking water distribution system. Dr. Bower was the 2005 Most Outstanding New Faculty at the ASEE –SE Conference, 2005 Early Career Award Winner from the Environmental Engineering Division of ASEE, and a New Faculty Fellow at the 2004 Frontiers in Education Conference. Dr. Bower is currently pursuing research in ethical and moral development in the engineering profession and how that relates to student learning.

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Kenneth Brannan The Citadel

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Ken Brannan is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. He was Chair of the Freshman Programs Division during 2001-2002 and served as President of the Southeastern Section in 1998-1999. He earned B.C.E and M.S. degrees from Auburn University and the Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. His professional interests include freshman engineering education and wastewater treatment.

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William Davis The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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William Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama, M.S. from Auburn University and earned a Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Davis is a member of ASEE, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers and Transportation Research Board. He serves as Chair of the Education and Student Chapter Committee for the Institute of Transportation Engineers – District 5.

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

Sequential Course Outcome Linkage: A Framework for Assessing an Environmental Engineering Curriculum Within a CE Program

Abstract The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has recently adopted an expanded set of fifteen program outcomes identified in the American Society of Civil Engineers Body of Knowledge and conducted work leading to development of common course goals with appropriate levels of cognitive achievement based on Bloom’s taxonomy. In addition, the department has adopted a holistic process for investigating and analyzing the linkage of individual course goals in various discipline-specific areas of concentration within the curriculum. Sequential course outcome maps or “threads” have been developed, or are under development, for each of the department’s major discipline tracts (structural, environmental, site development, and transportation engineering). A major objective in developing this framework for assessment was to evaluate the effectiveness of how well course goals are linked within the undergraduate curriculum and provide a basis for incremental improvement. Creation of course goals, outcomes, and cognitive level linkages yielded additional curriculum assessment benefits including: • Allowing faculty to check and develop prerequisites which are more consistently linked to a student’s actual learning objectives. • Providing a means for faculty to identify and analyze potential discontinuities in learning goals of core concepts across the curriculum and within a discipline- specific area of concentration. This paper presents and describes the process being used to develop outcome threads, includes an example outcome thread for the environmental engineering curriculum, and contains a summary of the analysis and potential changes initiated as a result of developing course threads as a framework for assessment. In addition, the paper presents future assessment possibilities utilizing the thread approach to curriculum evaluation.

Introduction/Background Initiated by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) publication “Engineering Criteria 2000”, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) developed and adopted the Policy Statement 465 entitled “Academic Prerequisites for Licensure and Professional Practice.” This document establishes a framework for some major changes in the education of civil engineers with the long-term goal that, at some unspecified time in the future, civil engineering candidates for professional registration would be required to obtain a baccalaureate degree plus 30 additional hours of gradate work (B+M/30) prior to obtaining licensure [1]. Due to the considerable impact this implementation of policy statement would have on engineering education, ASCE established the first Body of Knowledge (BOK) committee to help develop and refine the idea presented in the policy statement and to provide guidance for engineering programs regarding what should be

Bower, K., & Brannan, K., & Davis, W. (2006, June), Sequential Course Outcome Linkage: A Framework For Assessing An Environmental Engineering Curriculum Within A Ce Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--957

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