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Standardized Tests as a Predictor for Success in Construction Management Technology

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Construction 4: Construction Education Curriculum and Assessment

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Rachel D. Mosier Oklahoma State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Rachel Mosier is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University. She consulted as a structural engineer for 7 years and has her undergraduate degree in Architectural Engineering. Dr. Mosier is licensed as a professional engineer in Construction Engineering. Her masters and doctoral degrees are from the University of Oklahoma in Construction Administration and Engineering respectively.

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Heather N. Yates Oklahoma State University

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Dr. Yates joined the Oklahoma State University CMT Faculty in 2006 as an Assistant Professor. She received her Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from the OSU Construction Management Department in 1998. She graduated with a Masters of Engineering Technology from Pittsburg State University in 2002. She also earned a Specialist in Education Degree from Pittsburg State University in 2006. In 2010 she was promoted to Associate Professor. She completed her Doctorate in Higher Education from OSU in 2012 where she focused her research on women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. She accepted the position as Program Coordinator of Construction Management Technology at OSU in 2013.

Dr. Yates began her teaching career at Pittsburg State University in 2002, and has taught numerous construction courses throughout her academic career including: Construction Drawings, Concrete Technology, Estimating I, Strength of Materials in Construction, Structures I, Construction Contracts, and Capstone courses. She received the Halliburton Excellent Young Teacher Award in 2008, and the CEAT Advisor of the Year in 2010. Dr. Yates served as the Associated Schools of Construction Region 5 Director from 2014-17.

She also enjoys sharing her passion for increasing the recruitment and retention of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through local, national, and international presentations. Additionally, she speaks on charting your own path in college, navigating your future, and setting goals and achieving them.

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John Robert Reck Oklahoma State University

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Graduated from Michigan Technological University with Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. Upon graduation, worked with Bechtel Corporation as a Civil Field Engineer for 5 years. Currently pursuing a graduate degree in Civil Engineering at Oklahoma State University.

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UUniversities and colleges with Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM) programs use standardized tests of a variety of names to place students into courses. The Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) is an assessment tool created by McGraw-Hill with a mathematics placement module. Similarly, CollegeBoard’s Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and ACT Inc.’s ACT Assessment college entrance exams are used as a basis for admissions into higher education. Since 2012, data has been collected for Engineering and Technology programs to determine if these exams used for admissions and placement actually serve as a predictor for success. This study compares the ALEKS and ACT scores predict success in a comparison to grades achieved in Engineering and Technology classes. Similar studies compared the high school grade point average (GPA) with the ACT as predictors of college success. Other prediction methods are study habits or study types as a predictor for success. Although there are many possible predictors for success, the use of standardized testing is still very popular in higher education. This study seeks to determine if using or the ALEKS or the ACT composite predicts success in engineering and technology fields. More specifically, do standardized math placement tests predict success in future math, physics and engineering based courses? A previous study on learning in the classroom was the basis for this research project. A comparison of success in the course over successive years was performed. Students’ success in the classroom was compared to their previous courses and then expanded to include the college entrance exam and math placement exams. This initial research lead to the question examined in the current research, do entrance exams predict success in construction coursework? The study has not found a significant correlation with standardized test scores and success levels in engineering and technology courses. Rather, it has become apparent that success is more likely to breed success. Students who score low on placement tests and then do well in remedial coursework are more likely to find success throughout their college careers. Conversely, students who score well on placement exams and do not perform well in their initial math coursework continue to struggle with grades. Based on this information, increasing entrance exam requirements may not increase retention rates but limit access instead.

Mosier, R. D., & Yates, H. N., & Reck, J. R. (2017, June), Standardized Tests as a Predictor for Success in Construction Management Technology Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28838

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