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Student Perception of the Effectiveness of Faculty Mentoring on Capstone Projects

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Courses in Construction

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1187.1 - 25.1187.9



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Paper Authors


G. Bruce Gehrig University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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G. Bruce Gehrig is Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management,
University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

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John Hildreth University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Improving Capstone Projects through Effective Faculty MentoringMost construction engineering and management (CEM) related undergraduate programs requiresenior level students to complete a comprehensive capstone experience prior to graduation. Suchexperiences are usually structured in a manner that requires student teams to design constructionoperational plans for realistic projects. Often, the goal is for teams to mirror standard industrypractices during the development of bid-level cost estimates, project schedules, etc. and allowsstudents the opportunity to demonstrate and integrate the myriad of skills and knowledge learnedover the course of the undergraduate curriculum.Faculty mentoring of capstone projects is often used to facilitate learning and improve studentperformance. Faculty members frequently have actual industry experience that allows them toeffectively guide students through the complex process of operational planning and design. As aresult, students gain insight into how things are actually done industry.Faculty mentoring of capstone projects is used extensively within the construction managementprogram at [university]. This paper describes the overall structure of the capstone course andprojects, outlines the role and expectations for faculty mentors, and provides an assessment ofthe impact and effectiveness of the faculty mentoring on student performance and projectoutcomes. Capstone students were surveyed both mid-semester and end-of-semester and asked torate the effectiveness of their faculty mentor. In addition, faculty members were surveyed fortheir impression of the mentoring process and its impact on both faculty workloads and studentperformance. An analysis of the results appears to indicate a direct correlation between thequality of the faculty mentoring received and student performance on the final project. Based onthe feedback received, it appears that effective faculty mentoring is a worthwhile and keycomponent in improving student learning and performance on capstone projects.

Gehrig, G. B., & Hildreth, J. (2012, June), Student Perception of the Effectiveness of Faculty Mentoring on Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21944

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