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Student Perceptions of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge

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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

Expanding Access and Opportunities for M/30

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1188.1 - 25.1188.18



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Paper Authors


Brock E. Barry P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Brock Barry is a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of engineering mechanics and soil mechanics. Barry holds a Ph.D. in engineering education from Purdue University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and has 10-years of professional experience. Barry's areas of research include applied professional ethics, identity development, non-verbal communication, and education policy.

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Scott M. Katalenich U.S. Military Academy

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Scott Katalenich is an instructor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. He received his B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy, M.Phil. in engineering from the University of Cambridge, and M.S. in civil engineering from Stanford University. His research interests include sustainable design, construction, infrastructure systems, and engineering education.

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Brad C. McCoy U.S. Military Academy

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Brad C. McCoy is a Major in the United States Army, and currently an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from USMA in 2001, and his M.S.C.E. from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 2011. He has combat tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. His research interests include concrete materials, construction, and engineering education.

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Student Perceptions of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge: Comparison of Two Academic InstitutionsIn 2008, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) updated their body of knowledge(BOK2) that defines how a combination of education and experience shall fulfill developmentalrequirements for entry into the civil engineering (CE) profession. A student seeking licensure asa professional engineer (PE) ought to attain a specified level of achievement in each of 24different foundational, technical, and professional outcomes in order to demonstrate theproficiency and preparedness the profession expects.Determining how potential and existing civil engineering students perceive the BOK2 has been asubject of interest, recently investigated by Angela Bielefeldt at the University of Colorado,Boulder (CU). Potential students can use the BOK2 to learn about their chosen field of study,visualize a roadmap for future development, and better understand the dedication their professionrequires. Graduating seniors can use the BOK2 to assess their personal development, their ownstrengths and weaknesses, and coincidently identify the strengths and weaknesses of theirundergraduate engineering program. Student feedback can help leaders in higher education tomake positive changes in their school’s program in order to better prepare students forprofessional service.This study replicates Bielefeldt’s 2010 investigation under different conditions (i.e. at a militaryacademy as opposed to a research-oriented academic institution) in order to provide confirmationthat the BOK2 framework is a useful tool for evaluating CE curriculums across a wide range ofinstitutions. We queried 42 seniors within a military academy’s CE program on their personalstrengths and weaknesses in the context of the 24 outcomes suggested by the ASCE BOK2. Inaddition, we asked these students to identify apparent curriculum weaknesses and rank order the24 outcomes in terms of perceived importance.This study is of interest to any undergraduate CE program administrator who is interested inassessing pedagogy and developing learning experiences to better prepare students forprofessional licensure. The study also assists practicing engineers to provide appropriatementorship and engineering experience to further prepare engineer interns for eventual licensureas a PE.

Barry, B. E., & Katalenich, S. M., & McCoy, B. C. (2012, June), Student Perceptions of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21945

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