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Training For Adjunct Faculty

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Training Faculty to Teach CE

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1498.1 - 12.1498.6



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Paper Authors


Ronald Welch The University of Texas-Tyler

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Ron Welch is Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Tyler. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. Until 2 Jan 2007, Ron was an Academy Professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA). Ron received a B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from the USMA in 1982 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990 and 1999, respectively.

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Allen Estes California Polytechnic State University

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Allen C. Estes is Professor and Head, Department of Architectural Engineering at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. Until 2 Jan 2007, Al Estes was the Civil Engineering Program Chair at the United States Military Academy (USMA). Al received a B.S. degree from USMA in 1978, M.S. degrees in Structural Engineering and in Construction Management from Stanford University in 1987 and a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997.

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Carol Considine Old Dominion University

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Carol L. Considine is an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University. She has fifteen years of industrial experience in construction estimating and project management. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1984 and her M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988.

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

Training for Adjunct Faculty Abstract

Professor, teacher, instructor, faculty member –all are cherished and incredibly important titles at any university. At the same time, every full-time faculty member knows that it took time to become a good teacher and that training and mentoring shortens the required train-up period. Members of the Civil Engineering Department Heads Council Executive Committee (DHCEC) have indicated that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) ExCEEd Teaching Workshop is a must have tool for developing new faculty. So why do we thrust a syllabus into the hands of adjunct faculty and wish them well – while it appears that some type of orientation training is warranted for all full-time faculty? This paper examines the topics that should be covered in such training. The results are based on a survey of existing civil engineering department heads and an examination of the training already available through universities and professional societies.

I. Introduction

Almost every civil engineering program will need part-time or adjunct faculty at some time to meet the constantly changing teaching requirements within a program. The need for adjunct faculty may be due to the sudden departure of current faculty, position cuts or unfilled positions due to budget issues, the need to cover new topics such as those associated with the new Body of Knowledge (BOK)1 being instituted in the near future, faculty buy-out for research, or by design such that the number of authorized faculty does not meet the required number of instructors to cover the current course load. Some adjunct faculty teach in a department as part of the full-time faculty, many times without a doctorate or any research requirements, while others teach for a couple of years until the shortage is filled or they teach only as required. However, these faculty are influencing students daily, for good or bad, and in some cases they have a greater influence on the students since many are the current industry professionals that most of our graduates aspire to become.

Most schools require adjuncts to teach subjects that full-time faculty do not want to teach - lower level courses where the enrollments are the largest. Since retention of engineering students is critical in the freshman and sophomore year, it appears that there is a need to ensure these students are taught by trained educators. This paper will address the need for adjunct faculty training, the current availability of such training, and a list of the most important topics that need to be covered as determined by a survey of current civil engineering department heads. Providing adjunct faculty training is being considered by the ASCE Committee on Faculty Development.

II. How many programs have Adjunct Faculty training?

Of the 21 department heads that responded, only two schools had anything resembling training for their adjunct (or similar) faculty – one requires mentoring by the most seasoned faculty in the department and the other requires intense faculty training on teaching for any

Welch, R., & Estes, A., & Considine, C. (2007, June), Training For Adjunct Faculty Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2235

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