Student Perceptions of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge

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Student Perceptions of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge: Comparison of Two Academic Institutions In 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 developmental requirements 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 the proficiency and preparedness the profession expects. Determining how potential and existing civil engineering students perceive the BOK2 has been a subject 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 profession requires. Graduating seniors can use the BOK2 to assess their personal development, their own strengths and weaknesses, and coincidently identify the strengths and weaknesses of their undergraduate engineering program. Student feedback can help leaders in higher education to make positive changes in their school’s program in order to better prepare students for professional service. This study replicates Bielefeldt’s 2010 investigation under different conditions (i.e. at a military academy 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.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge
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