Document Detail

Title: SD-71 - Evaluation of College Curricula Which Prepare Management Personnel for Construction
Publication Date: 3/1/1992
Product Type: Source Document
Status: Archived Reference
Pages: 373
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Dorsey, Univ. of Cincinnati
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The Task Force on Education and Training published a report in 1990, entitled “The Acquisition of Skills and Traits Among Construction Personnel,” which indicates that about 30% of the skill/traits needed to perform in construction roles should be gained through formal education, the remainder being acquired through special training and on-the-job experience. Further, the study indicates that formal education should be strong on developing the fundamental skills of problem solving and communications, plus the basics of graphics, financial management, planning & control, ethics, leadership and personnel management, all of which provide the foundation for continuing development throughout the careers of construction managers.

With these skill/trait findings in place, the Task Force next investigated the segment of formal education generally described as college level construction programs, to determine how the present models fit the needs of industry. This in no way disregards that portion of formal education (primary and secondary) which precedes college, where, in fact, the basic skills of problem solving and communications are largely developed. The real objective is to compare and evaluate that segment of the vast U.S. educational arena which aims specifically at preparing young men and women for careers in the management of construction.

The initial finding is that construction education is indeed diversified. Whereas such disciplines as architecture, engineering and business have relatively standard curricula across institutions, construction is subject to significantly different interpretations from university to university. The discipline of construction, while definitely emerging, still needs to clarify the tenets and direction of its formal education component.

To gain some understanding of the diversity, the study exhibits models, or typologies, of various curricula, and summarizes salient characteristics of over 240 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Then, evaluations are rendered of the various program models, based on college bulletin extractions of all programs and survey returns of 144 programs. The investigators attempted to be exhaustive in the study by identifying every construction program in the United States, undergraduate and graduate. However, given the variety of titles, options and emphases, some may have been missed.

Abundant data were gathered through the year-long study. Some is displayed in the appendices, but essentially all is contained on databases designed and compiled by Dr. Janet Yates working in collaboration with the author on the project. Dr. Yates’ work was done in large part at Iowa State University and The University of Colorado and was concluded at the Polytechnic University of New York. Those database discs are available at CII or from Dr. Yates, Polytechnic of New York, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.