The Department of Construction Management at Wentworth Institute of Technology is an American Council for Construction Education accredited school since 2000. Construction Management has been an integral academic element of Wentworth since its founding in 1911.
The Department of Construction Management is a cohesive group of experienced faculty and staff working together to provide students a nationally recognized and accredited construction management education.
Academic Quality Improvement Plan
The QIP will be the basis for continuous improvement of the Construction Management four year Bachelors degree program. The QIP plan has three major components:
- A strategic plan for the CM department
- An assessment plan
- An assessment implementation plan
The strategic plan provides the basis for assessment. This plan will be updated every three years through the collective efforts of the Construction Management Faculty and Department Chair.
The assessment plan consists of the following five areas:
- Mission Statement
- Program Objectives
- Learning Outcomes
- Performance Criteria
- Evaluation Methodology
1. DEPARTMENT VISION/MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Construction Management program is to provide the student with both the education and work experience to enter the construction profession as a productive team member with the potential to become an innovative technical problem-solver and industry leader. The philosophy of the program is to offer a curriculum which emphasizes instruction that challenges, shapes and encourages students to think about and apply their expanding technical knowledge and organizational skills to the solution of contemporary problems. This philosophy is supported by the educational mission of the Institute that emphasizes physics and mathematics, both theoretical and applied the humanities and social sciences, communication skills and computer science. Students are prepared through their educational experience to adapt to changes in society, technology and the profession.
2. CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES
The following program educational objectives (PEO) describe the expected accomplishments of graduates during the first several years following graduation from the CM program at Wentworth Institute of Technology.
- Graduates of the BSCM program, who choose to, can pursue a graduate degree and achieve that distinction.
- Graduates of the BSCM program can pursue opportunities to advance their professional skills through life long learning.
- Graduates of the BSCM program will demonstrate to their profession by participating in a professional society.
3. LEARNING OUTCOMES TO BE USED TO ASSESS THE CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
- Create written communications appropriate to the construction discipline.
- Create oral presentations appropriate to the construction discipline.
- Create a construction project safety plan.
- Create construction project schedules.
- Analyze professional decisions based upon ethical principles.
- Analyze construction documents for planning and management of construction processes.
- Analyze methods, materials, and equipment used to construction projects.
- Apply construction management skills as an effective member of a multi-disciplinary team.
- Apply electronic-based technology to manage the construction process.
- Apply basic surveying techniques for construction layout and control.
- Analyze different methods of project delivery and the roles and responsibilities of all constituencies involved in the design and construction process.
- Explain construction risk management.
- Explain construction accounting and cost control.
- Explain construction quality assurance and control.
- Explain construction project control processes.
- Explain the legal implications of contract, common, and regulatory law to manage a construction project.
- Explain the basic principles of sustainable construction.
- Demonstrate the basic principles of structural behavior.
- Demonstrate the basic principles of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
- These learning outcomes can be cross referenced, (chart 1) to Construction Management courses.
4. PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
The CM QIP utilizes data from numerous sources including:
- Alumni Surveys
- Senior Exit Survey
- Institute Course Survey
- Pre/Post CM Course Survey
- Graduate Survey
- Employer Evaluation-Co-op Students Performance
- Student Co-op Evaluation
- Oral reports/presentations
- In class exercises/assignments
Wentworth Employment and Graduate School Report
- Senior Exit Interviews
Comprehensive End of Term Examination
The following chart addresses the above performance criteria.
5. EVALUATION METHODOLOGY
The following are the assessment tools used by the CM department to evaluate the program.
Institute Course Evaluations
Students take course evaluation surveys on line, anonymously, for each course in the curriculum. Results are made available to the respective faculty and the Department Chair shortly after the end of the semester. Depending upon the outcome, modifications may be warranted. Proposals for major changes, particularly those that may have an impact on other areas of the curriculum, are discussed at a meeting of the full faculty and Department Chair.
Pre-Post Course Surveys
One of the department’s primary evaluation tools is our Pre and Post Course Survey. These surveys are a way to assess student learning from the start of the course through the end. In addition, questions are derived from the course goals and learning objectives which allows the survey to be used to determine how successful a course has been in meeting them. A Pre-course Survey is conducted at beginning of the semester to capture the extent of student knowledge and understanding about key course concepts they will study that semester. It can be used to measure students’ attitudes and values relevant to course concepts and is predictive of student’s responses and positions on course materials. A follow-up Post-course Survey is conducted at the end of the semester. Comparing the Pre-and Post-survey results is an effective way to demonstrate student achievement over time, as well as effectiveness in meeting course goals and learning objectives.
CM Alumni surveys are conducted by the department every six years. Data is collected, summarized and reviewed by the CM faculty and shared with the rest of the department. It should be noted that assessment data from all sources, including surveys, is shared and discussed with the CM IAB.
The Graduate survey is conducted annually by the Career Services Office to provide statistics on each graduating class relative to employment and graduate school status. Information is collected shortly after students graduate from Wentworth and is summarized and evaluated in a document called the “Employment & Graduate School Report”, (The most recent report is available to the public on line at http://www.wit.edu/careerservices). Survey results are broken down by major and include data on employment and graduate school rates showing trends over several years. Employment data also includes the average starting salary by major and a list of employers. Data for CM graduates can be compared to all other majors at Wentworth. While the data cannot be directly correlated to specific learning goals and objectives, it is viewed as an indicator of the overall satisfaction of the construction industry with Wentworth’s CM graduates.
Senior Exit Interviews and Survey
The Department Chair meets at the close of Senior year with all graduating students. As mentioned previously the senior CM students complete an on-line exit survey and the results are used to evaluate the CM program on an annual basis. This meeting and survey allows the seniors to express their thoughts about the program. The results of this meeting are shared and discussed with faculty usually early in the fall semester. Changes to courses are influenced by information gathered through these exit interviews.
Co-op Surveys (Student and Employee)
Students evaluate the co-op experience via two surveys, one done at mid-semester and the other at semester’s end during each of the two required co-op semesters. The co-op office conducts these surveys and subsequently collects and summarizes the data. The mid-semester survey is used by the co-op office to monitor the co-op experience of each student and to take quick action as problems arise. The results of the end of semester survey are made available to the department during the next semester at the latest.
The co-op evaluation includes a component called the Employer evaluation of Co-op Student’s Performance which is done at semester’s end by each employer with respect to the individual student employed. Once again, the Co-op office conducts the survey, summarizes the data and makes it available to the department usually in the following semester.
The summary results of both the end of semester student and co-op employer surveys are shared with the CM faculty. They provide valuable, detailed feedback from students and industry in four major categories, each with several subcategories:
- Technical Knowledge Skills
- Managing Self & Tasks
- Creativity and Change
The department will be using the Quality Control and Assessment Flow Chart (Chart 1) to track proposed changes to the program.
Every CM class is evaluated each semester utilizing the Pre/Post Course survey which lists the courses learning objectives and has students evaluate these objectives. The overall course is evaluated using the end of term Institute course survey.
Chart 2, ACCE Learning Objectives by CM course is used to validate the CM program is assessing all of the ACCE Learning Outcomes.
The CM program uses various constituencies (i.e. current students, alumni, faculty, administrators, employers, industrial advisors, and accreditors) in a structured assessment procedure that uses quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a variety of sources on a regular basis to affect change and improvement in the program as needed. Implementation is spearheaded by the Department Chair in concert with CM faculty. It should be noted that any action taken as a result of assessment to modify the curriculum begins at the CM program level with recommendations being made to the Department Chair by the CM faculty. Before implementation, these recommendations must be approved by the Institute’s Curriculum Committee and ultimately by the SVPAA/Provost.
A key element of the quality control program is the annual Faculty Evaluation Process. This process involves an evaluation of faculty strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the areas of teaching, service, scholarly/creative activity and professional development by the Department Chair. At this time, faculty members have an opportunity to discuss student evaluations and any problems in course delivery and student performance. They can also address future needs to improve pedagogical concerns. These may include improvements to the physical plant and upgrades to the classroom technology, as well as the need to strengthen their own background by attending seminars and conferences, taking courses or serving internships in industry. Issues with teaching loads and teaching assignments may be discussed as well. In addition, faculty may articulate future plans and needs with regard to incorporating service learning projects or collaboration as part of their course delivery. Faculty may announce their intention to conduct scholarly work or undertake research projects that may require a reduced teaching load, a sabbatical, physical space and funding. The annual evaluation process also affords the faculty member and Chair an opportunity to identify service opportunities that will benefit the CM program and strengthen pedagogy. Opportunities that have been identified in the past include service on departmental and institute committees, as well as those of professional organizations such as ASC, AGC, CMAA and ACCE.
Outcome assessment results are correlated with mission, goals, program content, and outcomes to implement change where needed.
Data is collected from the above sources for assessment purposes. This data is evaluated periodically in relation to the course and program’s goals and learning objectives. Issues raised by these surveys are discussed by the entire department as soon as they are identified. Changes, if required, are proposed, discussed and voted upon by the CM faculty as quickly as possible. It should be noted that assessment data from all sources as well as proposed changes to the curriculum are shared and discussed with the CM Department chair and program faculty at the bi-annual IAB meetings.