August 12, 2014

Architecture, Construction Management Programs Creating Europe Study Abroad

Written by E. Scott Sumner, Chair, Wentworth Construction Management Dept.

Wentworth Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction Management has been involved in interdisciplinary project-based learning for over seven years.  This collaboration started with students in the Construction Management and Interior Design disciplines working together on projects during their summer semesters.

The success and popularity of these early interdisciplinary projects paved the way for the Departments of Interior and Industrial Design to develop shared classes for students during Study Abroad semesters.  This collaboration, now commencing its fourth year, was expanded this summer to include Construction Management students.  All of the students shared classes, which gave them an opportunity to provide input and perspective based on the focus of their disciplines of study, as well as their personal co-ops, and other work experiences and backgrounds.  These for-credit classes apply toward graduation requirements for all three majors.

Starting in the Spring of 2015, students from the Departments of Architecture and Construction Management will be going to Europe together for the Study Abroad semester.  This combination will allow for more interdisciplinary project learning and experience.  The students will share all classes while they are abroad.  Classes had to be tailored to accommodate the two disciplines, but the learning outcomes required by each the accrediting body of each discipline was not altered.

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction Management now has all of its departments sharing classes during the Study Abroad semesters.  The response by students has been very positive.  They have gained appreciation for their peers’ majors, and collaboration and teaming lessons learned from this experience will serve them well during their professional careers.

Based upon the positive experience of these programs, the College plans on introducing this shared class concept starting with freshmen.

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