ABET Civil Engineering Program Criteria Draft

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Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product

  • 1.  Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product

    Posted 05-26-2021 11:33 AM

    Within the proposed ABET revisions we need to require that graduates be exposed to and trained, to at least an elementary level, in leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Working on teams is essential, and understanding that projects require groups of engineers and others working together and communicating is critical. Leadership skills from both undergraduates and graduates should include knowledge of team building, team member management, conflict resolution and goal setting. 

    At a minimum, these graduates also need exposure to the type of work products produced by engineers for clients. Knowledge of reports, plans and specifications give relevance to their technical problem solving training. Hiring graduates that can properly write reports, read a set of plans and understand the organization and goal of technical specifications will go a long way. 



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    Jeffrey Heden M.ASCE
    President, CEO
    J. C. Heden and Associates, Inc.
    San Diego CA
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  • 2.  RE: Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product

    Posted 05-26-2021 12:05 PM
    Mr. Heden, thanks very much for your feedback--and for your contribution to this discussion.  Your point is very well taken.  Note, in Item 8 of this Forum, that leadership is addressed in the proposed criteria ("apply principles of…leadership...in the formulation and solution of civil engineering problems"). Also, communications skills and teamwork are addressed with robust provisions in the ABET EAC General Criteria.

    [NOTE: If you're not familiar with the structure of the ABET EAC Criteria -- General Criteria are established by all of ABET's Member Societies, and they apply to students in all engineering disciplines.  Program Criteria are established by the individual Member Societies and apply only to the associated specific engineering disciplines. Thus, the Civil Engineering Program Criteria are established by ASCE and apply only to CE program.  The Program Criteria supplement the General Criteria; and, as a rule, ASCE tries to avoid duplication between the two sets of criteria.  Thus, because communications and teamwork are already addressed in the General Criteria, the task committee recommends not repeating these provisions in the Program Criteria.]

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    Stephen Ressler Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
    Professor Emeritus
    Bethlehem PA
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  • 3.  RE: Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product

    Posted 05-26-2021 12:19 PM
    Hi
    Thanks for your reply and clarifications regarding leadership, communication and leadership. 
    Graduates being hired by us in the past were not aware of the goal in mind, our work products, including the identification of candidate project solutions, the evaluation of candidate solutions, the required political, environmental and regulatory procedures involved with project approvals and staged budget preparations. Engineering plans and technical specifications are often unknown to new graduates as well. Does ABET address these items as well?
    Thanks 

    Jeffrey C. Heden, PE

    On May 26, 2021, at 9:07 AM, Stephen Ressler via ASCE Collaborate <[email protected]> wrote:

    
    Mr. Heden, thanks very much for your feedback--and for your contribution to this discussion.  Your point is very well taken.  Note, in Item 8 of...
    American Society of Civil Engineers

    ABET Civil Engineering Program Criteria Draft

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    Re: Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product
    Reply to Group Online Reply to Group
    Stephen Ressler
    May 26, 2021 12:05 PM
    Stephen Ressler
    Mr. Heden, thanks very much for your feedback--and for your contribution to this discussion.  Your point is very well taken.  Note, in Item 8 of this Forum, that leadership is addressed in the proposed criteria ("apply principles of...leadership...in the formulation and solution of civil engineering problems"). Also, communications skills and teamwork are addressed with robust provisions in the ABET EAC General Criteria. 

    [NOTE: If you're not familiar with the structure of the ABET EAC Criteria -- General Criteria are established by all of ABET's Member Societies, and they apply to students in all engineering disciplines.  Program Criteria are established by the individual Member Societies and apply only to the associated specific engineering disciplines. Thus, the Civil Engineering Program Criteria are established by ASCE and apply only to CE program.  The Program Criteria supplement the General Criteria; and, as a rule, ASCE tries to avoid duplication between the two sets of criteria.  Thus, because communications and teamwork are already addressed in the General Criteria, the task committee recommends not repeating these provisions in the Program Criteria.]

    ------------------------------
    Stephen Ressler Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
    Professor Emeritus
    Bethlehem PA
    ------------------------------
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    Original Message:
    Sent: 5/26/2021 12:05:00 PM
    From: Stephen Ressler
    Subject: RE: Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product

    Mr. Heden, thanks very much for your feedback--and for your contribution to this discussion.  Your point is very well taken.  Note, in Item 8 of this Forum, that leadership is addressed in the proposed criteria ("apply principles of…leadership...in the formulation and solution of civil engineering problems"). Also, communications skills and teamwork are addressed with robust provisions in the ABET EAC General Criteria.

    [NOTE: If you're not familiar with the structure of the ABET EAC Criteria -- General Criteria are established by all of ABET's Member Societies, and they apply to students in all engineering disciplines.  Program Criteria are established by the individual Member Societies and apply only to the associated specific engineering disciplines. Thus, the Civil Engineering Program Criteria are established by ASCE and apply only to CE program.  The Program Criteria supplement the General Criteria; and, as a rule, ASCE tries to avoid duplication between the two sets of criteria.  Thus, because communications and teamwork are already addressed in the General Criteria, the task committee recommends not repeating these provisions in the Program Criteria.]

    ------------------------------
    Stephen Ressler Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
    Professor Emeritus
    Bethlehem PA
    ------------------------------


  • 4.  RE: Leadership and Communication skills. Knowledge of work product

    Posted 05-27-2021 12:41 PM
    Mr. Heden,

    The ABET General Criterion on leadership is quite new.  It was first implemented for accreditation visits starting in the fall of 2019. And after any accreditation criteria change, there's typically a 3-4 year lag before the change starts affecting graduates (because curriculum changes usually are implemented for incoming freshmen).  So I'm not surprised that you haven't yet seen any impact on your new hires.

    Regarding engineering plans and specifications, the ABET requirements are not that specific.  They only require "an ability to communicate effectively" and that students can "utilize modern engineering tools."  In general terms, the ABET criteria define minimum standard--and they generally can't be highly detailed or highly prescriptive.  But ASCE can (and does) provide supplemental guidance to programs on how they can best meet the criteria--and your concern about students' ability to read and interpret plans and specs seems quite worthy of inclusion in this guidance.  I will ensure that the Task Committee considers this issue.

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    Stephen Ressler Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
    Professor Emeritus
    Bethlehem PA
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