ABET Civil Engineering Program Criteria Draft

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_8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

  • 1.  _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 04-28-2021 04:29 PM

    CURRENT CRITERIA

    PROPOSED CRITERIA

    RATIONALE FOR CHANGE

    explain basic concepts in…leadership;

    apply principles of…leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the formulation and solution of civil engineering problems;

    • The CEBOK3 specifies an ability to "apply concepts and principles of teamwork and leadership, including diversity and inclusion, in the solutions of civil engineering problems."
    • Teamwork is not addressed in the proposed CEPC, because it is adequately addressed in the EAC General Criteria.
    • The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion has been further emphasized by the recent approval of ASCE Policy Statement 417 and by inclusion of strong provisions on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the ASCE Code of Ethics.
    • The official ABET definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found at https://www.abet.org/about-abet/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/


  • 2.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-06-2021 11:35 AM
    Are the students applying these principles in the formulation of problems? This is confusing to me.

    ------------------------------
    Andrea Welker Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE
    College of Engineering
    Villanova PA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-07-2021 12:29 PM

    Andrea, thanks very much for your comment.  I suspect that everyone who reads this provision will have more-or-less the same concern--and the Task Committee is looking forward to input and discussion of this issue.

    The Task Committee will be posting a more definitive response shortly.  I'm definitely not an expert on the subject, but I'd like to contribute my personal perspective.   

    As I see it, the intent of this provision is that DEI should be addressed in the curriculum in a substantive way--that diversity, equity, and inclusion aren't just principles that should govern how people interact with each other, but also should be considered as integral aspects of engineering problem-solving.  For example, a civil engineering solution that ignores cultural concerns (e.g., a pipeline through a Native American burial ground or a highway that divides an urban neighborhood) would be problematic, even if the solution were technically "correct." 

    This Program Criteria provision would require that these sorts of issues be addressed in the curriculum (i.e., as curricular topics).  It would not require the Program to demonstrate that students are actually applying these principles (i.e., student outcomes).

    As we have in the past, once the new Program Criteria are finalized and approved, ASCE will be preparing a Commentary document to help Programs and Program Evaluators apply the criteria in a consistent way.  I anticipate that the Commentary section addressing this particular provision will provide lots of practical examples to facilitate implementation.

    ------------------------------
    Stephen Ressler Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
    Education Consultant
    Bethlehem PA
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-26-2021 11:17 AM
    I share Andrea's concerns. DEI considerations would - most likely - have to be included as part of the capstone design experience. I prefer to see students work on "real-world" problems for their capstone design. Since not all real-world problems have DEI concerns, programs would likely add contrived DEI issues so they can demonstrate compliance. The negative consequences of that likely outweigh any positive value.

    "Understand" DEI concerns is more appropriate and consistent with Stephen's response above. Demonstrating an "understanding" of DEI could be accomplished with a reasonable effort. Students today are already more attuned to DEI issues than most faculty or practicing professionals.

    If students are able to "apply" DEI during a real-world capstone design project, that would be great! But, it should not be a minimum requirement to maintain an accredited program.

    Don




    ------------------------------
    Donald Hayes
    Research Environmental Engineer
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-26-2021 11:46 AM
    I see this as an opportunity to implement an idea the students on our school's DEI council have proposed, which is the integration of these ideas throughout the curriculum so that we don't have to rely on capstone.

    We have discussed collecting case studies of projects much like Steve mentioned.  We know of bridge heights intentionally built to not allow buses to limit those who have to use transit from regularly visiting white neighborhoods, the placement of dumps or highways, the pipelines through native lands, the pumping of ground water from one region to support another, etc.  Plenty of these cases exist.  We imagine these case studies being used in two ways by faculty teaching their discipline specific courses:
    1. Using the case studies directly and having reflection assignments, discussion, etc.
    2. Faculty can use a case study as a resource and make slight tweaks to existing class projects to include DEI elements that either directly mimic the case study or are inspired by the case study.  (I've been doing this for a few years to bring in humanitarian or sustainability issues to my class projects and the students love it.  They tend to be more inspired to work on the project and comment on how it feels more real world to them and their future goals.)
    The challenge is the work of collecting these into a clearinghouse but once collected there should be case studies for all the civil disciplines. Has anyone at ASCE already being doing this??

    Tonya

    ------------------------------
    Tonya Nilsson P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Lecturer
    San Jose CA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-26-2021 11:49 AM
    Don, thanks for your feedback.  I absolutely agree that--if this criterion were requiring DEI to be considered in the capstone experience--it would be very problematic.  But it isn't.  It's important to recognize that all of the curriculum provisions listed in the proposed Program Criteria are preceded by the phrase "The curriculum must include topics necessary to..."  So the requirement is to include topics that address how DEI can be applied in the formulation and solution of CE problems.  Students are not required to actually do it. (That would be a Student Outcome, which cannot be specified in Program Criteria.)

    This requirement could be satisfied, for example, by a lecture addressing this topic in a professional practice seminar.

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



  • 7.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-27-2021 08:37 AM

    Thanks for the clarification, Stephen. I had missed the change at the beginning of the criteria from "The curriculum must prepare graduates to..." to "The curriculum must include topics necessary to..." That is a critically important change that makes this more implementable.

    Don




    ------------------------------
    Donald F. Hayes, PhD, PE, BCEE, F. ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-28-2021 04:48 PM
    All ABET councils (EAC, ETAC, CAC, ANSAC) are considering the addition of DEI requirements to the general criteria. Reference to DEI in program criteria (especially at this time) will likely become redundant to or confusing when these changes in the general criteria are made. I suggest holding off on this wording until the councils (or at least EAC) have made proposals in this regard.

    ------------------------------
    John Koon Ph.D., P.E.
    Professor of Practice - Georgia Institute of Technology
    John H Koon and Associates
    Atlanta GA
    [Phone]
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-28-2021 09:49 PM
    My program is ABET ETAC so my comments are intended to share how I view the new EAC through that lens. I was on my college core review committee and new core implementation committees for a period of about 5 years. Our new core (general education) curriculum went into effect Fall 2020. In our new core we have this structure:

    • Foundations: basic skills that are used in every course
    • Perspectives: courses that provide different lenses to view the world
    • Specialization: major courses

    We have a system where all three aforementioned categories are integrated. Within Foundations, there are Quantitative Thinking, Critical & Ethical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Technological Literacy. Basically each program has to demonstrate to our core committee that we introduce, develop, and reinforce Foundations throughout out Specialization (civil engineering technology). Our program does that in addition to what we do for ABET ETAC. Perspectives are Arts, Global & Cultural Diversity, Historical, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences; some are embedded in the program and some are electives in the program and ideally they find their way into application within Specialization courses.

    DEI is something that has a potential place in any civil engineering course, no matter how technical. What I found most useful for developing assignments that address DEI within our new core was to consult with core education faculty for their expertise. For example, I have a project in my 400 level geotechnical course that uses the context of a famous slope stability failure to expose students to all 5 Foundations and all 5 Perspectives with a strong emphasis on DEI. I created that assignment by meeting with a history professor and by showing maps and other information from an old technical research paper written by an engineer. Using that information, the history professor was able to provide articles and a GIS website about redlining to my students to help them view the technical work they were doing to learn geotechnical knowledge through a social justice lens. I regularly get comments directly from students or through their reflection paper for the assignment about how they have learned the importance of viewing the work they do through all of their stakeholders perspectives.

    I think this is the criteria that actually has the most potential for modernizing engineering education for the 21rst century and it is in both EAC and ETAC. Civil engineers have done a lot of good for the world but also have sometimes been complicit in social injustices throughout history. There is a ton of DEI context that can be incorporate into problems we already teach.

    I like the concept of the proposed criteria but I agree with others that "formulation and solution of civil engineering problems" needs to be addressed. I think with some revised wording, this criteria could have a place in every course if students study a problem that is given to them and reflect on them before creating and alternative using the benefit of hindsight. Having an undergraduate apply these principles to an original problem is beyond what I expect an traditional college to be able to do with just academic experience and no work-life experience.

    ------------------------------
    David Fedor P.E., M.S.
    Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Technology
    Pennsylvania College of Technology
    Williamsport, PA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-29-2021 05:48 AM

     8. APPLY PRINCIPLES OF …LEADERSHIP, DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION ...

    • "I prefer to see students work on "real-world" problems for their capstone design. Since not all real-world problems have DEI, programs would likely add contrived DEI issues so they can demonstrate compliance."

    ASCE has a committee on DEI that ought to be invited into this part of our exploration to enter the 21st Century across each and all CE programs in real-time!

    Reference below is FYI.

    This study examined the prevalence and impact of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. The report concludes that the cumulative result of sexual harassment in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine is significant damage to research integrity and a costly loss of talent in these fields. It provides a series of recommendations for systemwide changes to the culture and climate in higher education to prevent and effectively address all forms of sexual harassment.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill

    [1] https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/sexual-harassment-in-academia



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-30-2021 04:10 AM
    "For example, a civil engineering solution that ignores cultural concerns (e.g., a pipeline through a Native American burial ground or a highway that divides an urban neighborhood) would be problematic, even if the solution were technically "correct." "

    Please clarify the above with an example of, lets say a state highway agency that lets bids for the design of a highway extentsion through an area residents are against distrubing.

    i.e., What choices will the engineer consider?
    Cheers,
    Bill

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-16-2021 06:09 PM
    And in the example above, isn't this already covered in ABET SO's 2 (consider cultural/social factors in design) and 4 (impact of engineering solutions in societal context)?

    ------------------------------
    Joel Sloan
    Colorado Springs CO
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  • 13.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-16-2021 06:24 PM
    Joel, thank you for your comment.  The task committee was charged with syncing the program criteria with the BOK3, which includes these topics in its teamwork and leadership outcome.  You comment will be presented to the task committee for discussion.

    ------------------------------
    Herbert Raybourn P.E., M.ASCE
    Manager, Environmental Permitting Department
    Walt Disney World Resort
    Lake Buena Vista FL
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-16-2021 06:32 PM
    Thanks for the comment.  There will always be overlap the General and Program Criteria; judgment will have to be employed as to the extent this is necessary or optimal.

    ------------------------------
    Jay Puckett P.E., F.ASCE
    Director
    University of Nebraska
    Omaha NE
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 05-31-2021 01:16 PM
    Greetings everyone,

    I have not had a chance to read all of the comments on this thread; however, as we have worked on these proposed changes, several questions have arisen that I will attempt to address here to some extent. Please note these are "my" responses, not "the" responses. There are numerous ways to approach this. I encourage others to share examples.

    Question: How are we supposed to include principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in every course in our program?

    My Response: The proposed changes do not require principles of DEI to be incorporated into every course, just as sustainability, physics, differential equations and other topics are not required in every course.

    Question: How can DEI be applied in the formulation and solution of CE problems? Can you share some examples?

    My Response: One way to incorporate DEI into formulating and solving CE problems is to apply principles of user-centered design, which engages the end user at every stage of problem solving – from defining the problem, through ideation, testing, and selecting the best alternative. Some universities have programs that require courses focused on user-centered design (e.g., University of San Diego). Additionally, Envision's "Quality of Life" category gives a number of ways to engage communities. Some universities have programs that incorporate Envision in their design courses (e.g., University of Delaware). Teaching principles of universal design can also help with this.

    I recall a senior design presentation I attended several years ago where a group of students presented a land development project. The students designed the slopes of the sidewalks according to the maximum allowed by the local code. I asked them why; they didn't have a good answer – they just used the maximum allowed because it "fit" their design. Having been a manual wheelchair user, I asked how difficult it might be for someone in a wheelchair. They had no idea. Over the years, I've experienced numerous occasions in which designs that meet ADA and local standards are not very accessible; thus, it is important for engineers to understand the difference between compliance and accessibility.

    I gave a talk in New York a couple of years ago and one of the engineers in attendance shared an example from a project he was working on. The project required demolition in a mostly Jewish community. That demolition would have included the removal of overhead lighting that had religious and cultural significance. By engaging with the community beforehand, the engineers avoided actions that would have been harmful to that communities culture.

    Another attendee shared an example of how good intentions had a bad outcome. They were trying to be inclusive by providing signage in multiple languages. I don't recall how they went about translating the signage (perhaps an online translator or an app), but it resulted in one sign having offensive language because of something not being translated properly. If they had engaged someone from the community being served, this could have been avoided.

    An attendee at another talk shared an example from a project she worked on in another country. The team was designing restroom facilities for a community, and initially proposed a very US-centric design that would essentially be all-gender restrooms. They soon learned that in that particular culture, women and men could not have restroom facilities in the same building, let alone have facilities where they might encounter each other going in or out. Again, designing all-gender restrooms was well-intended; however, not considering the culture and imposing a US-centric (or western-centric) approach had the opposite effect.

    The Bottom Line
    Ultimately, the aim is to have students consider who will be impacted by their work and consider their needs. The best way to do this is getting their input firsthand – design with, not just for people/communities. Students need to be educated on how needs vary by community and culture. This could be through self-education and/or by creating learning opportunities – formal or informal – that bring in expertise from other disciplines/sources (social science, behavioral science, public policy, community groups, etc.) as engineering professors are often not equipped to do this. A secondary way is by using empathy maps or similar strategies, though these tend to be limited, especially if students have limited engagements with people from backgrounds different from their own.

    Resources
    Center for Universal Design
    User-Centered Design Basics
    To Improve Engineering Design, Ask Your Users
    What is User-Centered Design?
    Inclusion, Diversity Now Factor Into Accreditation Standards
    Special Collection, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Civil and Environmental Engineering
     



    ------------------------------
    Yvette E. Pearson Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE
    Associate Dean for Accreditation, Assessment, and Strategic Initiatives
    Rice University
    Houston TX
    [Phone]
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-14-2021 07:23 AM
    I am cutting and pasting the response to a criteria 7 response which deals with the same issue of "formulation... of civil engineering problems."

    "I just searched the CEBOK3 and did find one reference to formulating problems--but it wasn't in the context of this particular outcome statement--and it wasn't in a "demonstrated ability" table for any outcome.  So you're quite correct (and Andrea's concern is  appropriate too).  Our reference to "formulation...of...problems" in the draft CEPC is clearly not the same thing as "formulate a...solution" in the CEBOK.  And our CEPC wording seems more likely to cause confusion and/or consternation.  This issue will definitely be going back to the Task Committee for another look.  Thanks very much for your diligence."

    My concern, to be clear, was not about applying principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the identification and solution of civil engineering problems. My institution has experience with this through the use of case studies, implementation of universal design principles, application of empathy in design, etc. It was the application of these principles in the formulation of civil engineering problems that concerned me.

    I hope my concern about the terminology of "formulation... of civil engineering problems" is considered here as well.

    ------------------------------
    Andrea Welker Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE
    College of Engineering
    Villanova PA
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-14-2021 09:44 AM
    Andrea,

    Thanks very much for this clarification--and for your continued contributions to this discussion.  I definitely misunderstood your original intent.  I've got it now and will ensure that this issue gets a careful reconsideration by the Task Committee.

    Steve

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



  • 18.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-15-2021 03:28 PM

    Good afternoon,
    When several of us faculty members reviewed the proposed criteria, we were happy to see attention given to diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, we see a problem with the verb proposes to use with it, "apply" rather than "explain." Likewise with leadership – the proposed criteria changes the verb from "explain" to "apply." Here are existing and proposed criteria for DEI, sustainability, leadership, and project management:

     

    Existing:  

    • explain basic concepts in project management, business, public policy, and leadership;
    • include principles of sustainability in design

     

    Proposed:

    • explain concepts and principles in project management and engineering economics
    • apply principles of sustainability, leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the formulation and solution of civil engineering problems;

     

    "Apply" is considered a higher form of learning than "explain" in Bloom's taxonomy. Note that they propose no real change for sustainability (the change from "include … in design" to "apply … in a solution" is not a real change) or for project management; one stays "apply" and one stays "explain." But for leadership, they propose shifting it from "explain" to "apply." And they want to bring DEI in with the verb "apply."

     

    We're concerned about how we could accomplish this. Leadership is important in design when unexpected adversity or opportunity comes up; it's hard to ensure that students will have problems to solve that involve applying leadership. One could fake it and say that all the capstone groups have teams with a leader, but in most cases, that's project management, not leadership. If leadership is to remain in the curricular requirements, it should be kept at the level of "explain," so that the students get a case or a presentation about the importance of leadership in certain projects, and they reflect on that.

     

    Likewise with DEI. Our Professional Issues course already addresses DEI both in the workforce and also in how it affects the way projects and formulated and solved. But in that course, students don't actually formulate or solve problems, so it would be hard to argue that this course satisfy the proposed criteria. Similarly, it would not be practical to expect project electives or capstone electives to be of a nature that DEI applies to how the problem is formulated and solved, because so many of the projects in those courses just don't have those aspects.

     

    So, might it be better to have something like this: "Explain concepts and principles in leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion, project management. and engineering economics, and how they affect the formulation and solution of civil engineering problems"


    Best,





    ------------------------------
    Jessica Ormsby, M.Ed., A.M.ASCE
    Assistant Co-op Coordinator
    Northeastern University
    Boston MA
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: _8. ... apply principles of …leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion ...

    Posted 06-16-2021 06:36 PM
    Thank you for moving your comment to the appropriate section.  I would also like to thank you for taking the time to provide your comments.  They will be shared with the task committee.  Thank you,

    ------------------------------
    Herbert Raybourn P.E., M.ASCE
    Manager, Environmental Permitting Department
    Walt Disney World Resort
    Lake Buena Vista FL
    ------------------------------