Civil Engineering Assessment Tools
Evaluation of program objectives and outcomes is a major responsibility of the faculty in the civil engineering program. The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, research, and those aspects of student vitality that are related to the educational process. The assessment of program objectives and how these objectives help achieve the program’s mission is accomplished using the following mechanisms:
- The Departmental Executive Council
The department has a unique leadership structure in that each faculty is expected to lead. Furthermore, each program offered by our department is assigned a program head that serves on the departmental executive council. Currently, the council is composed of Dr. Robert Fuessle, head of the civil engineering program, Dr. Souhail Elhouar, head of the construction program, and Dr. Kris Maillacheruvu, head of the CEC undergraduate program management. The executive council serves as the assessment committee in our department and helps set the agenda for future programmatic revisions and new initiatives.
- The Civil Engineering Group of the Advisory Board
We have a large advisory board composed of 38 professionals from across the United States. This board meets annually to make recommendations relative to a variety of issues facing our department including program development and alumni relations. The board plays a critical role and provides valuable input to ensure continued programmatic improvements. The civil engineering group meets annually to address issues, challenges, and new initiatives identified by the CEC faculty through the assessment processes.
- Alumni and Industry Network
Our department has developed a very significant network with industry and alumni throughout the State of Illinois. Members of the various organizations involved in this network are in constant communication with the department and actively participate in joint functions. The input received from our alumni and industrial partners helps our department with the assessment process and data gathering.
- Accrediting Agencies
The civil engineering program is accredited by the accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Over the years, input received from the visiting teams and through final statements has helped augment our assessment process and identified weaknesses in our academic programs. The input received provided valuable insights into concerns and helped us address weaknesses.
- The Departmental Retreat
The officers of the five student organizations in our department are invited to discuss issues and concerns on an annual basis. Students are presented with summaries of the assessment forms for continuing students and are asked to respond to the 10 lowest scores given on the evaluations. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn directly from our students the issues and concerns they face and gives the department the opportunity to fix some problems immediately and address others in a timely manner.
- The Civil Engineering Exit Interview
The graduating seniors in our department are invited to discuss issues and concerns on an annual basis. Students are presented with summaries of the assessment forms for senior students and are asked to respond to the 10 lowest scores given on the evaluations. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn directly from our students the issues and concerns that they face and gives the department the opportunity to take corrective actions.
- Service and Outreach Programs
The department has developed intense focus on leadership and community service. Students, faculty, alumni and board members work together on a variety of community programs. Such programs provide us with valuable opportunities to interact with employers, alumni and community leaders to assess and improve program objectives. For example, the Bridge-Pals program is celebrating its 20th year and involves middle school and high school students from within 100 miles of Peoria being invited annually to learn more about bridge building.