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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction 4 Conclusions, General Discussion, and Recommendations In addressing the quality of education for architectural and engineering degrees, the committee realizes that it is seeking to ensure that graduates adhere to the highest professional standards. It seeks to protect the excellence that marks the building professions and the skills required to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex future through the investment in educating professionals for that future. LEVEL OF SPECIFIC SKILLS The committee found ample evidence of deficiencies in undergraduate design education, which fall under the following categories: Graduates (mostly engineering graduates) have little understanding of design. Graduates lack an understanding of the design and construction process and how it works. Graduates show deficient knowledge of the business of engineering, architecture, and construction. Graduates possess inadequate communications skills, including oral, graphic, and written skills. Graduates are prepared to do research but are not prepared to apply their knowledge to practical industry problems. Graduates lack experience in teamwork to achieve common goals.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction The degree of inadequacy, the importance of the problem, and whether the problem is being appropriately counteracted in or outside of school programs were considered by the committee. Design Based on experience and examination of the literature, the committee concluded that most architects graduate from school with a good understanding of the design process and broad design concepts, but they lack knowledge of many of the practical aspects of design, such as constructability and designing to a budget. The committee believes that architectural schools need to assume more responsibility than they currently accept for educating students in all aspects of design. It is unrealistic to assume that young graduates will learn all they need to know about the practical aspects of design in internship programs. Moreover, reliance on internships reflects an academic bias towards large firms, who are better able to afford such programs, and against small firms, who have traditionally been the backbone of architectural practice. In the case of engineers, the committee concluded that—in spite of the considerable discussion in recent years of the need for more design courses—most students graduate from school with a minimal understanding of design. However, some committee members believe it is unrealistic to expect engineering schools to teach design. Based on their own experience, these committee members believe that design problems involve too many factors and considerations to be taught in school. The various engineering disciplines cover so many subspecialties, each with its own special problems, that it would be impossible for schools to address more than a small sample, which would be of limited value to the majority of students. They believe design can only be learned effectively on the job through experience. As a consequence, engineering practice experiences a professional and social gulf between those labeled “engineers” and those labeled “designers.” Some members of the committee believe schools need to give engineering students experience with the engineering design process such as architectural students get in the design studio approach. Students should understand the way that design problems are handled by practicing engineers, the many technical and nontechnical factors to be considered, the various ways computers are used in design work, and the types and sources of data needed to solve typical design problems. 1 (It is noteworthy that although engineering schools have had computer instruction for 1 This is essentially what was proposed in The State of Education (Dixon, 1991).
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction 35 years, the potential of computers has not been fulfilled as effectively as it could be. For example, most computer-aided engineering software, even computer-aided design software, is entirely oriented towards individual use and analysis rather than a team approach. Cornell University is one school that is attempting to more fully integrate computers with education, introducing students to the design process in structural engineering through case studies of real projects in a freshman engineering course (Sansalone, 1992). Technology The committee concluded that both engineers and architects leave school with inadequate knowledge of technology. Many schools of architecture place emphasis on aesthetics, the art of architecture, and broad design concepts, and, as a matter of policy, leave the teaching of practical technology to the practitioners who hire their graduates. For architects, the problem is integrating academic design with applied technology. Architectural schools tend to separate design from the production process. Students may know how to design, but they do not know how to put things together in an efficient and practical way using the minimum amount of material. Also, according to Peters (1986), architects primarily react visually to their environment. Technical subjects are often taught simplistically and nonvisually. The complexity and ambiguity of technical thought and choice are difficult to teach. Therefore, students are bored, not challenged and, like many of their teachers, find only limited use for the material in their design studios. The committee believes the situation can be remedied by placing considerably more emphasis on technology— especially construction methods and materials and building systems —and that technology must be integrated into the design studios. In the case of engineers, technology has been largely eliminated from the curriculum in most schools in order to focus on science and math and basic engineering principles. The result is that most engineering schools do a poor job of teaching technology and the relationship between technology and design. The committee believes that schools could do much more for students in defining technology and its role in engineering practice. Teamwork The committee concluded that neither engineering nor architectural graduates get much experience in schools working in teams. This is a serious shortcoming inasmuch as teamwork is essential in the practice of
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction both engineering and architecture. Part of the problem may be systemic. Committee members voiced the following comments: Engineering students are generally told not to work together, as teamwork is equated to cheating, and they may be punished if they are caught at it. In the spectrum between cooperation and competition only competition is reinforced. Occasionally, students do work together on group projects or problems, but in general these experiences are very limited. The greatest limitation is the horizontal structure of the curriculum. Sophomores work with sophomores and so on. Aristotle said that teaching was the path to understanding, yet we never give our students that opportunity. To the credit of the students, they often seek out peers or upper-class persons to help them learn. The original ateliers, which the design studios are modeled after, included students at all levels and were managed by the students. Older students were expected to teach the younger students basic practical skills, while the master teacher gave them problems to solve and critical review of their work. Not a bad scheme. Architecture students want to receive credit for their individual creativity, which might be sublimated in team projects. Some schools resolve the need for team experiences by having noncreative, but valuable, projects done in teams. There are team projects in undergraduate programs but, generally, engineering educators are so focused on technical issues that they may find it difficult to provide opportunities to apply teamwork to projects. In graduate programs and advanced studio classes, there seems to be little opportunity for true teamwork. If there is teamwork, it exists informally among student peers. This does not help prepare the students for the multi-discipline teams encountered in institutions, architectural-engineering firms, government agencies, boards and review commissions, or multi-disciplined design teams. The majority of the committee believes that schools need to do far more to introduce students to teamwork than they have in the past. The committee recognizes that there are limited opportunities for team projects in the traditional school setting, but schools could take better advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. For example, in laboratory courses and design studios. In some cases the problem might be that faculty are not aware of the opportunities available to teach teamwork in their institutions; in other cases faculty might not be taking advantage of those opportunities because of the extra effort of organizing team projects for students. The teamwork issue is important because, in practice, major constructed facilities are largely executed by teams. The perception of a designer as a solitary, heroic individual communing with his or her draft-
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction ing board, slide rule, or computer may still be characteristic of certain branches of engineering and architecture, but is obsolete with respect to the creation of most major constructed facilities executed by professional organizations. Business Skills The committee concluded that most architectural and engineering students leave school with little knowledge of business, economics, and management and that this adversely affects their ability to serve their clients, to understand the concerns of their employers, to manage projects effectively, to operate a design practice, and to qualify for more responsible positions. In addition, it limits their job opportunities —partly because of the inherent limitations of their educations and partly because many employers perceive engineers and architects as narrowly focused technocrats. The committee split on whether this problem should be addressed in an undergraduate program or whether business and management principles are best learned on the job or in graduate programs. Many schools are already taking steps to deal with the problem and other schools are likely to take similar actions in the future. Communications The committee members are in full agreement with those who believe that good communications skills are vital to both engineers and architects. The committee also concurs that the writing and speaking skills of recent engineering and architectural graduates fall short of desired levels; however, the committee does not believe the situation is as bleak as some have painted it. For example, at the academic institutions represented on the committee, the verbal Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of students entering architectural and engineering programs are on par with other students, which indicates that student architects and engineers are no less literate than their fellow students. Furthermore, architectural and engineering students are required to do as much writing and speaking as students in most other programs. Architectural students probably get more public speaking experience than most students through the critiquing process that is an integral part of the design studio. Becoming truly proficient at writing takes lots of practice, and it is unrealistic to expect recent graduates to be good writers, even with the best instruction; probably the most important thing for a student to learn about writing is that doing it well is hard work. The committee also concluded that recent engineering graduates have poor graphics communication skills. Although shortcomings of recent
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction engineering graduates in this area have not been discussed at length in the literature, the committee believes it is a serious problem. The committee is not suggesting that engineering schools revive the drafting courses that were once part of the engineering curriculum. The committee is convinced, however, that engineers still need to be able to sketch, understand engineering drawings and that most schools are not teaching even those simple skills. (This is not a problem with architects since architectural schools still require students to do considerable drafting and sketching.) Liberal Arts While the committee concluded that graduating engineers and architects generally have inadequate knowledge of the liberal arts, shrinking education in the liberal arts may be a social phenomenon not limited to engineers. In a recent report by a committee of the Johnson Foundation, chaired by William Brock, it was noted that “26.2 percent of recent bachelor's degree recipients did not earn a single credit in history, ” and, “39.6 percent earned no credits in English or American Literature, ” while “58.4 percent left college without any exposure to a foreign language ” (Wingspread Group on Higher Education, 1993). The report blamed the problem on the fact that: Much too frequently, American higher education now offers a smorgasbord of fanciful courses in a fragmented curriculum that accords as much credit for Introduction to Tennis and for courses in pop culture as it does for Principles of English Composition, History, or Physics. In particular, the committee believes that students lack a knowledge of the history of technology and foreign languages. The problem with foreign languages is especially troubling in view of the increasing importance of foreign trade. The amount of time devoted to liberal arts in the engineering and architectural curricula need not necessarily be increased; rather, the solution is to make more effective use of the available time. The committee concludes that engineering and architectural schools could expand their students' education and place architectural and engineering design in a cultural context by integrating the liberal arts with the architectural and engineering curricula. Ample material now exists to develop and teach such courses, including many books on the history of technology, engineering, and architecture, and publications of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Society for the History of Technology, and other organizations. Technical analyses of engineering and architectural works, such as that by Billington and Mark at Princeton University, as well as
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction contextual works by practicing professionals such as Florman (1991), are also available. Such subjects could fulfill the present humanities requirements by replacing current liberal arts courses, which are often of both limited value and interest to the students, with courses that allow students to understand the meaning and purpose of design and the ambiguities of professional practice in the real world, as opposed to the fixed answers of the classroom. These integrated curricula would also go far to alleviate the contention that architectural and engineering education is lacking in ethical and humanistic content. Generally, architectural schools, often associated with architectural history departments, offer better integration in these areas than engineering schools, which view engineering as an applied science rather than a liberal profession. To accomplish this integration, engineering and architectural faculty should, as expressed by Colin Brown (1993), begin a “discussion of what the culmination of a series of courses in the humanities and social sciences should mean” with faculty members in liberal arts schools in their universities. Although some liberal arts faculty may oppose this approach, subjects jointly developed between engineering or architectural faculty and humanities faculty could be rewarding, and perhaps even attractive to liberal arts majors. QUALITY OF EDUCATION Industry expectations that new graduates from engineering or architectural programs will be able to function immediately as professionals may not be completely realistic. On the other hand, educational programs that purport to provide professional training but fail to prepare graduates adequately for professional employment are limiting career prospects and short changing their students. Perhaps worse, professional programs that do not meet the needs of professional practice may raise false expectations in their students regarding future employment, may attract people who are not suited to work in the profession, and discourage people who would have been successful in this industry. The issue is not only whether educational institutions are meeting the needs of industry, but whether they are meeting the needs of their students. It is possible that attracting students who are temperamentally suited to the engineering profession is more important than anything universities do after students matriculate. The present engineering educational system sends very poor signals to high school students: conveying that research is more important than design, that competition is more important than cooperation, that engineering is solely applied science and applied mathematics, that individual effort is everything, and communica-
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction tions skills are irrelevant. It is no wonder that many people attracted by this message will be unsuited to practice in the construction industry, and that many people who reject this message may forgo potentially successful careers in design and construction. One of the fundamental objectives of engineering education, as of all liberal education, is to help people understand their own lives and the world in which they live, but particularly to prepare them to take their place as effective practitioners in their chosen profession. There is a widespread belief that there is a general crisis in higher education due to a failure to achieve this first objective, and that a crisis in engineering education exists in particular as a consequence of the loss of sight of the second objective. Can a 4-year undergraduate education encompass all of these goals? It is interesting that engineering and architectural programs have resolved this question differently: most engineering programs choose to retain the nominal 4-year bachelor's degree as the first professional degree with specialization in mechanical, electrical, chemical, and so fort, while architectural programs have chosen to make a 5-year bachelor's degree or a master's degree the basic professional degree. The debate about the length of both engineering and architectural programs has been particularly controversial among engineering educators, as documented by Reynolds and Seely (1993). No conclusion is made here about whether an undergraduate engineering degree should take 4 or 5 years. It is felt that individual institutions should have the discretion to decide what length program will fulfill their mission as they see it. They must decide, for example, whether potential students would consider a 5-year program cost-effective. Practice Versus Theory The committee is convinced that design and technology are important topics that must be covered in both architectural and engineering schools. The committee also believes students benefit from instructors with personal experience with design and technology. In the case of architectural schools, the committee believes that most faculty members have practiced architecture and know enough about detailed design and technology to teach them well. The failure of many architectural schools to include in the curriculum enough on detailed design and technology reflects the interests and priorities of the faculty, not their capabilities. Conversely, in the case of engineering schools, the committee believes that the evidence is compelling that the majority of faculty mem-
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction bers have little experience in the practice of engineering generally or engineering design in particular. The committee members are split on whether the current situation in engineering schools demands immediate change. Some members believe that engineering schools should not try to teach design. They feel it is appropriate, therefore, that faculty members be oriented toward science and theory. Other committee members believe that the almost complete absence in some schools of faculty members with design experience is a very serious problem. They are convinced that schools must add experienced practitioners to their faculties to correct the current imbalance in order to ensure that design and technology are covered adequately. 2 As related by a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers in the committee's survey: Students must be exposed to design practitioners during their education experience, or the teachers of the sciences must gain some understanding of the design disciplines and be able to educate students about the relationship between fundamentals and applications. Research The committee believes that research has been overemphasized in engineering schools to the detriment of teaching in general and practice-oriented teaching in particular, for example, the teaching of design and technology. The majority of committee members contend that a mix of research and teaching is desirable, but that the system at most universities rewards research and publishing and discourages teaching by giving far more credit toward tenure for research. The committee's consensus is that many of the problems currently facing engineering and architectural educational programs have been caused or worsened by the increasingly academic and research orientation at the expense of practical course work. The need to be responsive to industry concerns was recognized at an ABET meeting in 1990 by National Science Foundation Acting Deputy Director John White (White, 1990). In his presentation, Mr. White posed the question of how long a company would stay in business if, like engineering schools, the following conditions existed: 2 Apparently a number of business schools recognize the value of having practitioners on the faculty and have recruited business leaders to serve as deans (Fuchsberg, 1992).
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction It rejected 35 percent of all incoming parts and 65 percent of a critical component. It took 25 percent longer to fill orders than advertised. 3 More than half of its customers were unhappy with its products. It raised its prices faster than the competition and at a rate greater than the cost of living. The committee believes the problem also exists in architectural programs, but to a lesser extent than in engineering. Although the faculty in many architectural schools conduct some research, the amount is less than in engineering schools and does not interfere greatly with teaching. Architectural schools have been spared the problem primarily because government agencies have not funded as much architectural research as engineering research. The committee is of the opinion that further research is needed on the barriers to incorporating practical experience into the college curriculum and on a means of addressing the problem that could positively affect the instruction of practical knowledge to students. The adequate preparation of building design professionals to serve practically the needs of society, requires that schools of architecture, engineering, and building construction have the capacity to hire, promote, and reward faculty members who are qualified to advance and impart knowledge that is practice relevant. One solution that might be attempted is an expanded definition of scholarship for faculty. There may be other definitional problems as well, especially in engineering. Should the definition of engineering be expanded beyond applied science, applied mathematics, and the pursuit of truth for its own sake to include the creation of constructed facilities for the benefit of mankind? In this definition, the application of scientific principles, mathematics, and other knowledge assures that these facilities are safe, efficient, economical, and environmentally sound, and the creative or design element distinguishes engineering from applied science. A respondent to the committee's survey from the ASCE put this ambiguity in more practical terms: There has been a blurring of the distinction (in titles and duties) between technicians, technologists, engineers and scientists. This blurring causes false expectations for both employers and employees . . . . The differences between technicians, technologists, engineers and scientists 3 Nationally, a little less than 46 percent of those who graduate from 4-year programs do so within 4 years. The 5-year rate is about 66 percent, according to the fact sheet developed for the congressional committee.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction must be clarified so that everyone knows what to expect from, for example, a 4-year technical degree versus a 4-year engineering degree. Curriculum The committee agrees that the basic issue requiring attention is the process by which the curricula in architectural and engineering schools are developed, and, in particular, the extent to which practicing professionals and employers are involved in the process. This may be the most important issue in professional education, since it deals with the all-important question of who influences the education process. The current mechanisms for student acquisition of professional skills involve a curriculum that conforms to the criteria of the educational accrediting bodies (ABET for engineering programs and NAAB for architectural programs), which include representatives of the professions and schools. Professionals can participate in advisory committees established by many schools, and in the education committees of professional societies and trade associations, and in educational accrediting bodies. The engineering curriculum task force effort at Arizona State University, mentioned previously, provides an outstanding example of employer involvement in curriculum development. There is some indication, however, that these mechanisms as they currently exist are insufficient to ensure quality professional educational programs. Some practicing professionals feel that while their professional societies are represented on ABET and NAAB, the accreditation organizations are dominated by academics and the practitioners' views are not adequately advocated. 4 They also note that the curriculum criteria of NAAB are so vague that architectural schools have great latitude in developing curricula, and that, since ABET is considering the adoption of similarly vague criteria, engineering schools may soon have similar latitude. The problem is compounded by the fact that even the engineering faculty often has little control over the content of required courses taken in other departments. Thus, in many schools, courses in mathematics, science, economics, and the liberal arts are developed unilaterally by the faculty of those departments—often without regard to the special needs and interests of engineering and architectural students. In many cases engineering students take the same introductory courses in subjects taught by other departments that students majoring in those subjects take. 4 Louis Guy (1986) has pointed out with regard to ABET that the professional societies often are represented by academics.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction RECOMMENDATIONS Architectural and engineering programs have basic inadequacies particularly in practice-related skills. Having concluded that there are significant areas of deficiency in the skills of graduating architects and engineers, the committee recommends that a Phase 2 study be undertaken to determine causes and potential solutions. Although the recognition of the need for change is not new, obstacles to accomplishing needed change should be investigated, and these aspects should be a major part of any further study. Since universities have inherent cultures, goals, procedures, and reward systems that are different than the needs and objectives of a professional education, a balance must be found. Without trying to overstep the boundary of academia's responsibility to provide programs that meet the missions of their educational institutions, in the committee's opinion it would be difficult for academic institutions to make needed changes on their own. There is some indication that there are philosophical or structural obstacles to academic institutions responding to changes initiated by professional associations. The committee believes that an integral part of any future study, therefore, should examine obstacles to change and appropriate mechanisms for effective change, particularly with the help and recommendations of the professional societies through the accrediting bodies (ABET and NAAB). Professional education programs, including architectural and engineering programs, historically have been somewhat out of place in traditional colleges and universities whose missions are academic study and research. In some European countries, professional training still is not offered by universities; rather, it is provided by technical schools. While professional educational programs have been offered by U.S. colleges and universities since the 19th century, the programs and instructors frequently have been treated as second-class members of the faculty. Some professional education programs still are held in low esteem in many universities; however, engineering programs—and to a lesser extent architectural programs—have gained stature in the academic world in the last three decades. The growing status of academic engineers is indicated by the fact that engineers now are presidents of several important universities, including Michigan, Iowa State, Carnegie Mellon, University of Southern California, Occidental, University of California at Berkeley, and, as might be expected, Cal Tech, Georgia Tech, and MIT (Hogg, 1993c). Engineering faculty have achieved status in the academic world by coexisting with the accepted academic milieu, that is, they have emphasized research and graduate programs over teaching and undergraduate
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction programs and have worked to improve the credentials of the engineering faculty. It is now exceedingly rare to see an advertisement for an engineering faculty member in which a doctorate degree is a requirement. In becoming more academic, however, engineering education programs —and to a lesser extent architectural programs—have grown apart from the professions for which they train students. Louis Guy, a consulting civil engineer and former president of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, has been a very vocal critic of the current academic orientation of engineering programs, expressing the view that academics now control ABET and dominate the educational committees of many professional societies (Guy, 1986). (Mr. Guy recently announced his resignation from ABET to protest the domination of ABET by academics; however, ABET officials say that it is difficult to find engineers from industry who can devote time to ABET and get nominated by the 21 participating bodies that control the organization (Hogg, 1993a).) The NAAB is similar in that the majority of its board members are academics. In engineering, another possible obstacle is that the math-science orientation of engineering schools may bias students toward research or pure analysis. The capstone design courses that many schools have developed to try to introduce students to design in the senior year cannot successfully teach integrated design in isolation, unless they indeed “cap” and integrate the learning that has come before into a problem-solving whole. This complex accomplishment is even more difficult to achieve when undertaken by professors with little or no design experience. Many observers reject capstone courses as inadequate for the purpose. If the integration of professional practice into school programs has a weight of bias against it, further study might investigate possible counterbalances. Three possibilities that the committee believes worth investigating involve different areas of approach. One area is a broader standard for scholarship reflecting the value of a knowledge (which may or may not come from direct experience) of professional practice, an approach that would address bias in the faculty. Bias in the students might be counteracted by the incorporation of project-oriented learning. Schools might also be more responsive to the needs of industry if employers applied pressure in the educational marketplace. This report has attempted to suggest where the line between the prerogatives of academia and the need to prepare students for professional careers might be drawn. Further discussion and research on establishing a mechanism for creating an objective guideline is needed. An objective standard to include a broader definition of scholarship has the potential to raise the level of debate from who should control the educational process—academics or professionals—to how academics and
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction professionals can work together to train graduates that can contribute to their professions. The objective is a mechanism to foster cooperation between the two segments in working to establish a standard for what the proper role of schools in the preparation of professionals should be. This might make the balance less susceptible to such external forces as current trends in research funding. Project-oriented study, particularly for engineering schools, has been proposed as a counterbalance to individual competitiveness and a motivator for holistic problem-solving through project-oriented teamwork. Project-oriented study might replace outmoded study that once provided experience in teamwork, such as surveying summer camps, drafting courses, and other shared experiences. For example, surveying courses necessary for the purpose of teaching surveying also had the effect of building esprit de corps among entire classes of undergraduates. That vacuum might be filled with other project-oriented teamwork. This approach might benefit students' motivation to seek answers to solve problems, which may be the strongest factor in their skill acquisition, reinforcing a team approach that includes communications skills and exposes students to different disciplines. It has been suggested that team projects, that is, project-oriented learning and working in teams, require a student-generated creative problem-solving that elevates design above analysis and reinforces team design efforts. This is not to say that engineering analysis is to be neglected; rather, it should be placed in its proper context within the design project. In this case design is not so much taught as learned. It can be learned more effectively in an environment that demands design efforts. Project-oriented engineering education also implicitly addresses the problem of graduates lack of understanding about business operations. Just as the Junior Achievement program offers high school students an opportunity to learn about business by running small manufacturing companies, project-oriented engineering education gives undergraduates experience in managing projects, allocating resources, meeting budgets and schedules, evaluating economics, and dealing with others involved in similar enterprises. This experience can be more truly educational than requiring courses in project management, accounting, or business. More important, it is intended to motivate students to take these courses or to study these subjects on their own. The point of the project team orientation is to provide the motivation for students to learn the technical materials necessary to perform designs, on the basis that a motivated student will learn far more than an unmotivated one. The project design approach takes advantage of the fact that students can learn from other students as well as professors. Although it is per-
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction ceived that the lecture model is the most efficient form of education, and experience demonstrates that project design classes are very difficult and labor-intensive to implement, this approach has the potential to increase educational efficiency by establishing the environment in which students learn from each other. Juniors can learn from seniors and sophomores from juniors. Individuals can learn from those who have different knowledge, backgrounds, or skills. This form of learning is not the same as graduate teaching assistants delivering lectures; it relies on the natural environment of peer-to-peer group learning. While change must come from within academia, industry organizations can play an active role in creating change from outside educational institutions. Federal agencies and other employers could focus on making the educational marketplace work for them by identifying universities that share their educational principles, working with these universities to revise curricula, providing the personnel to assist in developing and teaching these project courses, and, above all, hiring the graduates of these programs. As employers of the graduates of these institutions, they can use their power of selection to reinforce those universities that improve their curricula to meet industry needs. One notable example of industry participation in education is the GMI Engineering and Management Institute, which was originally part of General Motors Corporation but is now independent. An engineering school not affiliated with a college or university, GMI is unusual because each of its students is sponsored by one of GMI's 400 corporate partners, for which the student works part of the year. Because of GMI's special relationship with its corporate partners, it has tailored its programs to the needs of industry. Models for industry participation, model curriculums and internship programs could be investigated and promulgated. Whereas internships are irreplaceable in providing practical experience for students, committee members familiar with architectural internships have found that the quality of the guidance young architects get in internships can vary markedly from one firm to another. The committee feels architectural and engineering schools cannot afford to relinquish the responsibility for teaching design or technology to programs such as internships. In addition, it is unfair to the new architectural graduates and to the profession to leave such an important part of the education process entirely in the hands of busy practitioners whose primary concern is running a business and whose experience in the training of young architects might be limited. Schools need to be involved in internship programs to ensure that the training provided in them is coordinated with the formal education provided in schools. In architecture the AIA together with the
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction National Council of Architectural Registration Boards have created an intern development program for aspiring architects between school and licensure for that purpose. However, the National Institute for Architectural Education believes that schools can improve the correlation of internships and architectural programs by creating “teaching offices” for architects that are analogous to teaching hospitals where doctors are trained (Task Force on the Post Degree Education of the Architect, 1994). Unlike internship offices under the current inter development program, teaching offices would be allied with an architectural school whose faculty would participate in training activities. Inevitably, schools and professions, as well as students themselves, must share responsibility for training future professionals. Schools cannot do the job alone, and yet certain basics can only be covered in school. Internships provide a case in point. The practical aspects of design and technology can be conveyed much more effectively in an internship than in the classroom. However, internships are effective to the extent that they meet educational criteria. Both industry and academia must take responsibility for making it successful. To the extent that a sense of shared responsibility can be developed, opportunities can be found to integrate both influences on shaping future professionals. Problems with the system for educating engineers and architects will not be solved overnight. Employers, including federal agencies, may want to consider the following measures to meet their needs for qualified construction professionals: Improve recruitment methods. Investigate more thoroughly the schools producing candidates to identify curricula that match needs. Test candidates on desirable competencies. Depart from the practice of hiring only from professional level engineering and architectural programs. Recruit from schools of construction and from schools of technology, many of which have good quality, highly applied curricula. Improve post-hiring practices. Institute continuing education and mentoring programs after graduation. Do more frequent evaluation, tracking employees by college, program, and pre-test. Clarify expectations of design and construction employees. Communicate with colleges regarding expectations. Provide internship opportunities for undergraduates.
Representative terms from entire chapter: