The Federal Construction Council (FCC) is a continuing activity of the Building Research Board of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of the FCC is to promote continuing cooperation among the sponsoring federal agencies and between the agencies and other elements of the building community in order to advance building science and technology--particularly with regard to the design, construction, and operation of federal facilities. Currently, 18 agencies sponsor the FCC:
Department of the Air Force, Office of the Civil Engineer
Department of the Air Force, Air National Guard
Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Department of the Army, Construction Engineering Research Laboratories
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation
Department of Energy, Office of Project and Facilities Management
Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Department of State, Office of Foreign Buildings Operations
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Construction Management
General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Facilities Engineering Office
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building and Fire Research Laboratory
National Endowment for the Arts, Design Arts Program
National Science Foundation, Structural Systems and Construction Processes Program
Smithsonian Institution, Office of Facilities Service
U.S. Information Agency, Voice of America
U.S. Public Health Service, Office of Management
U.S. Postal Service, Facilities.
As part of its activities, the FCC periodically publishes reports like this one that have been prepared by committees of government employees. Since these committees are not appointed by the NRC, they do not make recommendations, and their reports are not reviewed and approved in accordance with usual NRC procedures. Consequently, the reports are considered FCC publications rather than NRC publications.
For further information on the FCC program or FCC reports, please write to: Executive Secretary, Federal Construction Council, Building Research Board, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418.
FEDERAL CONSTRUCTION COUNCIL TASK GROUP ON CONTINUING EDUCATION
Construction Policy Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Office of Facilities, Department of Veterans Affairs
Design Arts Program, National Endowment for the Arts
Elmer W. Haight,
Construction Division, Bureau of Reclamation
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Department of the Navy
Foreign Buildings Operations, U.S. Department of State
Mary B. Walker,
U.S. Army, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration
Henry A. Borger,
Federal Construction Council
Lena B. Grayson,
The term continuing education covers a broad spectrum of learning activities that adults pursue after they have entered the work force--with or without a college degree or high school diploma. Although personally directed study is unquestionably educational, most people apply the term continuing education only to learning activities that are somewhat structured and are organized and coordinated by someone other than the student. That definition, of course, includes many learning activities--from graduate-level university training to short courses and seminars conducted by civic organizations, professional societies, and employers. It also includes correspondence courses, computer-directed instruction, and courses taught by video tape or via teleconferencing.
The reasons that prompt people to spend time on continuing education also are many. Some do it to maintain or update their skills in order to stay competitive with younger people; some do it to acquire new skills or a college degree in order to qualify for a better job; some do it to upgrade their skills out of a sense of responsibility to their profession or their employer, and some do it for the personal satisfaction they get from learning new things
For many years, a number of federal agencies, like many private employers, have had programs to encourage their employees to pursue continuing education. However, because the amount of money involved was relatively small and the impact on agency programs was felt to be minor, the subject received little attention. Recently, however, a number of agencies have begun to look at their continuing education programs more closely. This interest in continuing education has been stimulated by the fact that agency managers currently find themselves under conflicting pressures; on one hand they are being required to reduce budgets in every way possible--and training and education budgets are a tempting target; at the same time they are being pressed to improve the performance and efficiency of their staffs, which requires more, not less, training and education. The recent scrutiny of federal continuing education policies has revealed that different agencies have markedly different programs--and some agencies have no program at all. Understandably, many agencies are unsure what their policies on continuing education should be.
In order to promote an exchange of information and views on continuing education among federal agencies and between the agencies and interested organizations in the private sector, the Federal Construction Council Task Group on Continuing Education held a symposium on the subject at the National Academy of Sciences in March 1993.
Because the subject of continuing education is very broad, the task group was concerned that the discussion at the symposium could easily become unfocused, which would greatly lessen its value to the agencies. The task group decided, therefore, to limit the scope of the discussion to continuing education programs for managers and professionals involved in construction (e.g., architects, engineers, planners, construction managers, and estimators).
This report presents summaries of papers presented at the symposium. The summaries were prepared by the speakers, and the opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the FCC. However, the papers are believed to be relevant and timely and to contain information that will be useful to the sponsoring federal agencies.