A Service Learning Structural Engineering Capstone Course and the Assessment of Technical and Non-technical Objectives

ABSTRACT

The primary role of a civil engineer is to serve the community; thus, it is essential that students understand the impact of engineering projects on, and the context of engineering projects within, society. One goal of an engineering capstone design course should be to mesh the technical knowledge of the discipline with an encompassing engineering problem that incorporates “real world” issues and challenges. With all of the aforementioned criteria in mind, the objective of Villanova University’s structural capstone course described herein is to integrate technical and non-technical issues through a challenging real world project. This paper presents the development, implementation, objectives, and assessment of a structural engineering capstone course that incorporates an international service project. All data indicates that the students participating on the service trip achieve significantly higher non-technical outcomes compared to those students who work solely on the design project.

 

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David W. Dinehart
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Villanova University

Shawn P. Gross
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Villanova University

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