City of Minecraft: Introducing Middle School Students to the Construction Industry Through Gaming
This project provided a unique opportunity to introduce middle school students to the construction industry through the use of the video game Minecraft. The four-day summer course, City of Minecraft, combined Minecraft with educational activities related to the construction industry. This allowed the program to communicate career and educational opportunities within the construction industry in a format that was appealing to middle school aged students. The program has goals for future implementation at the high school and collegiate levels.
Work-Life Balance Perceptions of Construction Management and Civil and Environmental Engineering Students
In the last six decades, work and family responsibilities of employees have changed radically; since then, the work-life balance (WLB) concept has become an integral part of workplaces. Considering that the millennial generation constitutes one of the largest percentages of the construction workforce in the United States, providing millennial-oriented policies to keep this generation at the workplace is vital. To date, most research has examined work-life conflicts experienced by professionals; however, very little research has been conducted to understand the WLB perceptions of younger generations who are soon to join the workforce. The purpose of this study is to understand the perceptions of construction management (CM) and civil and environmental engineering (CEE) students on WLB and investigate whether there are differences in these two different groups of student expectations. An online survey instrument was sent to 649 CM and 677 CEE students who were pursuing their undergraduate and graduate degrees at Colorado State University; 53 and 33 responses were collected respectively. The Mann-Whitney U-test was conducted to identify whether there are statistically significant differences in students’ cognizance of WLB. Results show statistically significant differences between CM and CEE students’ perceptions of long working hours, career, turnover intentions, and having a good WLB.
Degree Apprenticeships: Disruption or Business as Usual
Historically, both the construction industry and academia have promoted engagement and collaboration to support a healthy skills supply chain and to address, together, challenges that neither can resolve alone. Such collaboration succeeds only if both parties are contributing and fully committed to a mutual end. Differing models of collaboration have evolved in the UK and internationally, but the current focus on Degree Apprenticeships in the UK has caused much greater prominence of the issues around industry-academia interaction. Degree apprenticeships were part of an initiative introduced by the UK government in 2015, aimed at boosting employer investment in education and training. In April 2017, employers whose pay bill exceeded £3m had a 0.5% levy deducted, which was ring-fenced to support new apprentices. The degree apprentices were to be enrolled onto higher education programmes that were associated with standards and assessment plans designed by employer "trailblazer" groups. The apprentices, who were at degree level, consequently studied as part-time students over a period of up to five years. The apprenticeships complete when the end point assessment, which is undertaken by the relevant professional body, is successfully passed. This paper explores the extent of disruption this initiative has had to a UK university’s department of the built environment that piloted surveying degree apprenticeships in Jan 2016. Data were collected from a survey designed to investigate employer’s expectations of degree apprenticeships, their advantages and disadvantages, and to ascertain the impact that the new approach may affect upon graduate recruitment in future. The survey findings were used to inform the strategic direction of the university’s engagement with industry and with the degree apprenticeship initiative.