Perception of the AC Exam by Pass or Fail Status
This paper presents the preliminary findings of a study that surveyed nearly 500 students taking the Associate Constructor (AC) exam. The survey was included with the exam package and asked questions related to how long the student prepared, the importance of the exam according to the stakeholders, the similarity of exam content to their course work, and how useful the study material provided by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) was. The study found that students who passed the exam responded that they studied between five and eight hours, whereas those who failed studied between one and four hours. Students perceived that the construction industry values the exam only slightly, but this perception did not affect the pass rate. However, the students’ perceptions of the level of importance that their department placed on the exam did affect the pass rate. Nearly three quarters of the students responded that the exam content was either “similar” or “very similar” to what they were taught in their coursework. The study also found that the AIC-provided study guide was used by 85 percent of the test takers, with only 6 percent responding that they felt the resources were “not useful.”
Teaching Construction Estimating Through a Simulated Bid Competition in Canada
This research paper examines a simulated student bid competition employed in Canadian construction management programs. The Construction Institute of Canada (TCIC), in partnership with industry stakeholders and construction management schools, annually organizes the Canadian Simulated Student Bid Competition (CSSBC) for 3rd-year students enrolled in construction management programs across Canada. A key feature of this competition is that it is administered by 4th-year students as the bid-calling authority to 3rd-year students who compete to prepare the bid. The bid competition is run in accordance with Canadian rules of competitive bidding and industry practices for the duration of an entire semester, allowing it to be integrated into the estimating curriculum as a capstone estimating project. Through interviews and survey questionnaires, industry stakeholders and academics indicate that the competition provides an applied learning platform for students to display their construction-related hard and soft skills and exposes them to various roles and responsibilities within the industry. Also, this student-administered Bid Competition model offers hands-on learning experience based on a real-world project and affords opportunities for vertical learning within and outside of the classroom. Feedback from estimating academics indicates that the TCIC bid competition provides an opportunity to authentically assess students with respect to various construction estimating skills.
Construction History Across a Transformed Construction Management Curriculum
Research on the study of history of construction within construction management programs is largely absent. This may lead one to question whether this absence indicates a lack of instruction within these programs. Given the influence of culture, technology, politics, and social constructs on today’s construction industry, appreciating historical construction projects can provide insight to the structures the industry builds today. While the study of construction history satisfies no accreditation requirement for CM programs, such as ACCE or ABET, accreditation is about the minimum acceptable performance, not the excellence toward which many CM programs strive. Thus, integrating construction history builds toward that excellence. There are numerous ways the study of construction history may be incorporated into a construction management curriculum. This paper establishes the importance of including construction history, the method in which one construction management program has chosen to integrate history into its curriculum, and the reasoning behind determining which historical projects to include. The integrated construction history program will commence with the incoming freshmen in fall 2017.