Introduction

We Managed through COVID—So Far!

As daunting as the COVID and other tensions were on campus, and front-and-center of our computers on a daily basis, we made it through. What I mean by that is, we successfully and relatively seamlessly navigated the obstacles thrown before us as a teaching college. Certainly there were challenges for faculty, staff, and students alike, and I am proud that collectively we figured it out and got the job done.

Yes, we graduated 15 students again this past spring, and we did it live!

As I mentioned last year, we were (unexpectedly) well prepared for the stay-at-home model of teaching, since we have always maintained a rather robust course delivery method rooted in technology. Transitioning to teaching online was done with more experience this past year, and no doubt was less of a challenge than it could have been. And as I write this we are now back in class, face-to-face but masked and vaccinated to engage our student learners in the way they hoped for.

So what lies ahead? As a follow-up to the University’s and our College’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives, we are also looking closely at our own program, and we will embark to find ways to make not only the program more inclusive, but to also seek out how we may be inattentive to DEI principles in our course curriculum. We will start with our Advisory Board and engage them on the industry perspective on DEI applications, as well as our faculty to examine their own course content. And perhaps most importantly, we are working to diversify our Advisory Board, long overdue. As I mentioned last year, we are proud of our enrollment trends around diversity, and we continue to show great strength in numbers compared with our peer institutions. This past year, we enrolled 20.4% students of color and 25% women compared with 9.9% and 13.7% respectively from last year. This is excellent progress!

This Annual Report presents an overview of our students, alumni, faculty and staff, curricula, career development, Advisory Board, and scholarship and development; the accomplishments of our programs and their quality initiatives; and our annual plan.

The highlights of this academic year 2020–21 are (in no particular order of importance):

  1. Enrollment has been steady year-over-year, as well as enrollment in classes, in spite of COVID.
  2. Forty-two scholarships awarded, thanks to the effort of building our program endowment, including several new scholarships funded.
  3. The Study Abroad program in Costa Rica was cancelled but is expected to return in January 2022.
  4. Our competition participation included a First Place finish in the NAIOP University Challenge, a 13th place finish nationally in the NAHB national (virtual) competition, our best placement thus far, and the regional Pursuit Competition. Quiz Bowl was cancelled due to COVID.
  5. Our Facility Management cohort, though small, is finishing their two-year cycle this fall 2021, with the rollout of our two-year Environmental Health and Safety program now commencing.
  6. We rolled out a new initiative—StoryBoard—to connect alumni with students in a virtual environment.

Reminder of Our Mission Statements

For the College

Providing high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.

For the Construction Management Program

Preparing future construction leaders to sustainably manage the built environment.

A heartfelt thank-you to all of our staff, faculty, Advisory Board, and friends of the program that each contribute to the success of our student learners. I am Gopher-proud, and you can be too!

Peter Hilger

 

Peter Hilger signature

A. Peter Hilger, AIA
Faculty Director, Construction Management Program