What Headwinds Teach
I have had plenty of headwinds this year: crossing Canada by bicycle over the summer pushing against those gnarly prairie or ocean breezes. Headwinds build resilience, and there was plenty of saddle time over my 98 days in the saddle to think about things.
Considering all the challenges that COVID gave us, this landmark event in our history also gave us new insight on ways of teaching and learning. Some methods that challenged our creativity have now become more common teaching tools post-COVID. Blending face-to-face that many students prefer with online components provides a robust experience. Who thought Zoom would become a verb, adjective, and noun so ingrained across society?
Amid this distraction, we graduated 30 students again this past spring and did it live! We continue to be proud of the diversity of our student body that is high relative to the national averages in peer institutions. Currently 23.5% of CMGT students are students of color, American Indian, Asian, Black, or Hispanic. 24% of the students are female. Of our degree options for women enrolled, the major has 18% female enrollment, the minor 44% (largely students studying Architecture or Civil Engineering), the premajor 6%, and the certificate program 17%. Our mission last year was to increase our diversity in faculty and the Advisory Board, and we are proud to say we accomplished progress on both fronts. This industry headwind is tapering quickly!
Leading the way at CCAPS is our College-wide initiative around outcomes assessments and accreditation, expanding from the early efforts of our Construction Management program. This year, we hired Brianne Schmidt as Curriculum and Assessment Specialist, who moved within the University to CCAPS with ten years of assessment and curriculum development experience. In this role, Brianne advises and supports our unit with the assessment process and curriculum development on all fronts, assists with accreditation initiatives, and leads our unit in our goal to infuse DEI principles into our curriculum. In the next year, Brianne plans to assist CMGT in advancing our assessment model by facilitating discussions for inter-rater reliability with faculty. Possible results of this endeavor may be deepening faculty involvement in assessment and curriculum development, new or updated curriculum maps, and new or updated rating and instructional guides that reflect and support our faculty’s views of student learning mastery per competency.
In January 2022, the eighth Pura Vida Study Abroad program in Costa Rica was one of a handful of programs permitted to participate in person in Costa Rica. Fourteen students from six different academic programs took part in assisting a nonprofit agency catering to cancer survivors with a facility and operations proposal—in Spanish, in colones (currency) and in metric—in two weeks! I am proud to lead these students to do such meaningful work, so quickly and so professionally.
So what lies ahead? It has been a long time since we examined our curriculum in depth, so we will begin that process again. Every program should not rest on its laurels, for the industry can change faster than we can. Staying ahead, or at least current, with trends is important. We will engage stakeholders in this planning, expected to be gradually implemented over the next several years.
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. This represents who we are, though it is important to remember our mission statement:
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!
A. Peter Hilger, AIA
Faculty Director, Construction Management Program