American Society of Civil Engineers

Practical Summer Training in Civil and Construction Engineering for Cultivation of Professional Ability

by W. S. King, (corresponding author), (Professor, Dept. of Construction Engineering, Chaoyang Univ. of Technology, Taiwan, 413, Republic of China E-mail: and L. Duan, (Senior Bridge Engineer, California Dept. of Transportation, Sacramento, CA 95816.)

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 136, No. 4, October 2010, pp. 233-238, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: The cultivation of professional ability for undergraduate civil and construction engineering students is very important to help them meet the challenges that await them in the fast changing world. This paper presents a thorough study of practical training in the field of civil and construction engineering. Based upon an extensive literature review of the practical training curriculum worldwide, questionnaires were provided to contractors, educators and students in Taiwan to assess problems in traditional summer practical training courses for civil and construction engineering in Taiwan. At the outset of the study, it was thought that the lack of available jobs for students might be related solely to the economy but the findings indicated that the reasons were more complex ranging from concerns about liability for students working in construction sites to traditional cultural concerns about whether apprentices should be paid. The Delphi method was used to study the problems that were identified, relating to planning, execution, evaluation, and development of the existing practical training programs. A refined and improved summer practical training curriculum is proposed for civil and construction engineering education in Taiwan based upon the findings. Although the survey related to practical training programs for engineering students was conducted in Taiwan, the results might vary in other countries. The procedures used, and results obtained may be valuable resources and have a potential use for other countries. What is certain is that practical training can play an important role in readying engineering students for the work place in any location and making the practical training as effective and as safe as possible should be a universal goal.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Engineering education
Construction management

Author Keywords:
Practical training curriculum
Construction engineering
Civil engineering
Engineering education