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Civil Engineering Accreditation


Our undergraduate program in civil engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) of Baltimore, Maryland. As an ABET-accredited program, we have defined Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) and Student Outcomes. This website lists our PEOs and Student Outcomes, the assessment and evaluation of which are the foundation of our continuous improvement process.

Program Educational Objectives

Three-to-five years after graduation, our graduates:

  • Are able to perform the technical analyses, design tasks, and construction practices of civil engineers advancing toward or maintaining professional engineering licensure;
  • Can communicate technical information effectively, both orally and in writing;
  • Can demonstrate leadership skills, team building, and professional ethics;
  • Value lifelong learning and self-improvement as demonstrated through enrollment in graduate degree programs or other professional development;
  • Appreciate the importance of community involvement, connection, and social contribution.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes describe the characteristics of our students at the time of graduation. For each student outcome, the faculty have chosen performance indicators (what is expected from students), assessment measures (to measure the performance), and performance targets (the expected level of performance), which are available by expanding the appropriate section.

 

 

 

 (a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.

Performance Indicator (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Solve technical problems on engineering fundamentals.
Assessment Measures
  • FE exam §1. Mathematics
  • FE exam §5. Engineering Economics
  • FE exam §6. Statics
  • FE exam §7. Dynamics
  • FE exam §8. Mechanics of Materials
  • FE exam §10. Fluid Mechanics
For each section of the FE exam, the performance target is for the average score for enrolled students over the previous four semesters to be at least 80% of the national average. For example, if the national average for a certain section of the FE exam were 100, the performance target would be ≥80. This performance target applies to any FE exam section used to evaluate any of ABET student outcomes A-K.1

 (b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Design an experiment
  • Acquire data on appropriate variables.
  • Compare data to appropriate theory.
  • Evaluate any differences in data and model.
These performance indicators are borrowed from a rubric provided by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Assessment Measures
  • FE exam §2. Probability and Statistics
  • FE exam §9. Materials (including Mix Design)
  • Rubric for laboratory report in CVEN-3141 Introduction to Structural Materials
For the FE exam sections, the performance target is 80% of the national average. For the laboratory report, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4 on the rubric, corresponding to nominal ratings of proficient (3) or exemplary (4).2

 (c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Formulate the problem and analyze constraints.
  • Establish criteria for evaluating potential solutions.
  • Generate alternative solutions.
  • Design a prototype and predict its performance.
These performance indicators are adapted from a rubric provided by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Assessment Measures
  • FE exam §13 Structural Design
  • Rubric for hydraulic design in CVEN-3414 Water Supply and Distribution Systems
  • Rubric for senior design project in CVEN-4067 Senior Design Projects
For the FE exam section, the performance target is 80% of the national average. For the designs evaluated with the rubric, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4, corresponding to nominal ratings of proficient (3) or exemplary (4). The hydraulic design in CVEN-3414 is performed individually, while the senior design in CVEN-4067 is performed as a team, so we assess design both by individuals and by teams.3

 (d) An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Contribute to the team's work.
  • Interact with teammates.
  • Keep the team on track.
  • Expect quality.
  • Have related knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs)
These performance indicators have been borrowed from the Comprehensive Assessment for Team Member Effectiveness (CATME), a National Science Foundation-sponsored website designed to teach and evaluate team skills (http://info.catme.org/).

Assessment Measures
  • CATME team participation report for group design project in CVEN-3414 Water Supply and Distribution Systems
  • Custom survey on team performance in CVEN-4067 Senior Design Projects
For the CATME team participation report, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to earn an adjustment factor without self of at least 85%. For the custom survey, the performance target is for at least 90% of students to earn an average score on question 2 of at least 4. That is, we expect the vast majority of students to perform well enough to avoid the additional penalties assigned for scores below 4.4

 (e) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Formulate the problem and identify key issues/variables
  • Recognize the need for multiple solutions
  • Analyze alternative solutions to an engineering problem
  • Justify a solution to an engineering problem
  • Solve technical problems on engineering applications
The first four of these are borrowed from a rubric provided by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Assessment Measures
  • FE exam §11. Hydraulics and Hydrologic Systems
  • FE exam §12. Structural Analysis
  • FE exam §14. Geotechnical Engineering
  • FE exam §15. Transportation Engineering
  • FE exam §16. Environmental Engineering
  • FE exam §17. Construction
  • Rubric for essay on American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Code of Ethics in CVEN-4000 Senior Seminar
For the FE exam sections, which evaluate the ability to solve engineering problems, the performance target is 80% of the national average. For the ability to identify and formulate engineering problems, evaluated with the rubric, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4, corresponding to nominal ratings of proficient (3) or exemplary (4).

The essay on the ASCE Code of Ethics is based, in large part, on a case study borrowed from McCormack, J.P.; Beyerlein, S.W.; Kranov, A.A.; Pedrow, P.D. (2014), Scenario and Scoring Sheet Development for Engineering Professional Skill Assessment, Paper ID #9942, 121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 15-18, 2014. This assignment is also used as the basis for Student Outcomes F, G, and H.5

 (f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Recognize ethical dilemmas.
  • Marshall relevant information.
  • Analyze alternative courses of action.
  • Convey a global perspective on the situation.
  • Propose a win-win resolution to the dilemma.
These performance indicators are adapted from Sindelar, M., Shuman, L., Besterfield-Sacre, M., Miller, R., Mitcham, C., Olds, B., Pinkus, R., and Wolfe, H. (2003) Assessing Engineering Students' Abilities to Resolve Ethical Dilemmas, Proceedings, 33rd ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Boulder, Colorado, November 5-8, 2003.

Assessment Measures
  • FE Exam §4. Ethics and Professional Practice
  • Sindelar et al. (2003) rubric for essay on American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Code of Ethics in CVEN-4000 Senior Seminar
For the FE exam section, the performance target is 80% of the national average. For the essay, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4 on the rubric, corresponding to nominal ratings of milestone (3) or capstone (4).6

 (g) An ability to communicate effectively.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
Written Communication
  • Consider audience, purpose, and context.
  • Develop appropriate, relevant, and compelling content.
  • Follow the conventions of the technical writing genre for the discipline of civil engineering.
  • Provide evidence from high-quality, credible, and relevant sources.
  • Employ syntax and mechanics to compose clear, fluent, and error-free prose.
Oral Communication
  • Make a cohesive presentation through clear, observable, and skillful organization.
  • Enhance effectiveness with language that is imaginative, memorable, compelling, and appropriate to the audience.
  • Deliver polished and confident presentation using appropriate delivery techniques.
  • Support their presentation with a variety of supporting materials.
  • Convey a compelling central message.
These performance indicators are adapted from Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) rubrics provided by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The first group is adapted from the written communication VALUE rubric, while the second group is adapted from the oral communication VALUE rubric.

Assessment Measures
  • Written communication VALUE rubric for essay on American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Code of Ethics in CVEN-4000 Senior Seminar
  • Oral communication VALUE rubric for final senior design presentation in CVEN-4067 Senior Design Projects
For each rubric, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4, corresponding to nominal ratings of milestone (3) or capstone (4).7

 (h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Identify the global, economic, environmental, and societal context of an engineering problem.
  • Explain the impact of engineering decisions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context.
These performance indicators are borrowed from a rubric provided by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Assessment Measure
  • Rubric for essay on American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Code of Ethics in CVEN-4000 Senior Seminar
For the essay, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4 on the rubric, corresponding to nominal ratings of proficient (3) or exemplary (4).
8

 (i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Indicate interest in professional development.
  • Demonstrate the ability for self-directed learning.
The second of these performance indicators is borrowed from the American Society of Civil Engineers (2008), Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century: Preparing the Civil Engineer for the Future, 2nd edition, Reston, Virginia, page 112.

Assessment Measures
  • Likert survey on life-long learning in CVEN-4067 Senior Design Projects
  • Extracurricular participation survey in CVEN-4067 Senior Design Projects
Both of these surveys appear on a combined instrument. For the Likert survey, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to answer likely (4) or certainly (5) on at least one of questions 1-4. That is, we expect that at least 75% of students are likely or certainly planning at least one of the following:
  1. Pursue licensure as a professional engineer
  2. Enroll in one or more graduate course after graduation.
  3. Acquire additional education and obtain new professional skills.
  4. Enroll in a professional development or continuing education course.
For the extracurricular participation survey, the performance target is for at least half the students to indicate participation in at least one professional organization during their undergraduate career at the CU Denver.9

 (j) A knowledge of contemporary issues.

Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Identify contemporary issues in a case study.
  • Explain potential solutions.
These performance indicators are adapted from a rubric provided by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Assessment Measure
  • Rubric for case study in CVEN-3602 Transportation Engineering
For the case study, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 out of 4 on the rubric, corresponding to nominal ratings of proficient (3) or exemplary (4).​10

 (k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

​Performance Indicators (i.e., "Student can...")
  • Perform basic programming
  • Apply traditional and total station surveying tools
  • Identify necessary techniques, skills and tools of modern engineering practice for a given situation.
  • Explain the use of specific techniques, skills and tools of modern engineering practice.
  • Apply the chosen techniques, skills and tools of modern engineering practice to the given situation.
These performance indicators are excerpted from a rubric provided by the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Assessment Measures
  • FE exam §3. Computational Tools
  • FE exam §18. Surveying
  • Rubric for survey laboratory report in CVEN-2212 Plane Surveying
For the FE exam sections, which correspond to the first two performance indicators, the performance target is 80% of the national average. For the laboratory report, corresponding to the last three performance indicators, the performance target is for at least 75% of students to average at least 3 of 4 on the rubric, corresponding to nominal ratings of proficient (3) or exemplary (4).11