Undergraduate curriculum reform in civil engineering by integrating service-learning projects

Nathan Gartner, John Ting, Oguz Gunes, Xiaoqi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


At the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), the goal in the Francis College of Engineering (CoE) is to integrate service-learning into a broad array of courses so that students will be exposed to service-learning every semester in the core curriculum in every program in the entire CoE, an initiative supported by NSF through the Department Level Reform Program. This paper presents the strategy in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) of identifying and implementing S-L projects as a first step towards undergraduate curriculum reform. Initially, three service-learning projects of various content, workload, and community partnering were identified and implemented in two core and one elective undergraduate courses in CEE in 2005. Over 80 undergraduate students ranging from freshmen to seniors participated in these community-based projects: (1) Davidson Street Parking Lot Redesign for the City of Lowell; (2) Intersection Analysis - Traffic Signal Control for the City of Lowell; and (3) Preliminary Building Structural Evaluation for the Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF) In Lowell, MA. Service-learning was found to be an effective approach to help meet several of the well-known ABET EC2000 educational outcomes. At the completion of these service-learning projects, the students not only accomplished the specific community objectives but also important technical objectives for the courses. Quantitative deliverables were presented to the community partners. Positive feedback from the students was received.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: 18 Jun 200621 Jun 2006


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