Master of Building Construction receives Inaugural Award
The Master of Building Construction (MBC) program in the McWhorter School of Building Science is the first to receive Auburn University’s Program Assessment Excellence Award. Professor Salman Azhar, J.E. Wilborn Endowed Professor for Emerging Faculty and Graduate Program Chair, received the award for the program.
“I consider this award as a token of encouragement to further improve and streamline our program assessment process,” Azhar said. “We are moving in the right direction and will try our best to strengthen the assessment process and make it a model for other graduate programs at Auburn.”
The Office of Academic Assessment, a unit within the Provost’s Office, was formed in July 2015. To support programs in their assessment work, Dr. Megan Good, director of Academic Assessment, created a system to provide feedback to programs on the quality of their assessment work. “Specifically, 20 trained faculty raters evaluated program assessment reports using the Quality of Assessment Rubric over the summer of 2016,” said Good. The rubric includes 11 elements and quality can range from 1.0 (Beginning), to 2.0 (Developing), or 3.0 (Mature), or 4.0 (Exemplary).
“Once the feedback infrastructure was in place, the Program Assessment Excellence Award was created to recognize strong quality assessment processes taking place at Auburn,” said Good. The award is given to one program each year that scores at least a 3.0 (Mature) on every element of the Quality Assessment Rubric, and employs an especially strong and innovative approach to their assessment work. A 16-member Auburn University Assessment Council, made up of representatives from schools and colleges in the university, reviewed the three programs that met the award criteria and selected the MBC program to be the winner of this inaugural award.
“This award is incredibly important as it recognizes strong assessment practice and sends a signal to others about the value of assessment,” Good added.
“This is a great honor for the school,” said Richard Burt, McWhorter Endowed Chair and head of The McWhorter School of Building Science. “The school has worked diligently toward making assessment part of its culture. Salman and his team have risen to this challenge and have put together an assessment plan that has been recognized by our peers as the best in the university. The school is immensely proud of being the first recipients of this award.”
MBC, a non-thesis based graduate program, began admitting students in 1993. Students enrolled in the program learn advanced topics in construction management to prepare them for upper management positions in the industry. In recent years the placement rate for MBC graduate students in all sectors of the industry has been exceptional.