Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Walker, Ryan M.

Committee Member

Franz, Dana

Committee Member

Ivy, Jessica

Committee Member

Moser, Kelly

Committee Member

Wyatt, John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


The Building Construction Science program at Mississippi State University is undergoing a major curriculum review and revision process in preparation for accreditation by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). This will be the program’s first attempt at accreditation in its 10-year history. None of the faculty in the program have ever been through an accreditation – making the process more challenging. What’s more, the accrediting body recently adopted an outcomes-based approach to curriculum review that hinges on programs demonstrating student achievement of 20 different student learning outcomes. These outcomes have been recognized by many as ambiguous and difficult to define – reducing motivation of programs and their faculty to move forward with accreditation. This has been the impetus for this study. The purpose of this research was to define what the 20 student learning outcomes mean for the BCS program and identify the program’s effectiveness toward including the outcomes required for accreditation into their curriculum and assessing student achievement. The study was conducted in three parts: Defining the 20 outcomes, mapping outcomes to the curriculum, and identifying assessments used to measure student achievement of the outcomes. A modified Delphi was used that incorporated the Nominal Group Technique for initial data gathering and 2 stages of surveys to identify the most essential learning criteria that define each learning outcome. The Delphi included a sample of BCS faculty, Alumni, and construction industry members. A syllabus review of the program’s core construction courses was used to map the outcomes through the curriculum and identify assessments connected to the intended outcomes. The results of the inclusion mapping were organized into three categories of Missing, Adequate, or Overlapping. The results of the study generated an initial list of 355 learning criteria across the 20 student learning outcomes that were reduced to a final list of 173 criteria identified as essential to demonstration of student achievement for the learning outcomes. The curriculum evaluation showed that nearly two-thirds of the learning outcomes are likely being redundantly included in the curriculum, and about five are missing. Assessments were shown to be included in all courses but many were difficult to connect to specific learning outcomes.