New Construction Management Minor Helps Broncos Build Their Careers
It used to be that construction management expertise was learned on the job, poring over blueprints at a construction site. But over the past 20 years, a focus on sustainability and the introduction of novel building materials, processes, and technologies have transformed the industry, and today’s building and infrastructure projects are becoming increasingly more complicated. To help students step confidently into this profession, the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering is offering its first ever minor degree in the area of Construction Management.
Associate Professor Hisham Said, the driving force behind the new interdisciplinary offering, reports that though the construction management profession is traditionally closely associated with civil engineering, as it broadens and becomes more sophisticated, it is also becoming very appealing to students from a number of different majors. "Mechanical and electrical engineering students, business and environmental sciences students, and others are drawn to the multi-faceted construction industry. This minor, which focuses on the effective management of the scope, schedule, cost, quality, and safety of building and infrastructure construction projects, helps engineering and non-engineering students discover and pursue construction careers that match their academic training and personal passions, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to help them be more competitive as they seek employment and to thrive in their careers,” he said.
Said believes the new minor is particularly suited to supporting Santa Clara’s mission to educate students of conscience, competence, and compassion who are driven to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. “Quite literally, this new minor achieves that goal. Providing our students with the knowledge and tools to think critically and act ethically as they design and construct the built environment is a fitting expression of our Jesuit values,” he said.
Advancing the University’s aim to make a Santa Clara education more affordable for all, the new minor is supported by funds from Devcon Construction, Inc., one of the Bay Area’s largest contractors, to provide financial support to selected students who will improve the diversity of the program, and to support the hiring of an adjunct faculty member to teach in the program. “In order to encourage more students of gender, economic, ethnic, and academic diversity to pursue a construction management minor, we have established a fellowship fund that will provide that opportunity. It will also help students interested in the construction world to be prepared for it,” said Gary Filizetti ’67, MBA ’69, President of Devcon Construction, Inc.
Bay Area construction companies and SCU alums, alike, are excited by the potential this new minor has for preparing Broncos for successful careers. Commenting on the program, Vince Scolari ’05, Owner of McSherry and Hudson and a board member of Bronco Builders Association (SCU’s construction industry alumni group) said, “Coupling the technical skills being taught in the School of Engineering with the business and management side of things in the Construction Management minor will give our students a leg up as they start their careers, and they will be able to take advantage of an already incredible alumni network in the construction and development fields—not only for internships as they’re going through the program, but also for job opportunities after they graduate.”