Dordt College News

Construction management considered as new major

May 14, 2010

What if you like engineering, but you also like business?

You might consider construction management.

A new partnership between the engineering and business administration departments is paving the way for this new major.

“A construction management program would include a combination of engineering and business courses,” explains engineering professor Dr. Ethan Brue. Brue is a member of the committee that has laid out the plans for this program. Construction managers serve as the intermediate step between the planning and the actual implementation of construction, so the proposed program would include not only business and engineering courses but also specialty courses such as Construction Methods and Project Management.

A student interested in construction management could have gotten an inside look at whatís involved by following the progress on Dordtís new apartment-style upperclass residence building that has been under construction all year. The building is scheduled to be completed in August, in time for the start of next fallís semester.“This is something that Dordt could do well,” notes Brue. “There is a need for those who manage construction projects to think about people, money, and materials as more than just managing resources. Construction management is about serving.”

Business professor Dale Zevenbergen notes that Dordt is one of only two member schools in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities that offers such a major.

Besides drawing students who come to college already interested in construction management, the program could be a good option for an engineering major who finds that he or she doesn’t like the thought of multiple semesters of physics and calculus or a business major who decides she would rather not study tax codes or marketing.

Though it’s hard to gauge the interest in a program that doesn’t yet exist at Dordt, Brue and the committee have researched the enrollment in similar majors at nearby universities.

“The demographics suggest there are a number of students who would be interested, and in initial conversations related to the proposal, we’ve talked to several students who have expressed interest.”

Brue anticipates that the construction management program might begin as a minor or an emphasis within the business major, though he hopes that it will become a major when circumstances are right. “We are really waiting for the person—someone who can lend insight into what it’s like in the construction management industry and who also realizes the value of training disciples in that area.”

Brue looks forward to seeing how this program develops and to continuing the dialogue about what it means to be a servant and a steward in construction management.


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