Date of Award

December 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

Committee Member

Wayne Sarasua

Committee Member

Jennifer Ogle

Committee Member

Bradley Putman


In their efforts to reinvent the civil engineering curriculum at Clemson University through the National Science Foundation grant program entitled Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED), Clemson University's Civil Engineering (CE) department has established the Arch Initiative. The Arch Initiative is Clemson's version of the RED program, and just like the first row of springer blocks that begin the formation of an arch, Clemson's CE department is developing a new course sequence (Springer 1 and 2) that aims to serve as the first level of the transformed CE curriculum. Springers are semester-long courses that emulate a capstone-like experience at the sophomore level by exposing students to real-world problems early on that will challenge them to develop new knowledge and skills. They will build on these skills during their junior and senior years through project-based learning and real-world applications. Faculty delivered a pilot course of Springer 1 in the spring semester of 2019, which introduced students to three subdisciplines of civil engineering: transportation, water resources, and construction management. The purpose of this thesis is to describe the development of the Springer 1 course and provide an evaluation of the course from a student learning gains standpoint based on surveys of the students who took the course. Two surveys were used in the assessment. The first Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) survey was administered at the end of the course. The second survey was given in November 2020 after most of the Springer 1 students completed their junior year.



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