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Board of Regents gives OK to School of Construction proposal

November 28, 2007 12:00AM

In a special meeting Monday, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a proposal from Pittsburg State University to create a School of Construction within the College of Technology. The Board#&39;s approval moves the plan forward to the Kansas Legislature, which will be asked to consider it as part of a $17 million package of new higher education funds system-wide. The price tag for PSU#&39;s School of Construction is $1,393,400.

President Tom Bryant said the Board of Regents approval gives the university the #&34;green light#&34; to work with the Legislature to fund the proposal.

#&34;There is a lot of hard work that needs to be done to secure funding from the Legislature,#&34; Bryant said. #&34;A great deal can happen from the beginning to the end of the session and there will be many interests competing for limited state resources. We feel good about the proposal, however, and believe it will help meet some critical work force needs in the state of Kansas.#&34;

The Regents had asked the universities for plans that addressed the issue of work force development. Vice President for Academic Affairs Steve Scott said the School of Construction plan does just that.

#&34;Despite the strong growth of the construction program,#&34; Scott said, #&34;we are unable to satisfy the demands of the industry as they seek to hire our graduates.#&34;

As proposed, the plan would: expand the Construction Management and Construction Engineering Technology programs, expand the bachelor of applied science degree program in construction with the goal of establishing numerous 2+2 agreements with community and technical colleges that offer construction related AAS programs, and create a new bachelor of science degree program in safety, health and environmental technology.

In addition, future academic programs that could be added include a possible bachelor of science degree program in land surveying, cooperative minors with Automotive Technology in heavy/diesel equipment in construction, cooperative minors in various construction areas such as mechanical/plumbing, electrical and civil construction, and certificate programs developed jointly with regional community colleges in an effort to enhance workforce development in skilled craftspersons for the construction industry.

A third component of the plan is the establishment of the Center for Construction Excellence in Field Management and Supervision. The center will focus on K-12, community college and technical college engagement and also on construction industry professional workshops and continuing education programs.

Scott said the proposal #&34;offers an opportunity for the state of Kansas to further capitalize on the investment that's already been made in the Kansas Technology Center. As the unique aspect of our mission, the College of Technology is well positioned to help the state and region address work force shortages that exist in the construction industry.#&34;

©2007 Pittsburg State University