Northern Arizona University Construction Management
The Construction Management Program at NAU is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education.
CM Program Mission Statement
To create the next generation of high-performance construction professionals.
People, Partnerships and Performance
Quality Improvement Plan
The CM program Quality Improvement Plan consists of our Strategic Plan, Course Improvement Audits, Senior Survey, Student Learning Outcome Evaluation and Industry Advisory Board Review. The plan is shown below (an enlarged view can be accessed here.)
Strategic Plan & Program Objectives:
People: Recruit and retain a balance of excellent students, faculty and staff
- Create and implement a plan to manage program growth that focuses on attracting prepared and motivated students, expert and diverse faculty, and adequate support staff.
- Create and implement a six-year leadership development and succession plan
- Secure external funding (“Friends of Faculty fund”) of $50k annually to support a comprehensive plan for support of faculty professional development
Partnerships: Enhance our collaborations with industry, community and within NAU
- Develop and implement industry partnership plan that targets diverse sectors and brings expert knowledge into the program
- Develop and pilot an Executive in Residence Program
- Provide educational and career opportunities for partners outside of undergraduate program
Performance: Develop a curriculum and an educational environment that focuses on collaboration, student success and high performance systems
- Integrate high-performance building systems and lean principles into a streamlined, horizontally and vertically integrated curriculum
- Enhance student learning by implementing innovative, learner-centered and research-based pedagogies in all CM courses
- Increase scholarly output and enhance scholarly reputation of program
Click to see student learning outcomes Accordion Closed
1. Create written communications appropriate to the construction discipline.
Written communications appropriate to the construction discipline include agendas, daily field reports, RFIs, letters of intent and general business letters. At the ‘Create’ level, students will produce such documents.
Creating oral presentations requires organizing and preparing verbal statements, developing supporting materials (handouts, slide decks) and delivering the presentation to an audience. Delivery includes both live and video formats. Types of oral presentations that are appropriate to the construction discipline include persuasive presentations of qualifications and proposals, informative talks (e.g. training seminars), and professional discourse (e.g. elevator speech).
A safety plan is a written document that describes the process for identifying the physical and health hazards that could harm workers, procedures to prevent accidents, and steps to take when accidents occur. Creating a safety plan entails developing general safety policies at the organization level, site-specific plans at the project level and job hazard analyses at the task level. A project safety plan requires extensive understanding of construction materials, means and methods, as well as principles and standards for safety.
A construction project cost estimate is a comprehensive evaluation of project cost, broken down by scope of work, which includes labor, equipment and materials as well as overhead and profit margins. To create a cost estimate, students will perform a material take-off and apply unit costs to the resulting quantities. Included in this outcome are the scaffolding skills of performing material quantity take-offs from plans and specifications using both manual (paper) and digital methods, differentiating scopes of work, and determining unit costs.
A construction project schedule includes activities, milestones and deliverables for a project, broken down by scope of work loaded with durations. To create a schedule, students identify and logically organize activities and determine durations based on quantity of work. These activities are linked via a network of dependencies which allow for determination of critical tasks and paths. Included in this outcome are the scaffolding skills of using scheduling software (e.g. Microsoft Project), determining activity durations from quantities and unit durations, and understanding other factors that affect construction schedules.
Ethical principles are ones in which pertain to right and wrong conduct, in accordance with the rules, norms and standards of the construction profession. To analyze professional decisions, students are expected to explore relationships among the components of a situation which lead to decision making.
Construction documents include contracts, plans and specifications that define the work to be done on a project. Analyzing construction documents for planning and management purposes means that students must go beyond understanding the content of those records. They must be able to examine and distinguish the interrelated content in order to determine scopes of work that are necessary to organize and manage a project. These skills are necessary for the higher level outcomes (e.g. creating a schedule, cost estimate and safety plans). Included in this outcome are the scaffolding tasks of plan and specification reading.
Analyzing methods, materials and equipment used to construct projects means that students are able to differentiate among available options to complete construction tasks and select appropriate solutions. This outcome includes the scaffolding skills of understanding the basics of different construction materials including their properties and means and methods of construction.
The construction management profession requires an ability to work with others to complete a project. This includes coordination, communication and leadership skills. Applying these skills a s a member of a multi-disciplinary team involves working with others to collaboratively complete a project. Included in this outcome are the scaffolding skills of management and marketing.
Electronic-based technology used to manage the construction process includes software used for design (e.g. Revit), documentation (e.g. MS Word & PowerPoint) and productivity (e.g. MS Project, Excel, On Screen Takeoff, Bluebeam). Other software (Navis Manage) and Cloud-based solutions (e.g. Bluebeam Studio), coupled with hardware (mobile devices, computers) bring together resources to aid in managing the construction process. Applying technology as a management tool requires utilization of software and hardware to execute project management tasks. This outcome is scaffolded by basic technology literacy and skills using software.
Basic surveying techniques for construction include performing level loops, topographic surveys and establishing location of points. Applying these techniques involves using auto levels, total stations and steel tapes to establish coordinates and elevations of points shown on construction drawings or in concert with existing conditions to determine coordinates and elevations of points. Included in this outcome are the scaffolding skills of understanding survey terminology, setting up instruments and processing survey data.
Common methods of project delivery include Design-Build-Build (DBB), CM at Risk (CMaR), Design-Build (DB), Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC). To demonstrate understanding, students must be able to compare and contrast characteristics of these methods.
Risk on a construction project includes safety hazards, financial risk and contractual risk. To demonstrate understanding, students need to be able to summarize factors that contribute to these risks and identify ways of mitigating those risks.
Cost control, monitoring and accounting on a construction project serves the purpose of recording financial transactions and measuring progress on a project relative to projections. To demonstrate understanding, students must be able to describe these processes and their relationships to the construction profession.
Quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) are a set of processes used to ensure that resulting products meet required standards. Students create checklists and implement quality control plans to demonstrate understanding in this area.
16. Understand construction project control processes.
Construction project control processes are concerned the interrelationship among cost, schedule, logistics and materials on a project. Students illustrate the relationships among these influences to demonstrate understanding.
Regulations, contracts and common law affect the management of a construction project. Students demonstrate understanding by relating the legal implications to the construction profession.
Basic principles of sustainable construction include optimizing resource use, enhancing indoor environmental quality and considering full life-cycle costs. Students demonstrate understanding of these principles in the context of construction materials and systems.
Basic principles of structural behavior include loading determination, load path tracing, mechanical properties of materials, basic static equilibrium and component behavior (beams, columns, foundations). Students demonstrate understanding by applying loads and determining resulting behaviors using principles and design aids.
Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems are the complex life-blood of a building. Students demonstrate understanding by explaining the basic function of each of these systems.