Developing Faculty Leaders through the ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Workshop

Scott R. Hamilton, Carol Considine, Tanya Kunberger, Tonya Nilsson, Leslie Nolen, David Saftner, Camilla M. Saviz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For over two decades, faculty participants in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop (ETW) have learned the core principles of effective teaching and put these principles into practice during the workshop. Workshop staff and leaders, namely faculty serving as site coordinators, presenters, assistant mentors, and mentors have helped support participants' development while also developing their own teaching and leadership skills. Graduates of the ASCE ETW are widely represented throughout civil and environmental engineering programs and in academic leadership, accreditation, and professional societies. In this paper, we present the results of a study on the development of faculty as leaders through this program. We summarize skills and characteristics identified as necessary for effective leadership and examine whether leadership skills can be developed through a well-established and highly effective teaching development workshop, namely, the ASCE ETW. For this study, we examined responses to a survey addressing the effectiveness of the workshop and respondents' roles and activities since their participation in the ETW. In total, 494 participants, staff, and leaders responded to the survey. In analyzing the data, we specifically considered evidence of leadership. Although not designed as a leadership workshop, aspects of the ETW align closely with principles of effective leadership development in terms of the content covered, delivery and conduct of the workshop, culture of mentoring, and focus on faculty development. The following research questions are addressed in this paper: To what extent do the ETW content and conduct relate to leadership skills and attributes relevant to academia? To what extent does faculty development through the ASCE ETW correlate with engagement in academic leadership? Study results indicate a strong alignment between participating in the ASCE ETW and assuming leadership positions in academia, an even more pronounced trend among those who continue their involvement in the workshop as staff. Noting the similarities in the conduct and content of the teaching workshop and programming focused on leader development, we suggest that a well-designed and well-executed faculty development workshop can also provide leadership development, even if leadership is not the principal goal. The faculty and staff development approach used in the ETW can serve as a model for including leadership training in faculty development workshops. Practical Applications In this paper, we describe characteristics and behaviors associated with effective leadership, with a focus on leadership in academia. We present an analysis of the content and conduct of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop (ETW) in light of different leadership models. The ETW fosters an environment that demonstrates the importance of effective mentoring and its benefits for both the mentors and the mentored individuals. Our data analysis shows that a well-crafted, well-executed teaching workshop can help develop leadership skills, possibly providing the motivation and community environment to encourage people to take on leadership roles. Applications of this study include identifying ways to implement elements of leader development into a workshop even if this topic is not the specific workshop focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number05023006
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Society of Civil Engineers.


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