- Hire the construction team early to allow students to learn during both the planning and building phases.
- Choose partners who embrace hands-on learning for students, and welcome faculty collaboration and student tours.
- Write an education agreement between the institution and the general contractor that identifies expectations on both sides, spelling out the purpose and goals for each learning opportunity.
- Define the roles and responsibilities of student interns and draft a plan to support them.
- Create roles that allow students to learn and grow, make mistakes, and take on more responsibility if they demonstrate the capacity for it.
- Require construction company representatives to provide safety training for students and faculty.
LINK BACK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Campus construction instruction
- Have any student or faculty member stepping onto the construction site sign a liability waiver.
- Require that someone who is on site daily be part of all site tours.
- Prepare students before site tours about what they will see, such as by providing and discussing a list of construction terminology.
- Have students record what they saw during tours and write thank-you notes to tour guides.
- Keep designated students in the loop on progress so they can answer any stakeholder questions.
- Require student attendance at construction meetings or construction site visits.
- Give students some soft-skills guidelines on their communications with project teams.
Theresa Sullivan Barger is a Connecticut-based writer.