Teaching methods improvement using industry focus groups: A case study in construction financing

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2 Scopus citations


More than 50 percent of new contractors fail within the first five years of operation. This paper attempts to address the financial characteristics distinguishing successful firms from those less fortunate in an effort to improve instructional competencies and better prepare students for careers in construction. To accomplish this objective, benchmarking data from the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) and the Fails Management Institute (FMI) have been complemented by University of Florida focus group research of construction industry experts to identify key financial competencies related to contractor success. A case-study project was then developed to provide delivery and reinforcement of key competencies in business start-up, project financing, and construction business operations. Next, an outcome assessment survey was administered to construction financing students to evaluate key competency levels obtained. To test the relative success of the case-study project, course evaluations for three consecutive semesters during 2002-2003, prior to project implementation, and three semesters during 2003-2004, following project implementation, were compared. Outcome assessments found that students acquired significant competencies and skill sets identified as critical by construction industry experts as well as CFMA and FMI. Course evaluations further improved nearly 30 percent when compared to evaluations prior to teaching methods improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Education and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Break-even Sales
  • Construction Finance Education
  • Construction Loan Agreement
  • Income Capitalization
  • Pro Forma
  • Teachings Methods Improvement
  • Working Capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Education


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