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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State construction science program builds students a future


Texas State construction science senior Cole Kirby preps to curate the concrete in the concurrent mixer, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, at Roy F. Mitte Building.

Texas State has one of the seven accredited construction programs in Texas, allowing great things to take shape in the bachelor of science program in construction science and management (CMS). By gaining hands-on experience and securing job offers before graduation, students are building a foundation for success.
The American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) is the body responsible for accrediting construction and construction management programs. Texas State received the honor from ACCE in 2013 and has since been reaccredited until spring 2024.
Will Holder, a professor of practice in the Department of Engineering Technology who joined the university in 2019, said the program has grown from the ground up.
“This program grew out of the ground from nothing, Dr. Winek [Professor Emeritus] pretty much birthed it and got us accredited,” Holder said. “We’ve gone from a handful of students to now we have like 600.”
To have been accredited, a self-evaluation study was written that allowed the approval of the next step, a site visit. The next accreditation visit is scheduled for spring 2023, and if approved will allow Texas State to remain among the elites.
Holder, who recently published a textbook titled “The Production Homebuilder” which is only being taught at two Texas universities, said the program’s growth has not only been in student size but in companies’ involvement in career fairs hosted by the department.
“We had 77 [companies in 2019] when I got here, now we’re going to have 148 [companies],” Holder said. “400 students with these employers, it’s like speed dating.”
In order to graduate with a degree in CSM, students must complete an internship. Students like Joseph Delgado, a CSM senior, have found this requirement to be beneficial.
“It’s in our degree plan to get an internship, so that’s what really separates us from a lot of other people,” Delgado said. “That’s why our professors stress so much how we have to go to the career fairs because we need field experience before we graduate. They want us to get our foot in the door before graduation.”
Delgado, who started working in construction at 16 years old, interned for MW Builders, a general contracting company out of Pflugerville, Texas. There they sent him on a three-month assignment to North Carolina.
“I did off-campus housing for UNCC, University North Carolina and Charlotte, it was like a $50 million project and I was one of the general contractors on site. We had about 150 people on site and there was about 15 of us,” Delgado said.
The opportunity of internships also benefited alumna Simone Smith who graduated in the wake of COVID-19 and still landed a job as a purchasing coordinator at Highland Homes.
“My degree has been helpful, but I feel like what helped me a lot was doing a lot of internships, in networking, like in the career fairs,” Smith said. “Most things have helped me even just meet people as far as getting my current job and getting previous jobs that I’ve had before.”
Smith is grateful for professors like Holder that have helped create and maintain a successful program at Texas State.
“I just wanted to prove the importance of using your professors and also using those career fairs and career path opportunities that they have in Texas State because of their real-world opportunities,” Smith said. “It honestly just takes one person to help out in order for you to have your next career or for you to meet your next boss or anything.”
Much like Smith, Cole Kirby, a CSM senior, also accredits his success to the passionate professors within the program.
“They just really want you to succeed and are really helpful, some of them are students too. You can see like Ph.D. students also teaching and you can just see that they are also taking their knowledge further and at the same time are helping you so I think it’s really cool.” Kirby said.
Kirby started out as a computer science major but quickly changed gears and ended up in construction science for what he said has given him win-win experiences.
“I just thought it would be cool, seeing the construction process, and actually I’m like a big hands-on learner so it being physical in class and not just being behind a slideshow and taking notes was important to me,” Kirby said.
Besides the rigor of the coursework, having an open skills lab allows for the work to be transported off the screen to their hands.
“Seeing it actually translating to the field not just on a computer is really neat. We get to mix concrete and test it ourselves, see how it holds up against different forces on it,” Kirby said. “Seeing how that will translate into the field and how that is going to the foundation. So as far as what I thought it was going to be, has been a lot like that. I was looking for a hands-on major so I’m really happy that I chose it and found something that I could really like. It has been a lot of what I was looking for.”
These hands-on experiences from in-class labs to working in the field during internships have landed Kirby the opportunity of another internship on the corporate side or a job offer as a builder with Highland Homes before he walks the stage in the spring.
“It just felt so rewarding basically that everything I’ve learned has paid off and I was able to use it to my advantage,” Kirby said.

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  • Texas State construction science senior Cole Kirby tests the durability and composure of the concrete, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, at Roy F. Mitte Building.

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