The field of environmental engineering traces its origins to the integration of "civil engineering" infrastructure and the objectives of "public health", namely cost effective disease prevention at the community-scale. To address the urgent need to re-invigorate the "ancient" sub-specialization of "sanitary engineering" within the field of environmental engineering, a new course was created at the Missouri University of Science and Technology entitled, "Public Health for Environmental Engineers." The new course leverages available online materials disseminated by The Johns Hopkins University as well as materials disseminated by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) to emphasize environmental health practice in diverse communities - from urban settings in developed nations to rural villages in less developed countries. The new course employs a previously reported format including blended delivery, a flipped classroom, and mastery learning (D.B. Oerther, "Reducing costs while maintaining learning outcomes using blended, flipped, and mastery pedagogy to teach introduction to environmental engineering," in Proceedings of the 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, OH, USA, June 25-28, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://peer.asee.org/28786. [Accessed April 26, 2018]). This current article summarizes the course content, pedagogical approach, and the results of assessments of three offerings of "Public Health for Environmental Engineers" to a total of 79 students in the Spring Semesters of 2016, 2017, and 2018. According to the results of the assessments, some students resisted the blended learning delivery format (i.e., "The professor gets paid a lot, and he shouldn't use available online materials for teaching. He should make us purchase a text book and cover it in lecture"), and other students resisted the pedagogical choice of active learning (i.e., "Complete abuse of power; the professor creates an environment that is not conducive to learning by forcing students to answer questions during discussion"). Other students responded positively to the course content (i.e., "I learned a lot of practical environmental health information that I plan to use in practice"). Future work should: 1) follow-up with students to identify the value of the course in their professional practice after graduation; 2) assess changes in student attitudes and beliefs from before and after the course; and 3) replicate the course at other institutions to evaluate the effectiveness of the course content and delivery approach independent of the personality of the instructor and with a variety of student types.

Meeting Name

2018 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2018: Jun. 23-27, Salt Lake City, UT)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2018 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2018