Professional ethics LIVE! - A community partnership in continuing education

William D. Lawson, Heather R. Keister

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper describes the community-engagement project, Professional Ethics LIVE! - an annual, student-run continuing education initiative serving the professional development needs of licensed engineers and architects who live and practice in the South Plains region of Texas. The key community partner is the South Plains Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (South Plains TSPE) and the key university partner is the Texas Tech University Student Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (Tech TSPE). Now in its 15th year, the event features presentation of ethics cases combined with discussion and deliberation among presenters, expert panelists and a live audience. Tech TSPE members invest sweat equity to host the event. Production costs are shared between Tech TSPE and South Plains TSPE, with South Plains TSPE accepting the financial risk, providing guidance on program requirements, and offering experience and support in hosting successful community events of this scale. Attendance has ranged from 130 to 231 persons annually since 2005, for an average of 175 design professionals per event - including engineers, architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and more. Diversity is actively promoted, one example being that sage members of the professions serve as ethics panelists who share their experience and insights. Other metrics of success include national and statewide recognition, strong community support, and attendee satisfaction. Professional Ethics LIVE! promotes learning not only among those design professionals who attend, but also the multiple generations of Tech TSPE students who host the event. Another important impact is that Professional Ethics LIVE! tangibly expresses how Texas Tech University values the local design professional community, and vice versa. As a university-community partnership, Professional Ethics LIVE! exists at the intersection of learning, application and collaboration and is an excellent expression of the community engagement model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1135
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020


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