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A Co Op Based International Engineering Minor Degree

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.4.1 - 2.4.3



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Gary R. Martin

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2260

A Co-op Based International Engineering Minor Degree

Gary R. Martin, Ed.D. University of the Pacific


In 1983, I had a student who opted to work his Co-op with his father’s company in Japan. Midway through the experience, I wrote to his father, inquiring if per chance the arrangement had been of sufficient mutual benefit to warrant replacing his son after his Co-op with another student. Today, thirteen years later, that company has now had thirty-five of our Co-op students, most of whom did not speak any Japanese prior to the start of their Co-op placement. In 1985, I launched a similar chain of events with Siemens Company in Germany. The idea grew in its appeal with more students and companies. Concurrent with this trend, we began hearing more and more of such terms as global economy,# "cross-cultural sensitivity,# "improved international relations,# etc. in various professional engineering circles. So around 1993, it occurred to us that it might be helpful to provide some structured guidance for preparing students for these international Co-ops by making available a plan whereby students could take internationally- oriented courses prior to such a Co-op, and receive an "International Engineering Minor# degree upon such completion. This paper presents our formal published guidelines for this degree, discussing the various components in the order of their occurrence in the attached brochure.

Program Requirements

Bachelor Degree: Students must complete an engineering degree to qualify for the minor degree. Since none of the minor courses taken are actually directly related to engineering, the minor relies on the major requirements along with the Co-op experience discussed below to support its "engineering# content.

GPA: We require students to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5. This helps preserve the respectability of the program. It also helps us to assure prospective international employers that they can rely on our applicants. These employers are an extremely precious commodity, worthy of extra protection.

Co-op: Perhaps the most exciting component of the minor degree is a full-time Co-op placement in another country. The School of Engineering at the University of the Pacific requires all its students to complete twelve months of full-time Cooperative Education experience prior to their graduation. (Some exceptions exist.) After their sophomore year, students go out on the first of their two Co-ops, withdrawing from their classes and relocating for the position. At the end of


Martin, G. R. (1997, June), A Co Op Based International Engineering Minor Degree Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6469

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