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A Cross-Sectional Study of Engineering Student Perceptions and Experiences Related to Global Readiness

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 5

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.31.1 - 26.31.22



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Paper Authors


Sarah E Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Sarah Zappe is Research Associate and Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. She holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology emphasizing applied measurement and testing. In her position, Sarah is responsible for developing instructional support programs for faculty, providing evaluation support for educational proposals and projects, and working with faculty to publish educational research. Her research interests primarily involve creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

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D. Jake Follmer The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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D. Jake Follmer is a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. His interests are in issues related to learning, assessment, and program evaluation.

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A Cross-Sectional Study of Engineering Student Perceptions and Experiences Related to Global ReadinessSession Choices: 1. Domestic Internationalization: Developing Global Competence Through On-Campus Activities 2. Needs, Opportunities, and Challenges for Global Engineering EducationIn 2012, the College of Engineering at a large mid-Atlantic research university began alongitudinal, cross-sectional study of engineering students’ perceptions and experiences relatingto global readiness. The purpose of the proposed four-year long study is to examine the impactof various activities, such as an increased focus on non-travel based international activities. Anonline survey was administered to first-year students during each fall semester and seniorstudents during each spring semester. Data are available for two full years. Students were askedquestions about previous international experiences and perceptions regarding global readiness.Also included was a 15-question Cultural Dispositions Index (CDI) (Ball, Zaugg, Davies,Tateishi, Parkinson, Jensen, & Magleby, 2012).Data are available from 1,682 first-year students (865 during the fall of 2012 and 817 during thefall of 2013) and 685 senior students (378 during the spring of 2013 and 307 during the spring of2014). The purpose of this paper is to describe differences between first-year and seniorstudents. Some of the study conclusions are listed below: 1. A greater proportion of first-year students anticipate working in the same state as the university after graduation as compared to seniors. A greater proportion of first-year students also anticipate working internationally. A greater proportion of seniors anticipate working in another state. 2. Seniors reported greater feelings of global readiness as compared to first-year students. First-year students scored higher on the following items: “Being globally ready is important to me professionally” and “I feel that global readiness is a competency that employers look for in engineering graduates.” 3. Seniors indicated that they most improved their global readiness by interacting with international students both in their courses and outside of classes. 4. No significant differences were found in students’ scores on the CDI, suggesting that first-year and senior students perceived themselves similarly in terms of openness and interest towards other cultures. 5. Senior students who studied or worked abroad had significantly higher scores on the CDI and the global readiness items.The full paper will describe the methodology, results, and study limitations in greater detail. Inaddition, implications of the results for engineering education will be discussed, particularlythose implications involving non-travel based international experiences.References:Ball, A. G., Zaugg, H., Davies, E., Tateishi, I., Parkinson, A. R., Jensen, C. G., Magleby, S. P. (2012). Identification and validation of a set of global competencies for engineering students. International Journal of Engineering Education. 28(1): 156-168.

Zappe, S. E., & Follmer, D. J. (2015, June), A Cross-Sectional Study of Engineering Student Perceptions and Experiences Related to Global Readiness Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23372

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