San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.75.1 - 25.75.19
A Multidisciplinary Global Health Course with an Integrated International Field ExperienceThe recent trend of economic globalization has created a need for engineering graduates withskills outside of the traditional curriculum . In particular, engineering graduates must beprepared to develop solutions in a variety of unfamiliar environments, including foreigncountries, languages, and cultures. Recently, a number of biomedical engineering programs havedeveloped opportunities that emphasize global perspectives through extracurricular activities andresearch experiences [2, 3]. In this work, we describe a multidisciplinary course-based approachthat integrates an international field experience with the study of global health.The new course, which is titled Global Health & Technology, was designed to bring togetherundergraduate students from a variety of disciplines and academic levels to study issues facinghealthcare around the world. The focus of the class is the relationship between healthcare andtechnology in a global context, thus the course content included a study of major diseases, typesof healthcare systems, and socioeconomic considerations. Additionally, each student conductedan independent literature review of the healthcare status of a foreign country and presented theirfindings to the class. The students also worked in teams to develop technology-based solutions tospecific global health issues within economic and material constraints.The centerpiece of the course was an 11-day faculty-led field experience in Guatemala thatoccurred at the end of the semester. To prepare for the field experience, the students were givenlanguage instruction as well as lectures on the history and culture of Guatemala. During the fieldexperience, the students visited clinical care facilities, such as a large regional hospital and alocal clinic. Additionally, the students conducted a health assessment of the region byinterviewing and surveying administrators, healthcare workers, and patients at various facilities.In order to assess the impact of the new course on student interest and attitudes toward globalhealth, a set of pre- and post-course surveys were developed and administered. The results fromthe surveys showed increased student-reported knowledge regarding global health issues aftercompleting the course. The students also reported an increased level of interest in pursuingfurther studies and careers in the area of global health, as well as a desire to become moreproficient in a foreign language.Due to the success of the new course, which was implemented for the first time in Spring 2011, itis expected that subsequent offerings will maintain the integrated format. Additionally, the healthassessment completed during the field experience is expected to generate global health projectsthat may be completed by students in future course offerings as well as the senior designcurriculum. As a result, this course may serve as a model for other institutions who wish to bringauthentic global learning to their own students at various locations in their undergraduateengineering curriculum.References J.M. Grandin and E.D. Hirleman, “Educating engineers as global citizens: A call to action,” Report of the National Summit Meeting on the Globalization of Engineering Education, March 2009. M.I. O’Connor, L. Young, and J.D. Gassert, “A world of education: Healthcare without borders,” Proceedings of the 2011 ASEE Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 26-29, 2011. B.B. Fasse and P. Benkeser, “Developing the global biomedical engineer through a 12- month international undergraduate research experience in the U.S. and China,” Proceedings of the 2011 ASEE Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 26-29, 2011.
Rust, M. J., & Northrup, S. G. (2012, June), A Multidisciplinary Global Health Course with an Integrated International Field Experience Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20835
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