June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.77.1 - 15.77.17
A Preliminary Report on Uniform Outcomes Assessment of a College-wide Set of International Programs Abstract
Globalization continues to be reported as a major industrial trend that will continue and expand. In response, many universities have initiated international internships and/or study abroad programs in an effort to better prepare students for their future work in global settings. This paper presents efforts at Brigham Young University’s College of Engineering and Technology to create and assess new programs to help develop such global competence in our students. An overview of the college’s international programs is first provided followed by a description of learning outcomes for these programs. Assessment results gathered across a set of college programs are then summarized, including survey results from industrial recruiters.
Globalization of the engineering profession continues to be reported as a major industrial trend that will continue and expand1-3. Many companies are international in scope and the number appears to be growing. Major technological changes have occurred in recent years to help facilitate the globalization of engineering activities. As a result, numerous reports4-6 have encouraged engineering and technology programs to offer educational activities that promote development of “global competence” in their students. Institutions around the country have responded to these trends and have created a variety of courses and experiences aimed at developing global competence. While a few programs have been in operation for some time, many are new and just beginning to assess their effectiveness.
Over the past five years, the College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University (BYU) has embarked on the development of a coordinated set of educational activities related to this objective of achieving global competence in engineering and technology students. The intent of these experiences has been to improve the ability of our students to thrive in an increasingly international technical environment, and in fact be on a path to developing global leadership7. These activities have been part of a phased plan that has included piloting of international technical experiences, design of coursework, and development of definitions for global competence, related student learning outcomes and associated assessment tools. The emerging array of international experiences that have been developed by the college faculty have spurred an effort to establish a system of outcomes that would yield the desired global competence8. In preparation for this refined set of outcomes, the college has studied the results of a preliminary set of assessments that have been uniformly applied to a variety of the college programs over a period of 1-5 years. This set of uniform assessment data has allowed us to compare outcomes from different program models.
The objectives of this paper are to provide a brief introduction to the programs within the College of Engineering and Technology at BYU, describing their structure and learning outcomes, present uniform assessment data from these programs and draw preliminary conclusions on the ability of different program models to achieve outcomes related to global competence.
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