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A Student Review of an International Service Learning Program in Peru: Successes and Lessons Learned

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2013 ASEE International Forum


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 22, 2013

Start Date

June 22, 2013

End Date

June 22, 2013

Conference Session

Reception & Poster Session

Tagged Topic

ASEE International Forum

Page Count


Page Numbers

21.5.1 - 21.5.10



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Paper Authors

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Brett Tempest University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Miguel Pando P.E. University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Sandra Loree Dika University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Michael Adam Hoff UNC Charlotte

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A Student Review of an International Service Learning Program in Peru: Successes and Lessons Learned This paper presents an “in-their-own-words” student evaluation of the value ofinternational service to engineering education with the purpose of reconciling facultyperspectives and student perspectives. Engineering educators speak in an institutionalizedlanguage of objectives and outcomes which relate the intent of educational activities with theirimpact on student knowledge and preparation for the profession. Most often, this specializedvernacular is not shared by students; and their perception of the importance of various activitiesmay depart from the perception held by the educator. Also, the international landscapeexperienced by outward bound millennial (and post-millennial) students reflects a much differentset of world affairs than their professors would have encountered if they embarked on similarprograms during their own time in college. Four students who have recently returned from aninternational service experience in Andean Peru report their perception of the value of the trip byresponding to the following prompts: 1) what was the significance of service learning to yourprofessional development?, 2) compare the value of international experiences with the value ofsimilar domestic experiences, 3) was service learning effective at developing technical skills?and, 4) what motivated you to incorporate international service learning into the crampedengineering curriculum? For comparison, the two faculty organizers also responded to the sameprompts. While not all student responses were the ones hoped for by the program organizers, thestudents’ perceptions are useful to the planning and marketing of future international serviceprograms. By applying the evaluation and critique of this round of program participants topromoting future trips, the organizers will be able to better encourage engineering students toengage in international experiences during their college career. Summary statements arepresented regarding the perceptions of this batch of students. Finally, conclusions incorporateplanning choices made based on student input.

Tempest, B., & Pando, M., & Dika, S. L., & Hoff, M. A. (2013, June), A Student Review of an International Service Learning Program in Peru: Successes and Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--17210

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