New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Session Choices: 1. Comparison and Assessment of Various Study Abroad Models in Achieving Global Competencies 2. Cross cultural diversity
Universities are challenged to graduate students who are globally competent/prepared or have a global perspective. But how to measure this? As part of a much larger study of the effectiveness of various forms of international experiences, we have used a comprehensive instrument to survey our incoming engineering students relative to their demographics, global experiences, and global perspectives. To do this we have incorporated the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI), a nationally normed instrument that measures students’ global learning and development. Specifically, the GPI’s three components measure how a student thinks (i.e., cognitive domain); how a student views him/herself as an individual with a cultural heritage (i.e., Intrapersonal domain); and how a student relates to people from other cultures, backgrounds, and values (i.e., Interpersonal domain). We have done this to better understand the level of global preparedness of our incoming freshmen, and particularly, how this is influenced by their demographic factors and experiences prior to entering college. In this paper we present our findings and provide recommendation for engineering faculty, including how to better identify/target those students who may enter with relatively low levels of global “competence,” as well as those at the higher end. For example, findings to date suggest that a large number of students enter the university with a relatively high level of global preparedness/competence. We found that over two-thirds of entering students had a passport (i.e., an indication of global travel). Perhaps not surprising, the Interpersonal interaction (Social Interaction dimension) of the GPI was associated with the largest number of significant differences across the various factors. While students from suburban areas tended to have the highest GPI levels for this dimension, this was also true for students from rural areas and small towns if one or more parents had an advanced degree. We also found a somewhat more disproportionately high number of female students were among those with the highest social interaction dimension of the GPI. Likewise, a disproportionate high number of foreign born students were in that same population, (although the number of foreign born students was quite low). In contrast, 94% of the low scores were born in the U.S. along with their parents and at least one grandparent. We are finding other trends in our data that coincide with our experience and intuition related to students' global competency, which will be fully addressed in the paper and presentation.
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