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Adapting Curricular Models for Local Service-learning to International Communities

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Relevance of and Models for Community Engagement in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.130.1 - 25.130.14



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Paper Authors


James L. Huff Purdue University Orcid 16x16

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James L. Huff is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University as well as the Assistant Education Administrator for EPICS. He earned his BS in Computer Engineering at Harding University and an MS in electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. A member of the engineering faculty at Harding University, he is on an academic leave to pursue his Ph.D. in engineering education at Purdue University. His research interests include ethical reasoning and social responsibility in engineering, human-centered design learning and assessment, cross-cultural engineering education, and interdisciplinarity.

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Dulcy M. Abraham Purdue University, West Lafayette


Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Carla B. Zoltowski, Ph.D., is Education Administrator of the EPICS Program at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in engineering education, all from Purdue University. She has served as a lecturer in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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William C. Oakes Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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William Oakes is the Director of the EPICS Program at Purdue University, one of the founding faculty members of the School of Engineering Education, and a courtesy faculty member in mechanical engineering and curriculum and instruction in the College of Education. He is an Fellow of the ASEE and NSPE. He was the first engineer to win the Campus Compact Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-learning. He was a co-recipient of the 2005 National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for his work in EPICS.

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Adapting Curricular Models for Local Service-Learning to International CommunitiesAbstractIn recent years, respected voices in both engineering industry and education communities havecalled for a globalization of undergraduate programs. The Newport Declaration, written by ageographically broad sampling of voices in engineering education, articulates this appeal andsummarizes strikingly diverse motivations for this global emphasis held by those in industrialand educational engineering communities. Though the motivations for doing so may vary,globalizing engineering education is a noticeably rising trend in engineering education as markedby an increase of global programs.Though the need for situating engineering students in a global context is well-documented, thepragmatic difficulty of implementing such programs confronts engineering educators. This paperdocuments how a proven service-learning that was created to support local communitypartnerships and has delivered over 300 projects to the local community has been adapted toinclude global partnerships. The model is a curricular-based a model that supports vertically-integrated, multi-disciplinary, engineering service-learning projects at a large Midwesternuniversity. Historically, this long-standing program has paired student design teams with local,community partners. The paper will document how these partnerships have been expanded toglobal communities.This paper will examine information from three case studies: (1)a project focused on designingenergy-efficient housing with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter (2) a design to support aHabitat for Humanity building project in Haiti, and (3) the design of a cyber café for a rural inHaiti. Using these case studies, the study will discuss the efficacy and transferability of thecurriculum to global projects as well as the challenges that arise with adapting this curriculum toan international scope. By investigating this service-learning curriculum through the lenses ofglobalization, this study will demonstrate a pliable and practicable model for service-learning inthe global community.

Huff, J. L., & Abraham, D. M., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Oakes, W. C. (2012, June), Adapting Curricular Models for Local Service-learning to International Communities Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20890

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