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Assessing Engineering Students' Study Abroad Experiences

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Engineering Education: An International Perspective

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.221.1 - 9.221.10



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Paper Authors

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David J. Bettez

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G. Lineberry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session No. 3560

Assessing Engineering Students’ Study Abroad Experiences David J. Bettez Acting Associate Provost for International Affairs/ Director, Study Abroad and External Scholarships Office of International Affairs University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky

G. T. Lineberry Associate Dean for Commonwealth and International Programs College of Engineering University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky


The University of Kentucky (UK), with an enrollment of 21,000, is a comprehensive, public land- grant university located in the Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky. As the State’s flagship university, the University of Kentucky has long been involved in study abroad and foreign exchange programs, either sending or hosting over 300 non-degree-seeking students and scholars per year.

While there is no debate among U.S. educational institutions of the benefit derived both by the student and the educational community from participation in study abroad and foreign exchange programs, virtually no effort has been made to properly assess such programs. Against the backdrop of the assessment movement among U.S. colleges and universities over the past 25 years, it is surprising that only modest attempts have been made to identify and measure intercultural competencies, that is, those skills and abilities that the student participating in an international experience should gain from the exposure.

From the authors’ perspective gained from a combined 40 years of intercultural education experience, the following will be addressed: (1) Potential explanations for the dearth of formal assessment strategies for study abroad and foreign exchange programs. (2) Results of a recent survey of other universities’ assessment practices. (3) Progress toward construction of a guide for use during structured interviews with students returning from an intercultural study experience, with a focus first on students in engineering.

The long-term objective of this initiative is to formulate an effective, efficient, sustainable, yet comprehensive, process of evaluating these programs. Recognizing that a single set of standardized criteria for assessing programs is infeasible due to differences in such matters as student expectations from participation in an international program, language of instruction, packaging of course content,

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Bettez, D. J., & Lineberry, G. (2004, June), Assessing Engineering Students' Study Abroad Experiences Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12905

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