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Compact International Experiences: One Path to Expanding Student International Awareness Through Short-Term Study-Abroad Elective Engineering Courses

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education: Cross-cultural Awareness and Social Impacts

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Page Count


Page Numbers

22.345.1 - 22.345.13



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Paper Authors


Thomas F. Schubert University of San Diego

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Thomas F. Schubert, Jr. received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA in 1968, 1969, and 1972 respectively.
He is currently a Professor of electrical engineering at the University of San Diego, San Diego, CA and came there as a founding member of the engineering faculty in 1987. He previously served on the electrical engineering faculty at the University of Portland, Portland, OR and Portland State University, Portland, OR, and on the engineering staff at Hughes Aircraft Company, Los Angeles, CA.
Prof. Schubert is a member the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE). He is a registered professional engineer in Oregon. He currently serves as the faculty advisor for the Theta Beta chapter of Eta Kappa Nu at the University of San Diego.

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Frank G. Jacobitz University of San Diego

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Compact international experiences: One path to expanding studentinternational awareness through short-term study-abroad electiveengineering coursesAs part of a drive by the home institution for internationalization of the curriculum as well asstrong student desire for engineering international studies, compact international experience(CIE) courses were developed. The efficacy of delivering such engineering electives as study-abroad, short-term courses is described through the experiences gained by considering twodistinct three-semester-unit courses in a three-week time frame in France and Australia,respectively. While each of these courses, Topics in Fluid Mechanics and Advanced ElectronicCircuit Design, focused on its technical content, the desire for student understanding of thecultural environment and the impact of engineering solutions from a global and societalviewpoint were strong driving factors for each. The development of the two courses wasundertaken with the hypothesis that CIE courses can successfully be taught in an intersessionformat while providing an international experience to the students. Assessment of the programwas carried out through typical course evaluations, student surveys, and formalized instructorobservations. Course evaluations were generally favorable. Students described the courses as“demanding, interactive and useful”, comparing “favorably to other courses I have taken in bothworkload and intellectual growth”, and stated “I learned a lot more than I would have in asemester.” Instructors noted the considerable workload, but considered the experiencesfavorably in both technical and cultural context. Overall, CIE courses have been found to be avaluable approach in the delivery of senior-level technical electives combined with aninternational experience.

Schubert, T. F., & Jacobitz, F. G. (2011, June), Compact International Experiences: One Path to Expanding Student International Awareness Through Short-Term Study-Abroad Elective Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17626

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