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Comparing Engineering and Non-engineering International Programs to Determine Value and Future Directions

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 7

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.372.1 - 26.372.13



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Paper Authors


Holt Zaugg Brigham Young University

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Holt Zaugg is the Assessment Librarian at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. His research interests focus on assessments and evaluations that improve student learning and integrate library services with other faculty courses.

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Spencer P. Magleby Brigham Young University

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Dr. Magleby is a professor in Mechanical Engineering and is the associate dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at BYU where he oversees international program development.

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Timothy L Elliott Brigham Young University

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Timothy Lynn Elliott directs Brigham Young University’s office of International Study Programs which annually sends more than 1500 students abroad on study abroad, international internship, and international field study programs. Previous to this current position, he directed the study abroad programs at Utah Valley University, and managed international student programs at Brigham Young University and the University of Virginia. Lynn has a BA in Economics and an MA in International Relations from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

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Alan R Parkinson Brigham Young University


Gregg Morris Warnick Brigham Young University

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Gregg M. Warnick is the Director of the Weidman Center for Global Leadership and Associate Teaching Professor of Engineering Leadership within the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University (BYU). The center provides oversight for leadership development and international activities within the college and he works actively with students, faculty and staff to promote and develop increased capabilities in global agility and leadership. His research and teaching interests include developing global agility, globalization, leadership, project management, ethics, and manufacturing processes. Gregg has lived in numerous locations within the USA and Europe and has worked in many places including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Prior to joining BYU, Gregg worked for Becton Dickinson, a Global Medical Technology fortune 500 Company. In this capacity he worked as a product development engineer, quality engineer, technical lead, business leader and program/project manager managing many different global projects. Gregg received his PhD in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Master of Technology Management degree and a BS in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, from Brigham Young University. Gregg also does consulting in project management and leadership working with IPS Learning and Stanford University where he provides training for fortune 500 companies throughout the world.

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Comparing Engineering and Non-Engineering International Programs to Determine Value and Future DirectionsInternational programs are a common approach to achieving a variety of international-relatedoutcomes for students by participating in educational experiences around the world. Suchprograms are generally designed to meet lofty goals such as providing an in-depth understandingof people and their culture in such a way that discipline specific practices are compared andcontrasted, personal student biases and misconceptions are exposed and a broader perspective isgained of the world in which we live and work. In recent years there has been a significantincrease in the number of engineering-specific international programs reflecting the increasingglobalization of the engineering enterprise. While each discipline specific study abroad programselects its outcomes to achieve specific objectives, a comparison between engineering and non-engineering programs could assist in understanding common strengths and challenges, andunique issues and opportunities for engineering-focused experiences.This paper presents a study that can serve as an initial step in understanding and defining thevalue of engineering international programs in the context of the traditional, wide-ranging studyabroad experience. It compares evaluations from students participating in engineering programsto evaluations of students participating in non-engineering programs to determine common,unique and missing indicators of success. The success and value of both engineering and non-engineering study abroad programs are evaluated on three outcomes: 1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the people, worldview, culture (and language, where applicable) of the foreign setting in which they study. 2. Recognize one’s cultural presuppositions and biases through sustained exposure to, and study of, foreign perspectives on one’s own culture. 3. Articulate a deeper awareness of one’s academic discipline by comparing and contrasting how it is understood and practiced in a foreign setting.Since the study will serve as a spring-board for future development of engineering study abroadprograms, next steps in the evaluation, comparison and development process will also beoutlined.

Zaugg, H., & Magleby, S. P., & Elliott, T. L., & Parkinson, A. R., & Warnick, G. M. (2015, June), Comparing Engineering and Non-engineering International Programs to Determine Value and Future Directions Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23711

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