Asee peer logo

Comparison Of Education Models For Increasing Student Exposure To Engineering In Developing Countries

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teamwork, K-12: Projects to Promote Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.307.1 - 8.307.19



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Stephen Silliman

Download Paper |

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

Session Number: 1660

Comparison of Education Models for Increasing Student Exposure to Engineering in Developing Countries

Stephen E. Silliman Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556


The challenge of increasing the exposure of undergraduate engineers to the opportunities for, and constraints on, working in developing countries has resulted, at the University of Notre Dame, in the examination of three models for providing appropriate learning experiences. Experience with a multidisciplinary experiential seminar on water supply in Haiti (involving students from multiple colleges at the University of Notre Dame) is compared both with a cross-disciplinary elective course on water supply development (again, involving students from multiple colleges at the University of Notre Dame) and with an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) site focused on water resources in developing countries (involving students from a number of universities and focused on research in Benin, Haiti, Honduras, and Chile). The Haiti seminar and the REU program both involve travel to, and interaction with, locals in the developing country. Impact of these three models on student learning is examined through application of surveys to students participating in each of these models, the pool of students applying to the research projects, a control group of senior engineering students, and representatives from industry. Both entrance and exit surveys were administered to the students in the elective course and students participating in the REU program. Among the similarities observed among students in all three groups was an increased perception (in particular, compared to the industry representatives) of need for education on international issues and the liberal arts. Differences among the groups were correlated to the primary learning objectives of the three models. Additionally, the Haiti and REU models attracted a disproportionately large percentage of women.

Introduction The Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame has dedicated effort to increasing awareness among undergraduates of the role of the engineer as a significant contributor within a multidisciplinary team for addressing water resources in developing countries. This effort is related closely to the recognition at Notre Dame, as well as at other institutions of higher education1, that there is an increasing need to expose undergraduate engineering students to the social, political and cultural components of engineering practice. Three models of learning experience (summarized in Table 1) have been utilized in at Notre Dame with various levels of commitment of financial resources, faculty time, and risk:

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Silliman, S. (2003, June), Comparison Of Education Models For Increasing Student Exposure To Engineering In Developing Countries Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12037

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015