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Development of Students' Intercultural Knowledge and Competence

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Global and Intercultural Competency

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James Warnock University of Georgia

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James Warnock is a Professor and founding Chair for the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Georgia. He has been a big proponent of self-directed learning and active learning in his classes. James is also the Adjunct Director for training and instruction in the professional services department at ABET. In this role, he oversees the development, planning, production and implementation of the ABET Program Assessment Workshops, IDEAL and the assessment webinar series. He also directs activities related to the workshop facilitator training and professional development.

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Galyna Melnychuk Mississippi State University

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Galyna Melnychuk completed her undergraduate education in Optical Engineering at Kiev Polytechnic University. In addition, she holds two engineering masters degrees - M.S. in Optical Engineering from Kiev Polytechnic University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University. Subsequent involvement in technology commercialization and small business development at MSU stimulated her interest in finances, accounting and business taxations, and she received her third graduate degree - Master of Taxation from the College of Accounting at MSU. Galyna’s work in the Emerging Materials Research Laboratory at MSU involved R&D of semiconductor and nano-electronic materials and devices. This research experience helped her develop a multidisciplinary expertise in science and technology, covering Electrical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, etc.
Since 2011 Galyna have been administering International Programs at the Bagley College of Engineering. Born and raised overseas, she encouraged Mississippi State University students to gain firsthand knowledge of how engineering is taught and practiced throughout the world.

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The most common international experience that US students have while undergraduates is a faculty-led study abroad. These can last between two to ten weeks and allow students an opportunity to travel to a foreign location with a cohort of American students and faculty member. This is a valuable experience, especially for students that have never before traveled oversees. However, the opportunity to develop their intercultural knowledge and competence is limited by the fact they are constantly interacting with other American students. To overcome this deficit, we partnered with a French institution to offer a faculty-led study abroad course. Before departing the US, American students were given a French pen-pal at the host institution and were able to start communicating with them. During the two-week stay in France, students participated in a number of social activities with their French counterparts. Students completed a pre- and post-survey to determine the extent to which their intercultural knowledge had changed. Students participating in a separate study abroad program in Germany, where there is no interaction with students from the host institution, were also asked to complete the pre- and post-survey. This cohort serves as a control group and will enable us to determine the extent to which interaction with students from the host country promotes intercultural knowledge.

Warnock, J., & Melnychuk, G. (2018, June), Development of Students' Intercultural Knowledge and Competence Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30330

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