June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
20.17.1 - 20.17.9
An Engineering Faculty Perspective on Shared Global Experiences Studying overseas has a deep and profound impact on the intellectual and personal developmentof faculty and students. International experiences are needed in today’s society to shape the livesof students, and prepare them for a complex multi-cultural world with language barriers,different codes, and unparalleled competition. The promotion of a global vision of engineeringeducation is needed so that graduates are competitive with those of other nations around theworld. Faculty development and knowledge of international engineering practice is instrumentalin shaping students global perspective in classrooms here and abroad.This paper describes the Global Explorer Program (GEP) implemented in the Department ofCivil Engineering and Construction (CEC) at Bradley University, case studies of two specificoverseas programs to four countries, benefits of such a program for faculty personally andprofessionally, and examples of how a faculty’s growth and development can result in theintegration of international concepts into various courses taught on campus. More importantly,the faculty developed a deeper understanding of other cultures, global engineering practice, andtime management that profoundly impacted the educational experiences of students at Bradley.Since its inception in1996, the GEP has been offered through the CEC Department permittedstudents study abroad with CEC faculty, international faculty, and guest lecturers in Egypt/Jordan, England/ France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Malta. The GEP is much more thanjust teaching classes in other countries; daily excursions are made to historical engineering sitesin the region, supplemented by tour guides, and professional guest lecturers, who share theirexpertise about the engineering aspects and cultural dimensions of the sites visited. Technicallectures are also presented in class by professors from universities abroad, high-level governmentofficials, Prime Ministers, and business executives. Faculty and students gain unparalleledperspectives on global technologies, cultural business practices, engineering designconsiderations, employment opportunities, and worldwide competition.The authors have participated in several study abroad programs but will focus on: (1) Englandand France, and (2) Jordan and Egypt. As a part of the England-France GEP, daily excursionswere made to real world teaching environments to the reclamation of canals in Wales, the firstarch Iron Bridge, Stonehenge, Cambridge, Oxford, and London. The group then traveled toFrance through the Chunnel to visit the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Versailles, andLouvre Museum. The overall organization of the Egypt-Jordan GEP was similar, however thecultural dimensions were vastly different. Students and faculty visited various historical sitesthat highlighted the civil engineering marvels of the ancient engineers, such as Petra, Pyramidsof Giza, the open air museums of Luxor and Karnak, the ruins of ancient Memphis, Alexandria’sGreat Library and Roman Amphitheatre, and Suez Canal. Student gained insights and receivedlectures on the ingenuity and techniques used by Civil Engineers of the past and the present.The intensity of these programs challenged one’s ability to meet deadlines, mange timeeffectively while learning about different cultures. It is a life-changing experience inside andoutside the classroom that continues to shape our perspectives personally and professionally.This allows faculty to be more effective teachers, because now they have hands-on overseasexperiences and civil engineering design examples that can be shared in the campus classroomsetting to heighten the global awareness of all CE students.
Schattler, K. L., & Al-Khafaji, A. W. (2014, June), Engineering Faculty Perspectives on Shared Global Experiences Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17180
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