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Examining the Development of Global Competencies Among

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Preparing Engineering Students for the Global Workplace

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Page Count


Page Numbers

25.597.1 - 25.597.9



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Paper Authors


Catherine T. Amelink Virginia Tech

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Catherine T. Amelink, Ph.D., is Research Analyst and Assessment Specialist, Dean’s Office, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech. She has held a variety of assessment related positions at Virginia Tech as well as at the University of Maryland University College. Amerlink earned her degree in educational leadership and policy studies at Virginia Tech.

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Nicole P. Sanderlin Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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Nicole Sanderlin serves as Director of International Programs for Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering. She holds a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs. Her research focuses on the internationalization of higher education, faculty engagement, and global curriculum development.

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Elizabeth M. Tront Virginia Tech

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Joseph G. Tront Virginia Tech

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Examining the Development of Global Competencies Among Engineering UndergraduatesIn addition to content knowledge, engineering undergraduates need to develop a set of skills thatwill enable them to compete in a global environment. The National Academy of engineeringsuggests undergraduate curriculum should be amended so that international experiences,development of cultural competencies, and foreign language skills become integral components.Foreign travel experiences and courses tailored to teach these skills have been identified as ameans to encourage these qualities in engineering undergraduates. Little is known about how todesign and assess educational experiences so that these competencies are developed amongstudents in a meaningful and measurable way. This paper will describe the pedagogy designed todevelop competencies expected of a global engineer, including the related internationalexperience, being employed in the College of Engineering at a Research I university. In addition,the assessment methodology that has been developed to determine the extent to which studentsare developing the skills needed for engineering in a global context and their perceptions of aglobal engineer as a result of this comprehensive experience will be shared.Discussion will focus on the assessment process used to determine how students perceptions ofthe skills needed to work within a global engineering context changed as a result of aninternational experience and a related course designed to expose students to global engineeringconcepts. Efficacy of the materials being employed including the pedagogy used and the designand refinement of the assessment materials being implemented will be reviewed.Assessment results to date indicate that students who have completed the course have obtainedspecific levels of competencies in preparation for practicing in the global engineeringenvironment. Our findings will be used to inform curriculum and future international experiencesfor our students. The information shared will be used by other institutions to assess globalengineering proficiency initiatives.

Amelink, C. T., & Sanderlin, N. P., & Tront, E. M., & Tront, J. G. (2012, June), Examining the Development of Global Competencies Among Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21354

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