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Gaining International Competence: A Multi Faceted Approach To International Engineering Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.654.1 - 10.654.9



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Paper Authors

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Stacie Edington

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Melissa Eljamal

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Stella Pang

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

Gaining International Competence: A Multi-Faceted Approach to International Engineering Education

M. B. Eljamal, S. W. Pang, and S. J. Edington College of Engineering The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109

Abstract In direct alignment with Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology criteria to train engineers who should be globally competent, the International Programs in Engineering office in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan has created a broad palette of international program activities that will engage both its undergraduate and graduate student populations to develop global skills. Programs range in duration from a few hours to the length of an academic career and include language learning and cross-cultural training. These programs are accompanied by a strategic marketing plan that has resulted in a steady increase in participation, with more graduates who are well-equipped to deal with the challenges posed by working in multi-national corporations.

I. Introduction Engineers are increasingly asked to work with international suppliers, co-workers, and clients. Global assignments for companies in industries such as communications, information technology, and automotive manufacturing, require engineers to integrate technical knowledge with global competencies. In response to the need for globally competent engineers, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has developed indicators for evaluating engineering technology programs’ ability to provide opportunities for students to develop the necessary global competencies. Among the eleven skills and abilities listed in Criterion 3 of ABET: Program Outcomes and Assessment for basic level programs, ABET articulated outcomes such as multidisciplinary team functioning, communication skills, and “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context”1. Program evaluations of international experiences have illustrated that students acquire a variety of desired global competencies as a result of participating in cross-cultural learning opportunities2, such as an appreciation of other cultures, growth in independence and maturity, greater self-awareness, greater tolerance for different people and ideas, growth in interpersonal skills3; and development of a multicultural perspective.4

Yet, the integration of international opportunities in an engineering academic program is daunting. Engineering students interested in a traditional study abroad program confront a number of barriers to participation. Core program courses in small departments might be offered only once annually, meaning an automatic delay to degree if students go overseas. Departments

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Edington, S., & Eljamal, M., & Pang, S. (2005, June), Gaining International Competence: A Multi Faceted Approach To International Engineering Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14886

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