June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.645.1 - 13.645.7
Global Learning Opportunities for Bucknell Engineers
Global Learning Opportunities for Bucknell Engineers, GLOBE, is a student organization that was formed in October 2007 by engineering students at the university to promote and enhance global learning and study abroad experiences among engineering students. The paper describes the structure of the student organization, its mission, and how it works together with the established engineering societies on campus as well as with the alumni engineering group. First semester activities are described in full, and proposed second semester activities are described briefly. Students’ reactions to the group are also covered. Discussion of the actual second semester activities and a proposed schedule for 2008-09 activities will be included in the presentation at the Annual Meeting in June.
There is no question that today’s engineering student must be prepared to work in a global economy. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires that engineering programs provide “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.”1 The National Academy of Engineering’s report on educating the “Engineer of 2020” includes similar guidance.2 Tom Friedman’s recent popular book, The World is Flat, describes in detail the globalization of the world’s economies and repeatedly shouts the need for understanding this phenomenon.3 An important part of our university’s strategic plan calls for building bridges: “The University will establish bridges to bring the world to Bucknell — and bring Bucknell to the world.”4
The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) also recognizes the need to increase the global competency of engineers. Since 2002 ASEE has been holding annual global colloquia to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas on engineering education in a global venue. These colloquia have been held in Germany, USA, China, Australia, Brazil, and Turkey; and the 2008 colloquium will be held in South Africa.
Since it is clear that engineering students need more than a technical education, what is the best way to insure that engineering students get this needed understanding of globalization? Traditionally university students interested in broadening their global knowledge have spent a semester or two studying abroad at a foreign university. Overall a modest proportion of students have chosen this route, and the percentage of engineering students studying abroad for at least a semester is very low. The large number of required courses in most engineering programs and the sequential ordering of these courses make it difficult to find good course matches at foreign universities. Nationally, engineering students have accounted for 2.9% of students studying abroad for each of the five years from 2001/02 through 2005/06. For the 2005/06 year the number of engineering students studying abroad was about 6,500 or approximately 8.6% of the 75,000 students receiving engineering degrees in that year. The Institute of International Education estimates that 53% of students studying abroad in 2005/06 were in short-term
McGinnis, R., & Coleman, A., & Denning, J., & Smith, J. (2008, June), Global Learning Opportunities For Bucknell Engineers Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3600
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