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Global Learning Opportunities For Bucknell Engineers

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.645.1 - 13.645.7

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Paper Authors

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Richard McGinnis Bucknell University


Alexandra Coleman Bucknell University

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Alex Coleman is civil & environmental engineering student in the Class of 2008 at Bucknell University.

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Jacqueline Denning Bucknell University

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Jackie Denning is a mechanical engineering student in the class of 2010 at Bucknell University

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Joseph Smith Bucknell University

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Joey Smith is a civil and environmental engineering student in the class of 2008 at Bucknell University

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

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.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015