June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
21.29.1 - 21.29.13
GLOBAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PROGRAM: A MODEL FOR UNIFORM, INSTITUTION-‐WIDE ACCESS TO STEM INTERNATIONALIZATION Globalization has been the predominant economic theme for the past decade, leading to broad global distribution of research, design, and production teams and facilities spanning the full spectrum of science and engineering disciplines. Modern engineering graduates will be expected to communicate and collaborate across cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries on a daily basis; globalization of the labor market means that U.S. engineering graduates must be prepared to compete with international candidates for choice positions. Given the recognized national urgency of better preparing our engineering graduates for global practice, it is surprising how little progress has towards this goal has been made on a broad national level. Some institutions have responded to these new imperatives by working harder to integrate global perspectives in their engineering curricula, and promoting study-‐abroad and international internships for engineers; a small handful of ambitious institutions have taken this commitment to the next level, creating specialized “international tracks” within one or more engineering programs. On a broad national level, however, most engineering graduates still leave college with little or no significant international exposure. The goal of this paper is to begin a discussion on why integration of international exposure has remained the exception rather than the rule in U.S. engineering education, with an eye towards outlining the challenges that exist and envisioning potential solutions. In particular, we see two main obstacles: 1. Creating broad programs and curricular models. Many existing internationalization opportunities are small, custom initiatives, driven by individual faculty or departments. Internationalization must become a mundane well-‐defined curricular option, uniformly available in all STEM disciplines across an institution. 2. Reducing barriers to international collaboration. A major logistic and financial obstacle in any internationalization initiative is developing partnerships with international partner universities and internship providers. An international consortium centered around creating a global online “common market” of internationalization opportunities could provide easy entry for institutions working to launch or expand international initiatives. In this paper, we focus primarily on the first of these challenges, presenting our recently deployed Global Science and Engineering Program (GSEP), a broad internationalization initiative uniformly spanning all engineering, math, and natural science programs offered at our institution. Our analysis of the challenges and solutions encountered in establishing GSEP offers insights and best practices for other institutions exploring large-‐scale internationalization of their engineering and science programs. We close with a brief discussion of the second challenge, outlining a vision for a centralized clearinghouse for international collaboration in STEM education.
Doerry, E., & Charles, H. (2013, June), Global Science and Engineering Program: A Model for Uniform, Institution-wide STEM Internationalization Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--17234
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