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Global Science and Engineering Program: A Model for Uniform, Institution-wide STEM Internationalization

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2013 ASEE International Forum


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 22, 2013

Start Date

June 22, 2013

End Date

June 22, 2013

Conference Session

Track 1 - Session II - Student Development

Tagged Topic

Student Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

21.29.1 - 21.29.13

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Paper Authors


Eck Doerry Northern Arizona University

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Eck Doerry is an associate professor in Computer Science at Northern Arizona University. His research interests fall mainly within the areas of Groupware Systems, focusing on computer support for widely-distributed research and learning communities; and in Engineering Pedagogy, focusing on interdisciplinary and international teaming approaches to teaching engineering design. Internationalization of engineering education has been a particular passion for Dr. Doerry. He has been a leader in internationalization of Engineering at NAU since arriving in 1999, expanding this initiative to the Natural Sciences starting in 2005. Significant milestones in this area include the development of an effective model of reciprocal “exploratory trips” to motivate international study in engineering; the International Engineering and Natural Sciences certificate program; and the Global Engineering College project, an NSF-funded exploration of a comprehensively internationalized curricular model for engineering education. These efforts culminated in 2010 with the creation of the Global Science and Engineering Program (GSEP), an innovative initiative to establish a comprehensive framework for internationalization uniformly spanning all engineering, math and natural science disciplines at NAU.

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Harvey Charles Northern Arizona University

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Dr. Harvey Charles is Vice Provost for International Education at Northern Arizona University. He provides institutional leadership on strategic planning around global education, helps to facilitate global learning opportunities for students, supports faculty development opportunities through international teaching and research, and consults with colleges and universities on curriculum and campus internationalization

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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.

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