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Global Technology Experiences for Upper-division Engineering Students: An Assessment

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 7

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.820.1 - 26.820.14



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Paper Authors


Patricia R Backer San Jose State University

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Dr. Backer been a faculty at SJSU since 1990 and held positions as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor, department chair, and director. Since coming to San Jose State University in 1990, I have been involved in the General Education program. Currently, Dr. Backer serves as an evaluator for SJSU's AANAPISI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

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Wenchiang Richard Chung San Jose State University

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Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Auburn University (1987).

Professor, Department of Biomedical, Chemical, and Materials Engineering, San Jose State University, (1987 - present)

Director, Global Technology Institute Program and Summer in Silicon Valley Program

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Global Technology Experiences for Upper Division Engineering Students: An AssessmentIn order for students to thrive in the highly competitive global economy, it is critical for them to developinternational perspectives and appreciation. As a result, in 2004, the San Jose State University’s Charles W.Davidson College of Engineering established a one-million-dollar Global Technology Initiative (GTI)program. The mission of the GTI program is to expand students’ horizons about the opportunities andchallenges of a global economy, to expose them to global, environmental, and energy problems in whichtechnology plays a central role, to motivate their learning of global issues and different cultures, and tointroduce them to a more comprehensive focus on global leadership. Essentially, the program provides U.S.students with a global perspective focused on technology and business leadership, while relating the high-technology industry to the Silicon Valley and Asia-Pacific region.The program has constantly evolved, improving the GTI scholars' experience. Over 160 GTI participantshave traveled throughout Asia to various industries within China, Taiwan, and India. The first three cohorts(2004-2006) visited Taiwan and China, the next three traveled to India (2008-2010), and the past threevisited Taiwan and China (2011-2013). Not only has the destination changed over the years, but theoriginal scope of GTI as well. After the first year, the initiative began including environmental and energyconcerns, based on growing student interest, and therefore included tours and trips to not only technologyindustries, but also environmental and energy enterprises. In 2009, previous students felt that there was alack of cultural and social context when visiting these countries, leading to the development of a three-unitcourse taught in collaboration with SJSU Department of History professors who specialize in the history ofIndia or China, depending on the summer destination. All these changes culminated into making theprogram the success it is today.Due to these innovations and constant evolution, the 2014 GTI cohort was unlike any other. SJSU studentswere given first-hand experience about technology's global role, entrepreneurship, and cross-culturalcollaboration when they participated in the International Innovation & Entrepreneur Leadership Experience(IIELE) at Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU) in Jhongli, Taiwan. In three weeks, students createdinnovative business propositions, toured industries that had a great sense of traditional values andenvironmental awareness, and explored Taiwan's culture through the eyes of local students. The cohort wasa resounding success, with overwhelming positive student feedback. Overall, the SJSU GTI program hasbeen very successful and has met the objectives set for it. Embedding continuous assessment andimprovement into this program has allowed us to adapt to changes and provide the participants with anintensive global experience; a wonderful experience for all involved.

Backer, P. R., & Chung, W. R. (2015, June), Global Technology Experiences for Upper-division Engineering Students: An Assessment Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24157

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