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Globally Competent Engineers - Do International Experiences Matter?

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

International Educational Experiences (1)

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Alistair Cook Colorado State University

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PhD Student in Education Sciences specializing in global development engineering

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In a world of increasingly complex and trans-national issues, engineers have to become global citizens to manage and understand the multiplicity of complications they face in their professional careers. Engineering design project classes are where engineering students can gain and practice the professional skills they require for their careers and introducing global perspectives is a recognized method to help students understand these skills in other contexts/cultures. Through comparing local and international design projects in classrooms, alongside international experiences through design based study abroad programs and extra-curricular projects we aim to seek to understand the level and role of international experiences in engineering student’s global competence. This paper will outline the current research and literature in this area and propose a methodology to compare global competencies of students across four different learning models; a US based, non-development project on campus as part of their curriculum, a contextualized international development project partnering with UNHCR Zambia that the students work on remotely from on campus as part of their curriculum, an extra-curricular design project working internationally on a development project with a partner community and a design project based study abroad project in a developing country. Through this we hope to understand the relative importance of international experience to becoming a globally competent engineer and can students gain a reasonable level of competence through introducing global perspectives into their classroom or do they need to travel abroad?

Cook, A. (2017, June), Globally Competent Engineers - Do International Experiences Matter? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28413

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