San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.720.1 - 25.720.17
As a global leader, the issue of globalization in engineering cannot be adequately addressed bythe United States without considering national population shifts. Considering the growingminority population in the United States, it is critical that these engineering students are wellprepared to navigate the new challenges that arise as a result of the changing dynamics in thegrowingly interconnected global community. However, it is this very minority population that isleast likely to gain experiences studying abroad. To address these concerns, this year, theHoward University College of Engineering executed the GEAR-UP Program, which immersedminority undergraduate engineering students in an international context to conduct appliedresearch in engineering.The GEAR-UP Program was designed to increase the preparedness of minority engineeringstudents to be globally engaged leaders upon graduation through the following three mainavenues: (1) Education, to expose students to international engineering issues through enhancedcourse offerings, (2) awareness, to enhance students knowledge of engineering in aninternational environment through seminar series, and (3) research, to provide the opportunity forminority engineering students to participate in an international research experience. Selectedstudents were engaged in active research abroad for four to six weeks at one of six new researchcollaborations formed in developing countries located in Southeast Asia, Africa or SouthAmerica at one of the following research sites: Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia); Ateneo deManila University (Philippines); Universidad Andres Bello (Chile); Bahir Dar University(Ethiopia); University of Nairobi (Kenya).This study seeks to address a range of questions about minority students’ experiences navigatinginternational cultural settings. In this paper, we describe participants’ travel abroad experiences,discuss their perspectives on researching internationally, and report quantitative and qualitativefindings related to their subsequent personal and intellectual development. Specific issuesdiscussed include students’ unexpected cultural experiences, the challenges and rewards ofinternational research, and ways to improve the preparation of future participants. In order forthe United States to remain competitive in the field of engineering, students must acquire a senseof commitment to helping others in a global world; this research can inform researchers andeducators on promising strategies that foster the development of this critical competency.
Fleming, L. N., & Burrell, J. O., & Patterson, W., & Fredericks, A. C., & Chouikha, M. F. (2012, June), Impacting Engineering Students’ Global Perspectives: The Research Abroad Experiences of HBCU Undergraduates Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21477
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