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Increasing the Number of Sponsored Mexican Graduate Students in Engineering

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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 Poster Session

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.950.1 - 26.950.16



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Paper Authors


Maria Claudia Alves Texas A&M University

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Ms. Maria C. Alves is the Director for Engineering International Programs at Texas A&M University. She has been in this position since July 2012. In this position she is responsible for internationalizing the research and education activities of the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Alves started working at Texas A&M in 2005 as Assistant Director for Latin American Programs, and in 2009 she was promoted to Program Manager for South America in the same office. While at the Office for Latin American Programs, Alves was also responsible for the opening of the Soltis Center in Costa Rica. She completed her undergraduate studies at Lynn University in Florida, where she graduated with honors in Business Administration in 2002. She is a graduate of the M.S. Marketing program at Texas A&M University, and in the Fall of 2009, Alves started the Ph.D. program in Higher Education Administration and is expected to finish in 2015.

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Meghan M. Alexander Texas A&M University

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Meghan M. Alexander is the Assistant Director for Engineering International Programs at Texas A&M University. She has an M.Ed. in Counseling and more than 15 years' experience in international education and partnerships.

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Victor Manuel Camara-Poot Yucatán Ministry of Education

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Camara-Poot is Head of Planning and Strategic Projects at the Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education, Government of the State of Yucatán.
For six years he has worked in the field of higher education, first with projects within universities, and then with the government, to develop programs and policies at the state level. He seeks to boost the development of human capital in the region and increase the knowledge of science and technology.
He has been part of teams that are working on ways to increase opportunities for young Yucatán and Mexican students to have international experiences, ranging from short stays to postgraduate study-abroad programs.

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Martha Elena Ortega CANIETI

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Martha Ortega was born in Yucatán, Mexico in 1978. She received her B.S. in Computer Science Engineering (2003) and M.S. in Information Technologies Management (2009).
Since December 2008, Ortega has been with the Mexican Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications, and Information Technology. She was the Southeast Regional Director and since April, 2014, has worked on projects related to human capital development with the Special Projects National Direction.

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Increasing the Number of Sponsored Mexican Graduate Students in EngineeringAdvantages of having international students enrolled in graduate degree programs at USuniversities includes developing international ties, bringing financial resources, maintaining adiverse intellectual pool of students and fulfilling a shortage of engineering talent in the US.Recruitment and retention of international graduate students have been more challengingrecently with increased competition from other host countries such as Australia, the UK andGermany. Several approaches have been reported to ensure that the number of internationalstudents on campuses does not decline including collaborations, additional efforts in recruitment,and new funding for marketing and program promotion. In summary, research indicates there is aneed for coordinated efforts to secure the highest quality international students.This paper presents a case study of such a coordinated effort – to increase the number of highquality students from Mexico into a large college of engineering in the South. Even thoughMexico and the United States are neighbors with strong economic ties, during 2013, according tothe Mexican government out of 224 students sponsored by CONACYT in the informationtechnology area who were selected to study abroad, only 20 students came to the United States(less than 10%). During the Fall 2013, at the authors’ institution, although a very large college ofengineering with geographical closeness to Mexico, only 32 graduate students from Mexico wereenrolled out of 1,958 international students (less than 2%).With the pilot program implemented during summer 2014 out of 50 students who participated, 9students have been admitted to the spring semester and about 20 other students will be applyingfor the next fall semester. The pilot program was implemented during summer 2014 inpartnership with two states in Mexico (Yucatan and Zacatecas) and a large sponsoring body fromMexico. The goal of the sponsor agency is to improve the human capital development in Mexicoin the IT sector. This paper describes the recruiting and selection process, the implementationand the results of the pilot program. Insights into this project can serve as a model forinternational student recruitment.

Alves , M. C., & Alexander, M. M., & Camara-Poot, V. M., & Ortega, M. E. (2015, June), Increasing the Number of Sponsored Mexican Graduate Students in Engineering Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24287

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