June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.793.1 - 11.793.20
Integrating Study Abroad and Cooperative Education: A case study
This paper discusses an alternative to the conventional cooperative education model that was developed in response to student demand for an international experience course for architecture majors. An overview for the class is provided, including a discussion of both activities and challenges associated with developing, organizing, and conducting the course. The rationale for establishing the equivalency of the course experience and the existing cooperative education requirements are discussed, followed by a discussion of learning outcomes, assessment procedures, and conclusions.
As a discipline, architecture has a long tradition of study abroad. However, in contrast to architecture programs at nearly all other institutions, there are currently no formal study abroad options available to architecture students in the College of Technology at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). While there are alternative study abroad options available, such as study abroad programs offered by other institutions, they are not without disadvantages. For example, other institutions typically offer these programs in the summer in order to accommodate the course sequence associated with professional degree programs. The architecture program at BGSU follows a similar curriculum structure leaving summer semester as the only viable option for study abroad. However, the curriculum schedule identifies summer semester as the time period for students to complete each of the three full-semester cooperative education experiences mandated by the college. Therefore, the combination of cooperative education requirements and the demands of an undergraduate course sequence have proved problematic for students considering enrolling in the study-abroad courses offered by other institutions as well as for the development of study abroad options that would be offered by BGSU.
There are important benefits that are derived from incorporating cooperative education within a curriculum. The goal of cooperative education is to provide students with a mechanism to gain applied experience in their field prior to graduation through a structured course activity in which theories and principle learned in the classroom are reinforced and given concrete application while on a co-op assignment . The origins of cooperative education as a component in curricula can be traced to Herman Schneider, an engineer, architect, and Dean of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati from 1906 – 1928, who had concluded that the traditional classroom was insufficient for technical students . Contemporary models follow one of two predominant forms: a model in which students alternate a semester of academic coursework with an equal amount of time in employment, or a model in which the employment occurs in parallel with coursework activities . Advocates have suggested that cooperative education programs benefit students through greater motivation, career clarity, enhanced employability, and vocational maturity, and employers by providing labor force flexibility, enhanced recruitment/retention of trained workers, and a mechanism for providing input into curricula . However, cooperative education has also been criticized for “the lack of well-done research that empirically demonstrates these benefits”  and has also been criticized for placing too much
Guidera, S. (2006, June), Integrating Study Abroad And Cooperative Education: A Case Study Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--566
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