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International Technical Service Immersions: Model For Developing Global Scientists And Engineers In Small To Mid Size Universities

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Engineering Without Borders: Programs Involving Students

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.951.1 - 12.951.11



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Paper Authors

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Margaret Pinnell University of Dayton

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Eger Bill

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Phillip Aaron University of Dayton

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Charles Schreier University of Dayton

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International Technical Service Immersions: Model for Developing Global Scientists and Engineers in Small to Mid-Size Universities Abstract:

The University of Dayton (UD) Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-learning (ETHOS) program is working to further develop the international technical immersion program such that it can serve as a model that can be easily adopted by peer institutions (small to mid-size colleges and universities). The ETHOS immersions are ten to sixteen weeks long, during which students work with collaborating organizations to assist in finding appropriate, and effective solutions to technical challenges. Students use their engineering skills to address real problems, while gaining a better understanding of the interface between technology and global society. Academic credit is incorporated into these immersions with technical reporting, reflections and presentations delivered upon completion of the program. Pre-immersion course work includes research and engineering fundamentals, cultural immersion, language development, and ethical engineering practices. Feedback provided by students, collaborating agencies and other institutions have indicated that the current program does a very good job of preparing the students for their immersions and helping the students to become global engineers. Although there are many well established international technical opportunities and programs that can be easily adopted by universities, it is often difficult, due to a lack of resources, to establish these programs at smaller universities. This paper will describe the ETHOS program and discuss the mechanics and resources used to facilitate this program. Additionally, this paper will discuss plans for intercollegiate collaboration through this program which will facilitate the sharing of information and resources

Background: The turn of the century brought with it a paradigm shift in engineering education. The commonly employed lecture based pedagogy of the 20th century is being replaced by various experiential teaching strategies. Part of the motivation for this change in pedagogy is in response to the changing needs of today’s students. Many of the engineering students today have very little hands-on engineering experience and have been trained to learn differently as a result of multi media and other technology. Another motivator for the change in pedagogy is associated with a change in the engineering profession. Engineers today need not only be technically sound, but also have good communication, leadership and business skills. Furthermore, globalization in industry makes international experience an important, but often difficult to implement part of the engineering curriculum.1, 2

Experiential learning can be implemented into the engineering curriculum in a variety of ways including co-ops, internships, project and problem based learning, laboratory experiences and service-learning. However, integration of international experience into an already packed engineering curriculum can be a little more difficult to attain. Study abroad, international internships and co-ops and international service-learning represent some of the ways in which engineering academia has provided international experiences for some of its students. Although all of these international experiences have been found to be beneficial in better preparing students for the global market place, students participating in international service-learning not

Pinnell, M., & Bill, E., & Aaron, P., & Schreier, C. (2007, June), International Technical Service Immersions: Model For Developing Global Scientists And Engineers In Small To Mid Size Universities Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2514

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