June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
Curriculum and Lab Development
20.26.1 - 20.26.8
Internationalization and Civil Engineering Program InnovationIn the early 1990’s, the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction (CEC) at BradleyUniversity developed strategic objectives to introduce internationalization to our students andcurriculum. Initially, four objectives for the CEC Global Explorer Program were outlined: 1) tosend students abroad for study either for a short mini-semester or full semester; 2) persuadeinternational students to come to Bradley; 3) embark on a faculty exchange; and 4) to fosterinternational research exchange between the CEC department and institutions abroad. In 1996,the Bradley University’s International Program was limited to the summer months. Theinvolvement of engineering students and faculty was extremely limited for at least two reasons.First, many course offerings were for language studies or general education. A more importantreason was that most engineering students preferred or were obligated to work during thesummer months. Summer employment was important to gain experience and for financialreasons as Bradley is a private institution. Yet faculty and students could benefit greatly frominternational exposure. More importantly, the internationalization program inspired the facultyto modify the curriculum to better reflect the changing realities of our engineering profession.The new CEC curriculum permits students to seek emphasis in international program,sustainability, or infrastructure.The CEC had the vision and foresight to realize as industrial firms and consulting firms whobelieved that international education is of paramount importance to the future of the civilengineering and construction professions. The mindset was that future employers would beseeking engineers with some international experience and exposure to the various cultures.Furthermore, ABET promoted internalization by one of its outcomes: “broad educationnecessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic,environmental, and societal context.” Therefore, the Department of Civil Engineering andConstruction conceived of an idea to hold an international study abroad during its Januaryinterim, a mini-semester of 2-3 weeks long (depending on destination) during which students andfaculty pursue one course full time. The study abroad program is one of the most successful inthe country as described by one recent accrediting team visiting team.Despite some detractors who thought engineering courses could not be taught abroad because ofthe brevity of the January interim and the complexity of the program, the department perseveredby launching the first January Interim program at Bradley University by sending faculty abroadto England and Denmark to explore its options. Since its inception in 1996, the CEC GlobalExplorer Program has expanded to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, England, France, Jordan, Egypt,and Malta. Consequently, the CEC department continues to lead the University in the number ofstudents and faculty participating the study abroad program. In fact, the Bradley Summerprogram has shifted to a more robust January Interim program. After describing the earlydevelopments of the CEC Global Explorer Program, this paper will also explore how theemphases on internationalization and sustainable development were integrated into the CECcurriculum.
Fuessle, R. W., & Al-Khafaji, A. W. (2014, June), Internationalization and Civil Engineering Program Innovation Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17189
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