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One Challenge, Two Countries: A Dual Aerospace Engineering Bachelor's Degree Program Between New Mexico State University and the University Autonomous of Chihuahua

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Global Engineering Models: Curriculum Development, Improvements, and Partnerships

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.998.1 - 25.998.9



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Paper Authors


Imelda Olague New Mexico State University

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Imelda Olague studied civil engineering at the University Autonomous of Chihuahua (UACH). She graduated with a Ph.D. in engineering from New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 2008. Since 2006, Olague has been the institutional liaison between UACH and NMSU, proactively working to create and advance academic partnerships and collaborations between these institutions. Under her role as liaison, she has been in charge of the logistics and organization of several events related to the establishment and development of the NMSU-UACH dual aerospace engineering bachelor's degree program and of the NMSU-UACH engineering joint Ph.D. program. Olague’s participation has been instrumental to these collaborations. Currently, Olague is a College Instructor at NMSU and an Assistant Professor at UACH.

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Ian H Leslie New Mexico State University

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Dr. Leslie is currently the interim department head of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department. He has been with New Mexico State University since 1984.

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Thomas D. Burton New Mexico State University

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Thomas Burton is currently Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering at Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research. He served as Department Head of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at New Mexico State University from 2005-2011 and was involved in the development of the aerospace engineering program at NMSU and with the joint aerospace program with Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua (UACH).

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Ricardo R. Torres Knight University of Chihuahua

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Ricardo Torres Knight is currently the Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Chihuahua, He has been at the University of Chihuahua since 1999, prior to this he has been IT Manager for Electronic Components International.

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“One Challenge, two Countries: A Dual Aerospace Engineering Bachelorsdegree program between New Mexico State University and the UniversidadAutónoma de Chihuahua”This paper details the establishing, articulation and progress of a pioneering strategic partnershipdirected to offer a dual degree program in the field of Aerospace Engineering. The universitiesleading this initiative are New Mexico State University and the Universidad Autónoma deChihuahua, which are located in the border states of New Mexico, USA, and Chihuahua,Mexico. The trust-based nature of this collaboration is anchored in a long tradition of academicand cultural collaboration between these institutions. The ultimate goal of the program is to set amodel for international academic collaboration where student mobility, curriculum exchange,and transferring of credits are no longer a challenge but a reality. In this paper, the authorsinclude a brief description of the partner institutions, including mission, history, size, resourcesand distinctive characteristics, as well as academic program structure, operating principles andadministrative procedures that are guiding this partnership. Additionally, this paper documentsthe student’s selection process and the enrollment requirements, as well as challenges faced bystudents, such as language barriers, uneven academic preparedness, cultural shock andadaptation, housing, timing of student visa requesting process, and financial constrains anddifficulties. The complete program requires 203 credit hours, 163 from UACH and 33-40 credithours from NMSU. The first cohort of students started at UACH in the fall of 2007 and iscurrently enrolled at NMSU with expected graduation date on December 2011. Since Fall 2007,every semester an average of 20 students has been transferred from UACH to NMSU as part ofthis program. Although the Dual Aerospace Engineering program was originally designed tobenefit Mexican students to attain a college degree in the US, it is expected that in a short future,students from the US will be interested to start their college career at UACH in Mexico with thesubsequent benefit of cost reduction and the international experience that constitutes and asset totheirs own career development. As it was agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding, thisagreement has been reviewed and modified by mutual consent when required to ensure theoptimum level of performance. This paper documents the significance and impact of the presentacademic collaboration on the engineering communities of both countries.

Olague, I., & Leslie, I. H., & Burton, T. D., & Torres Knight, R. R. (2012, June), One Challenge, Two Countries: A Dual Aerospace Engineering Bachelor's Degree Program Between New Mexico State University and the University Autonomous of Chihuahua Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21755

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