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Preparing Students For Engineering In The 21st Century The Oregon International Internship Program

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.359.1 - 1.359.8

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Paper Authors

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Richard A. King

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Jack Van de Water

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


by Richard A. King Professor, Oregon Institute of Technology and Jack Van de Water Asst. Vice Chancellor, International Education

BACKGROUND . . The traditional education of engineers and engineering technologists includes classroom training and hands-on ‘. experience in the form of laboratory exercises and simple design exercises. There is considerable pressure from industry to increase meaningful experience through internships during the college training period. The experi- ence gained during such industrial employment has been shown to have a positive influence in a number of areas. This paper anticipates the extension of internships into a formalized program, where industrial experience is an integral part of the education of the student.

In industry, the environment is changing. Design teams of the future will, because of improved electronic communications networks, be comprised of members from different countries working at a variety of locations on the same design problem. There is a trend toward the multinational company model, with design and fabrica- tion facilities world-wide. Mobility has improved, even to the most remote areas, through improvements in both communications and transportation networks. Global competition and cooperation is, even today, a reality.

In the communications area, the Internet has become the conduit for a wealth of information, both within a company and, more importantly, with colleagues from different companies. With the widespread acceptance of the Internet, it is common to have “virtual” conversations with colleagues around the world as easily as with those in the same office complex. Beyond the simple act of “keeping up” with colleagues, it has become feasible to share projects and research in the same manner. This capability will have a profound effect on professional life in the future.

This paper describes a program initiated by the higher education system of Oregon, to foster changes in the education paradigm which will embrace the coming global design arena. This new program - Global Graduates: the Oregon International Internship Program - is designed to improve the educational preparation for the “borderless” careers that present students will encounter upon graduation.

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King, R. A., & Van de Water, J. (1996, June), Preparing Students For Engineering In The 21st Century The Oregon International Internship Program Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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