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Student Success Initiatives for Undergraduate International Engineering Students

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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 Studies, Initiatives, and Study Abroad Programs

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1193.1 - 25.1193.9



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Paper Authors


Teri Kristine Reed Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Teri Reed-Rhoads is Assistant Dean of engineering for undergraduate education, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and Director of the First-year Engineering program at Purdue University. She received her B.S. in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma and spent seven years in the petroleum industry, during which time she earned her M.B.A. She subsequently received her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Arizona State University. Reed-Rhoads’s teaching interests include statistics, interdisciplinary and introductory engineering, diversity, and leadership. Her research interests include statistics education, concept inventory development, assessment/evaluation of learning and programs, recruitment and retention, diversity, equity, and cultural humility. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, various foundations, and industry. Reed-Rhoads is a member and Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and a member of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Industrial Engineers. She serves as an ABET EAC Evaluator for ASEE.

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Amanda G. Idema Michigan State University

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Amanda G. Idema is the Assistant to the Dean for Academic Services at the College of Engineering at Michigan State University. She oversees the academic advising of 3,000 undergraduate engineering students in 10 different majors, working with a staff of seven professional advisors and one graduate student advisor. Idema has been at MSU since 1997 and has experience in the Department of Residence Life, the Law College, and most recently as an Academic Advisor in the College of Education. She holds a Ph.D. in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from MSU, focusing her research on organizational theory in the context of women's education.

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Jean Landa Pytel Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Jean Landa Pytel is the Assistant Dean for Student Services for the College of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University and Associate Professor of engineering science and mechanics. In her role as Assistant Dean, she manages student-related issues for more than 8,000 undergraduates. She is involved with efforts to internationalize engineering curricula and engineering students and to provide programs and support systems to help international engineering students to succeed. She is the current Chair of the International Division of ASEE and Past-chair of the Pennsylvania State University Faculty Senate.

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Student Success Initiatives for International Undergraduate Engineering StudentsStudent success programs and policies aimed at increasing or improving retention and graduation ratesof engineering programs can typically be categorized into three areas: curricular, extra-curricular, andfaculty/staff. Within each of these categories, programs can be found that target the success ofinternational undergraduate engineering students. This paper will review promising practices in each ofthese three areas. In the area of curricular student success, there are policies and programs targetingthe time of enrollment of students in their courses such that the international students are not the lastto enroll and therefore experiencing limited course availability. In addition, working with offices ofinternational scholars or students is a key element to understand who, when, and how students will bearriving on campus. Access to tools, such as systems that track visas, allow for proactive planning.Within-course policies such as placement of students in first-year teams, English courses specificallydesigned for English-Second-Language students, and curricula targeting a competency level of culturalhumility can have an impact on international student success. Extra-curricular initiatives such asprofessional student organizations supporting international student populations, e.g., ChineseEngineering Student Council, housing initiatives, transition to college experiences, and student activitiesopen houses where international students gain knowledge of opportunities outside of the classroom areall important. Learning communities targeting the learning and/or the living experience are additionalsupport mechanisms. Finally, efforts by support staff and faculty can be key. Some institutions havespecific international experience academic advisors that are specific to the students' disciplines andcompliment campus-wide international student services programs. Finally, faculty professionaldevelopment programs are expanding initiatives for faculty to take international student experiencesinto account when considering course pedagogy.

Reed, T. K., & Idema, A. G., & Pytel, J. L. (2012, June), Student Success Initiatives for Undergraduate International Engineering Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21950

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