Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Key words: Study abroad; Faculty motivation; Faculty engagement
As the nature of engineering work continues to be embedded in a more globally connected environment, it is becoming more important for undergraduate engineering programs to help students develop global competencies. Faculty-led study abroad programs, which tend to be short-term but highly focused on a set of objectives with a structured, intentional itinerary, are one way colleges and universities support student development in this area. However, despite the documented benefits, study abroad programs face many challenges with regard to expanding access and enrollment. Student costs, rigid engineering curricular sequencing, persuading parents of the value of study abroad, and high resource needs to plan logistics are some of the common barriers associated with these kinds of experiences. Less studied, although equally important, is the challenge of recruiting faculty members to expand study abroad programs. Planning and administering these kinds of programs tend not to be valued in the promotion and tenure system, and many faculty are not interested in engaging in such student-faculty interaction opportunities.
Given this problem, our paper focuses on a program that has successfully scaled-up faculty engagement to determine why faculty members chose to participate. This faculty-led, short-term study abroad program that targets first year engineering students has undergone rapid expansion over the past few years. In 2017, the program enrolled 135 students into one of six international tracks that, in total, involved 17 faculty members and graduate student leaders. Grounded with expectancy-value theory, our analysis focuses on uncovering the variety of reasons faculty were motivated to engage in the program, both for their first time and in subsequent years. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews that focused on how faculty perceived the task of engaging students in a study abroad experience and the subjective task values faculty associated with the experience. Findings from our study point to a variety of mechanisms and strategies to boost faculty engagement in international experiences with undergraduates.
Knight, D. B., & Matusovich, H. M., & Artiles , M. S., & Davis, K., & Kinoshita, T., & Bairaktarova, D., & Hodges, K., & Knott, T., & Lee, W. C., & McGlothlin Lester, M., & McNair, L. D., & Reid, K., & Simmons, D. R. (2018, June), Sustaining a Study Abroad Program at Scale: What Motivates Faculty Members to Engage in Such Programs? Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31039
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