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Sustaining a Study Abroad Program at Scale: What Motivates Faculty Members to Engage in Such Programs?

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Why Can't We Get Faculty and Students to Go Abroad?

Tagged Division

International

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31039

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

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David B. Knight Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David Knight is Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education and affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program at Virginia Tech. His research tends to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. She has her doctorate in Engineering Education and her strengths include qualitative and mixed methods research study design and implementation. She is/was PI/Co-PI on 10 funded research projects including a CAREER grant. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty. Her research expertise includes using motivation and related frameworks to study student engagement in learning, recruitment and retention in engineering programs and careers, faculty teaching practices and intersections of motivation and learning strategies.

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Mayra S. Artiles Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7604-0410

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Mayra S. Artiles is a Ph.D. Candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University with a focus on nanotechnology. Prior to her current position, she worked at Ford Motor Company as an Electrified Vehicles Thermal Engineer. Her research interests are broadening participation in engineering higher education, higher education policy, and academic motivation.

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Kirsten Davis Virginia Tech

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Kirsten Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she also completed her master's degree in Higher Education. She is the graduate assistant for the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, a global engineering course and study abroad program for first year engineering students. Her primary research interests are engineering study abroad, developing intercultural competency in engineering students, and international higher education.

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Timothy Kinoshita Virginia Tech

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Timothy Kinoshita is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. His research interests include graduate education, global engineering education, and education policy.

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Diana Bairaktarova Virginia Tech

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Diana Bairaktarova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and the Director of the Abilities, Creativity and Ethics in Design [ACE(D)]Lab. Bairaktarova's ongoing research interest spans from engineering to psychology to learning sciences, as she uncovers how individual performance and professional decisions are influenced by aptitudes and abilities, interest, and manipulation of physical and virtual objects.

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Kacie Hodges P.E. Virginia Tech

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Kacie Hodges, PE is an Advanced Instructor in the Engineering Education department at Virginia Tech. She holds BS and Master's degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech with a focus in Hydrology. Kacie is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Virginia and has worked in both the private and public sectors as an engineer prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech. She focuses on the teaching and implementation of Freshman Engineering courses.

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Tamara Knott Virginia Tech

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Tamara Knott is Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She primarily teaches Engineering Foundations classes to first year engineering students. Her interests include assessment and pedagogy. Within ASEE, she is a member of the First-year Programs Division, the Women in Engineering Division, the Educational Research and Methods Division, and the Design in Engineering Education Division. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and is the Faculty Adviser for SWE at VT.

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the assistant director for research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success and retention, and diversity. Lee received his Ph.D in engineering education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in industrial & systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Clemson University.

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Marlena McGlothlin Lester Virginia Tech

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Marlena McGlothlin Lester is the Director of Advising for the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She leads the undergraduate advising team and oversees the advising process for all General Engineering students. She is responsible for the development of a hands-on, minds-on orientation model for all first-year engineering students, the creation of a comprehensive engineering major exploration tool, Explore Engineering, and enhancement of the academic planning resources available for first-year engineering students. Marlena strives to transform the advising experience for students and advisors through communication, collaboration, and consistency.

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Lisa D. McNair Virginia Tech

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Lisa D. McNair is a Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she also serves as Director of the Center for Research in SEAD Education at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT). Her research interests include interdisciplinary collaboration, design education, communication studies, identity theory and reflective practice. Projects supported by the National Science Foundation include exploring disciplines as cultures, liberatory maker spaces, and a RED grant to increase pathways in ECE for the professional formation of engineers.

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Kenneth Reid Virginia Tech

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Kenneth Reid is the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is active in engineering within K-12, serving on the TSA Board of Directors. He and his coauthors were awarded the William Elgin Wickenden award for 2014, recognizing the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education. He was awarded an IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award in 2013 for designing the nation's first BS degree in Engineering Education. He was named NETI Faculty Fellow for 2013-2014, and the Herbert F. Alter Chair of Engineering (Ohio Northern University) in 2010. His research interests include success in first-year engineering, engineering in K-12, introducing entrepreneurship into engineering, and international service and engineering. He has written two texts in Digital Electronics, including the text used by Project Lead the Way.

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Denise Rutledge Simmons P.E. Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3401-2048

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Denise R. Simmons, Ph.D., PE, LEED-AP, is an assistant professor in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction and in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and an affiliate faculty of the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in civil engineering and a graduate certificate in engineering education – all from Clemson University. She has over 10 years of experience working for energy companies and as a project management consultant. Her research contributes to the advancement of labor and personnel issues in engineering broadly and specifically in the construction industry through two research areas: untangling the complex relationship between activities people become involved in — operationalized as engagement — and the technical and professional outcomes gained — operationalized as competencies. The broader impact of this work lies in achieving and sustaining productive, diverse and inclusive project organizations composed of engaged, competent people. Dr. Simmons’ research is supported by awards from NSF, including a CAREER award. She oversees the Simmons Research Lab (www.denisersimmons.com), which is home to a dynamic, interdisciplinary mix of undergraduate and graduate students and a post-doctoral researcher from various colleges and departments at Virginia Tech who work together to explore engineering and construction human centered issues with an emphasis on understanding difference and disparity.

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Abstract

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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