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The Challenges and Lessons Learned in Establishing a Travel Course

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Conference

2016 ASEE International Forum

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 25, 2016

Start Date

June 25, 2016

End Date

June 25, 2016

Conference Session

Concurrent Paper Tracks Session I Study Abroad Programs

Tagged Topic

International Forum

Page Count

26

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27262

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

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Yanjun Yan Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5152-6614

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Yanjun Yan received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology (China), and the M.S. degree in Applied Statistics and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University. She is an assistant professor in engineering and technology at Western Carolina University. Her research interests are statistical signal processing, diagnostics, and particle swarm optimization.

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Paul M Yanik Western Carolina University

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Dr. Paul Yanik is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Western Carolina University. His research interests include human-robot interactions, assistive devices, pattern recognition, machine learning, and engineering education.

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Sudhir Kaul Western Carolina University

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Dr. Kaul is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His research interests include Fracture Diagnostics, Structural Dynamics and Control, and Motorcycle Dynamics.

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Chip W Ferguson Western Carolina University

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Chip Ferguson is the Associate Dean of the Kimmel School and Associate Professor of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University.

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Robert D. Adams Western Carolina University

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Dr. Adams is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His research interests include in digital image processing, biomedical signal processing and engineering education.

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Wes Stone Western Carolina University

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Dr. Wes Stone is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. He earned his bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin, masters degree from Penn State, and PhD from Georgia Tech, all in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include manufacturing processes and quality techniques. He also serves as the program director for Engineering Technology at WCU.

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Hugh Jack Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4299-8561

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Dr. Jack is Department Head and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University. His interests include robotics, automation, controls, and project management.

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Jeffrey L. Ray Western Carolina University

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Jeffrey Ray is Dean of the Kimmel School of Construction Management, Engineering, and Technology at Western Carolina University (WCU) and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining WCU, Ray was Dean of the School of Engineering Technology and Management and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in Marietta, Georgia for seven years. Before his tenure at SPSU, he was the Director of the School of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) for ten years, in addition to leading the multidisciplinary industry-sponsored capstone design courses.

Before joining GVSU he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Youngstown State University. His degrees include both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, he worked in the Department of Orthopaedics performing skeletal biodynamics research. Before beginning engineering school he completed an apprenticeship and was awarded the title of Journeyman Industrial Electrician. These professional experiences have provided Ray the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of engineering careers.

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Abstract

A travel course takes a significant amount of effort in its planning and execution. The logistics are even more challenging when a travel course is introduced for the first time. In the ___ department at ___, a faculty-led travel course has never been taught. Motivated by a potential travel course grant from the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), we submitted a proposal after discussions with colleagues and administrators. Although the grant proposal was not approved, CIEE offered a large discount on the program, and the CIEE program manager worked tirelessly with us to accommodate our requests to revise the program. When the initial abstract of this paper was submitted in January 2016, we had received nine student applications, expecting the travel course to occur in May 2016. Unfortunately, two students withdrew and we subsequently canceled the course, due to low enrollment and a reduced budget. However, throughout the development of this course, many successful partnerships were fostered. The collaborating parties included: students, departmental colleagues, administration (the department head, dean, and associate dean), the international service office, colleagues in other departments, the CIEE program manager, ___’s development officer, and a private donor. It is no small feat for a travel course to be jumpstarted from scratch, and partnerships are the key for successful implementation. Although our travel course was unsuccessful at meeting the final objective, we gained valuable knowledge from the process. The current paper addresses several concerns in establishing a new travel course, such as assessing a fair number of credit hours for a relatively short duration, developing an appropriate budget, and incorporating project-based learning into a short time table. Furthermore, the current paper shares some guidelines that may be helpful in establishing a new travel course, such as using survey tools to understand student needs, making infographics to advertise the course, and encouraging the students to talk to their friends and classmates about the course. These tools have been very effective, but need to be used carefully to avoid misleading the intended audience. The many lessons that have been learned during the development of this course will also be shared in this paper.

Yan, Y., & Yanik, P. M., & Kaul, S., & Ferguson, C. W., & Adams, R. D., & Stone, W., & Jack, H., & Ray, J. L. (2016, June), The Challenges and Lessons Learned in Establishing a Travel Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE International Forum, New Orleans, Louisiana. https://peer.asee.org/27262

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