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The Global And Societal Challenge – An Innovative Approach To Abet Criterion 3.H And Beyond

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Program Level Assessment

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1289.1 - 10.1289.16



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Paper Authors

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Lawrence Feick

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Katherine Thomes

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Bopaya Bidanda

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


Larry J. Shuman, Bopaya Bidanda, Katherine Thomes and Lawrence Feick School of Engineering/Katz Graduate School of Business University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15261


The new ABET criteria combined with an increasing concern about engineering jobs moving “off shore” are causing some engineering schools to seriously consider an international experience as part of their educational program. These could involve a range of alternatives from “teaser” trips of two or three weeks, an international co-op or internship opportunity, participation in a virtual design experience, or extensive study abroad opportunity. While the traditional study abroad experience has centered on an immersion type program, we propose that a global studies experience can be equally valuable, and, if designed appropriately, may be more valuable to the engineering student.

We describe a ten-week global studies experience that we have designed and taught for engineering and business students as part of the summer Semester at Sea Program. In particular, we describe how an engineering topic - manufacturing and the global supply chain - can best be studied if classroom work is combined with truly multidisciplinary team projects and well- designed field visits at each country on the itinerary. Further, if engineering coursework is integrated with parallel courses and units that address culture, political, and other societal issues, then the overall experience exceeds what is typically learned on a “land-based” campus. Hence a lecture on IP issues in China might be followed by visits to a Japanese firm considering relocating certain manufacturing process in that country. Teaching courses that address problems beyond engineering require different resources than would a manufacturing course that focused only on local companies. Finally, to best reinforce student learning, especially in a course that focuses on cross-cultural learning and experiences, it is necessary to have students reflect on their experiences. We summarize these reflections and their assessment of the program and address educational research questions that have emerged as the result of such a program.

The Need For An International Focus For Engineering Education

In commenting on ABET’s newly adopted criteria (EC-2000), Prados noted that the major drivers had included the country’s shift from defense to commercial competition with a resultant * This research was sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation, Grant number 0431355; “GOALI: Offshoring - The New Challenge for Engineering Educators.”

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Feick, L., & Shuman, L., & Thomes, K., & Bidanda, B. (2005, June), The Global And Societal Challenge – An Innovative Approach To Abet Criterion 3.H And Beyond Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14985

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