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The Global Engineering College: Exploring A New Model For Engineering Education In A Global Economy

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1142.1 - 8.1142.13



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Eck Doerry

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

Session 1279

The Global Engineering College: exploring a new model for engineering education in a global economy

Eckehard Doerry1, Karl Doerry2, Bridget Bero3 1 Department of Computer Science Engineering 2 Dept. of Modern Languages 3 Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ 86011

ABSTRACT The increasing globalization of corporate economies has changed the face of engineering practice. In addition to core engineering skills, modern engineers must possess cross-cultural communication skills, team management skills, and the ability to perform on geographically distributed teams. We describe a novel curricular paradigm called the Global Engineering College (GEC) that we are currently exploring under an NSF planning grant. The GEC concept is based on the idea of seamlessly combining the curricula and educational opportunities of several internationally-distributed engineering institutions to create a virtual engineering college spanning multiple countries and cultures. We report on the technical, pedagogic, and administrative challenges we have exposed in our exploration of the GEC concept, and on our approach to addressing them.

1.0 INTRODUCTION For the past several decades, the internationalization of college curricula has been a prominent theme in discussions of curricular reform in higher education (Altbach, 2002; Gray, 2002; Green, 2002; Marginson, 2002; Maxwell, 2002; Miller, 2002; Sjogren, 2002). Few question the necessity of this reform, and the rapid progress of globalization during the last ten years has lent new urgency to this need (Bikson, 1994; Lambert, 1999). A number of institutions have taken concrete steps toward implementing internationalization within individual academic units as well as across the university as a whole. As early as 1993, Oregon State University introduced its “Passport” International Degree Program under which students can supplement a degree in virtually any field with an “international degree” ( At about the same time, the University of Rhode Island began offering a Bachelor’s Degree in International Engineering, a five-year program that graduates students with a traditional engineering degree as well as a B.A. in a language ( While the initial impetus for internationalization may have come from humanities and the social sciences (the traditional study abroad disciplines), engineering and the natural sciences have realized that their graduates also require strong international skills in order to succeed in the global engineering workplace of the twenty-first century. In April 1995, the cover story of PRISM, the journal of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), referred to over 70 engineering programs with international components (Ercolano, 1995). Since then, the rationale for such programs has only grown stronger; the world’s economy has become vastly

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Doerry, E. (2003, June), The Global Engineering College: Exploring A New Model For Engineering Education In A Global Economy Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11551

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