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The Global Engineering College: Lessons Learned In Exploring A New Model For International Engineering Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

International Engineering Education II

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1265.1 - 9.1265.15



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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

The Global Engineering College: Lessons Learned in Exploring a New Model for International Engineering Education

Eckehard Doerry1, Karl Doerry2, Bridget Bero3 1 Dept. of Computer Science / 2Dept. of Modern Languages / 3Dept. 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. In a 2003 ASEE paper5, we described a novel curricular paradigm called the Global Engineering College (GEC), 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. In this paper, we report on our experiences piloting the key elements of this model under an NSF planning grant, focusing on the obstacles encountered, and solutions developed to address 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, including engineering1,8,16,17,20,24. Few question the necessity of this reform, and the rapid progress of globalization during the last ten years has lent new urgency to this need3,14. A number of institutions have taken concrete steps toward implementing internationalization within individual academic units as well as across the university as a whole. For example, the University of Rhode Island began offering a Bachelor’s Degree in International Engineering ( 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 components7. Since then, the rationale for international training programs has only grown stronger; the world’s economy has become vastly more interdependent, exports account for an increasing percentage of economic activity, and capital, work and jobs move rapidly and frequently from one continent to another. Recent cover stories in ASEE’s PRISM explore the effect of these trends on modern engineering practice12,18,19; the overall conclusion is unanimous: all recent engineering graduates can expect to work, at some point their careers, on teams with members from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds; these teams may be geographically distributed across several international locations. Although international programs for engineering students have had some success, their impact on engineering education as a whole has remained limited and peripheral; the number of

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Doerry, E. (2004, June), The Global Engineering College: Lessons Learned In Exploring A New Model For International Engineering Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14085

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015