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The I5 Program: The Challenges Of Implementing A Project Based Summer Study Abroad Program That Integrates Technology And Entrepreneurship In China

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship Education: Innovation, International Cooperation, and Social Entrepreneurship

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1219.1 - 14.1219.13



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Paper Authors


Cynthia Fry Baylor University

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Prof. Fry is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies of the School of Engineering & Computer Science, and a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science. She is also the Faculty-in-Residence for the Engineering & Computer Science Living-Learning Center. She has Co-Directed the i5 program since its inception.

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Gregory Leman Baylor University

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Dr. Leman is a Clinical Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the Hankamer School of Business, where he holds the Hankamer Chair of Entrepreneurship. He is also the Director of University Entrepreneurial Initiatives.

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

The I5 Program: the Challenges of Implementing a Project-Based Summer Study Abroad Program that Integrates Technology and Entrepreneurship in China


Leveraging the seemingly conflicted constraints of inflexible degree plans, high-hour degree requirements, and the increasing costs of higher education in the United States, the I5 program (Immersion Into International Interdisciplinary Innovation) has built a summer program in China adeptly able to provide to undergraduate engineering, computer science, and business students a distinctive opportunity for a meaningful study abroad experience in a relatively short amount of time, while earning six hours of credit that will count toward their respective degree plans.

At the heart of this experience is a series of technology-based projects provided by local or multi-national companies located in China. Each project is assigned a team of American and Chinese students, each representing either a technical or business-related discipline, working under the direction of a Team Leader. The Team Leaders spend the first six weeks working for their respective companies, and are then joined by their teams for the second six weeks of the summer to implement the scope of work and project plan developed by the Team Leader.

This paper will address the challenges faced in the expansion of the I5 program to include high-quality summer internships, to help develop meaningful technology-based projects, to expand the network of Chinese partner institutions, and to expand the network of local and multi-national company partners.

Executive Summary

Over a five-year period, the i5 in China summer program in technology entrepreneurship has evolved to a design that is now proven to be sustainable, and to meet the widely ranging needs of undergraduate engineering and entrepreneurship students as well as providing unique leadership opportunities for MBA candidates. While these needs may be addressed by many programs in the US, this program does so in a highly culturally immersive China context. It is these experiences, skills, and opportunities that have been deemed necessary to prepare graduates for the rapidly globalizing and highly technical world they are entering according to industry and the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET). Success factors include: The transition to an experiential learning curriculum that cross-cultural, multidisciplinary student teams employ in assessing new ventures and internal growth opportunities presented by startup or established firms, The inclusion of an executive education style workshop attended by sponsor firm personnel, and

Fry, C., & Leman, G. (2009, June), The I5 Program: The Challenges Of Implementing A Project Based Summer Study Abroad Program That Integrates Technology And Entrepreneurship In China Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5813

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