Columbus , Ohio
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
Main Forum (Podium Presentation)
Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications (CQUPT) have established and are implementing a dual Bachelor’s degree program in electrical engineering (EE). This partnership involves significant investment of resources, personnel, and commitment from both universities. Cohorts of up to 100 incoming freshman students are recruited each year by CQUPT from throughout China. Students must meet significant English proficiency and academic performance standards to be accepted. The first cohort of 83 students began studies at CQUPT in the fall of 2014, the second of 96 started in 2015, and the third of 99 began in 2016. The first cohort will transfer to NAU for the fall semester 2017.
In this program, students spend their first three years of study at CQUPT in Chongqing, China taking mostly CQUPT-provided courses taught in Mandarin Chinese. During this time, students also complete eight NAU electrical engineering courses taught in English at the CQUPT campus by NAU professors. These courses include: circuits, digital logic, electronics, microprocessors, electromagnetics, signals & systems, and computer design. After the third year, each cohort transfers to NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona to continue study in a manner fully integrated with the other NAU students. These courses include engineering design and capstone, communications, and several technical electives. Successful students are awarded BS degrees in EE from both NAU and CQUPT.
This 3+1 program promises a number of important benefits. For the Chinese students, this is a relatively affordable opportunity to earn an ABET-accredited electrical engineering degree from a U.S. university. Greatly improved competitiveness in the Chinese job market, valuable international perspective, proficiency in English, and improved access to international jobs are all expected for participating students. For CQUPT, a strong technical Chinese university, this program is perceived as highly prestigious within the Chinese higher education system. In addition, it is helping CQUPT to incorporate more effective teaching methods and richer student learning experiences into their academic culture. NAU is gaining major EE enrollment growth and increased graduation numbers through this program. In addition, there is great potential for many students to pursue graduate study at NAU. This facilitates growth in NAU’s EE program and provides everyone with a multicultural and international perspective.
To support this 3+1 program, NAU hires experienced faculty who are willing to teach in China for several months at a time. NAU courses taught at CQUPT must be kept closely similar to those at the home campus; therefore participating faculty first teach at NAU before being deployed to China, then rotate regularly between the two campuses. This builds teaching experience at both campuses and encourages close coordination with other NAU faculty.
The final paper will include many details about important successes and challenges during the first 2+ years of this program. Specific experiences gained from teaching at CQUPT, cultural differences, expectations versus reality, and perspectives from key players at each university will be addressed. The strong commitment of people at both universities has been key to the tremendous progress and success to date and promises much more to come.
Mlsna, P. A., & Cheng, F., & Scott, D. R., & Yang, J., & Li, G., & Zhou, X. (2017, June), The NAU/CQUPT 3+1 Program in Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29305
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