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The Role of Study Abroad Curricular Interventions in Engineering Students’ Intercultural Competence Development

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

24

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37893

Download Count

71

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Paper Authors

biography

Sigrid Berka University of Rhode Island

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Sigrid Berka is the Executive Director of the International Engineering Program (IEP) at the University of Rhode Island, Professor of German and also the Director of the German and Chinese IEP, responsible for building academic programs with exchange partners abroad, corporate relations, and fundraising for the IEP. Sigrid is co-editor of the Journal of International Engineering Education (JIEE) and a certified Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) coach facilitating intercultural competency training for IEP students. Biannually the IEP organizes the Colloquium on International Engineering Education. Sigrid recently received the DAAD Alumni Association’s Excellence Award for Educational Exchange (2019) and the URI Administrative Excellence Award (2019). Under her leadership, the IEP was awarded NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Spotlight price for innovative campus internationalization (2011), and the Andrew Heiskell Award (2012) by the Institute for International Education. Berka was educated at RWTH Aachen, Washington University, St. Louis and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In previous appointments, she taught German Studies at Barnard College in New York and served as Managing Director of the MIT Germany program within MIT’s International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI).

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Bing Mu University of Rhode Island

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Bing Mu is an Assistant Professor of Chinese and the Intercultural Competence Coordinator in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at the University of Rhode Island. Bing Mu’s research interests include intercultural communication and competence, study abroad, and pedagogical material development. In particular, she is interested in implementing intercultural pedagogical approaches to enhance learners’ intercultural competence in study abroad contexts.

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Lars Olav Erickson University of Rhode Island

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Lars Erickson is Director of the French International Engineering Program and Professor of French at the University of Rhode Island. His research focuses on scientific and professional literature of eighteenth-century France. In addition, he has published on the teaching of French and on the role of experiential education in the language curriculum. His work has appeared in journals including The French Review, Australian Journal of French Studies, Online Journal of Global Engineering Education, and Symposium. His textbook, French for Engineering, was published by Routledge in 2018.

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Iñaki Perez-Ibanez University of Rhode Island

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Iñaki Pérez-Ibáñez (PhD in Spanish, University of Navarre; MS in Computer Science and MATCP - Education, University of Rhode Island) is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Teacher Education and Director of the Spanish International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island. His research focuses on Spanish Golden Age Literature, interculturality and teaching methodologies.

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Abstract

The paper aims to investigate to what degree curricular interventions impact students' global competency development. The interventions examined are those used by program directors to guide students enrolled in a five-year, dual-bachelor degree international engineering program before, during, and after studying and interning abroad. Currently, for ABET accreditation, every engineering program must demonstrate that its graduates possess “the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences,” and “the ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.” [1] According to ABET Executive Director Michael Milligan [2], communication skills, especially the ability to effectively communicate across cultures, are essential to achieve success in the modern workplace. Yet little has been done to define what educational measures are appropriate to accomplish this goal. It is also not clear to what extent global competency is the result of personal attributes, prior experiences, or curricular and extracurricular experiences. Building on previous work [3], [4], [5], [6] we will investigate in what way targeted interventions can impact intercultural competency development in engineering students who spent a year abroad studying & interning in Asia, Europe or Latin America using the language of the country in which they were immersed. The results of a longitudinal study [IRB protocol 1819-164] looking at changes in students’ perceived and developmental orientations along the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC) and measured by Mitchell Hammer’s internationally validated Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) instrument [7] will be reported. In addition to the quantitative data from the above study we will analyze qualitative student reflections from assignments given to them while enrolled in a six-credit course taught by their faculty directors during students’ six-month internship abroad. Those consist of written reports, journal entries and video assignments. Another set of qualitative data is derived from post study abroad focus group reflections. Both will be analyzed using standard content analysis procedures to triangulate the data.

Berka, S., & Mu, B., & Erickson, L. O., & Perez-Ibanez, I. (2021, July), The Role of Study Abroad Curricular Interventions in Engineering Students’ Intercultural Competence Development Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37893

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