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The Shaping Of Virginia Tech’s International Engineering Education Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

New Approaches to the Development of Online Learning and International Programs

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1467.1 - 12.1467.18



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Paper Authors


Glenda Scales

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Glenda R. Scales, Associate Dean for Distance Learning and Computing, and Director of International Programs, College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Scales received her Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, 1995, Virginia Tech; MS in Applied Behavioral Science, 1992, John Hopkins University; Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 1985, Old Dominion University.

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Rebecca Gunter

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Rebecca E. Gunter, Study Abroad Advisor for the College of Engineering. She received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Georgia in May 2006 and a BA in International Studies from Emory University in 2003. She studied at St. Andrews University in Scotland from September 2001 to May 2002.

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Cheryl Peed

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Cheryl A. Peed, Assistant Director of International and Distance Learning Programs, College of Engineering. Mrs. Peed received her BGS in Education from the University of South Carolina and has 10 years of teaching experience in the public school system. She has worked in the field of engineering for the past 20 years. She has graduate work in Education.

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

The Shaping of Virginia Tech’s International Engineering Education Program Abstract Virginia Tech’s strategic plan recognizes the need for its engineering graduates to have a more global outlook. Today’s engineer is more likely than ever to interact with people from a variety of cultures and to be involved with projects that span across continents. The institutional goal of increasing students’ global awareness put more focus on establishing an international department at the Dean’s level in the College of Engineering. This paper will discuss the development of this office and the administrative efforts to raise the percentage of the university’s engineering students going abroad. It will show how to use existing resources such as faculty members that have individually developed international programs that reflect their passions, university level service departments, and student involvement. The faculty resource was drawn upon to create an International Programs Faculty Committee with the charge of setting policy and procedures involving the designation of target countries and the review of program and funding proposals, leveraging existing relationships, and creating new international opportunities. One key question for the faculty committee is: “How can this committee help the College of Engineering Faculty with their international collaborative research efforts?” will be addressed. To further administer this program, a study abroad advisor position was established to facilitate the development of a Student Engineers’ Abroad Council and to chair the departmental international contacts committee.

To accomplish the strategic goals several databases were established consisting of alumni working/living abroad, international university contacts, and collaborative overseas company branches. These databases will be used as resources to expand student and faculty global experiences. Databases with grant and scholarships were also populated with step by step processes set up to alleviate the hurdles for engineering students to go abroad. This paper will show guidelines on how an Engineering Education Abroad Fair was organized, measures to energize students and motivate faculty, the preliminary process for developing performance measures and assessment tools, and processes used in getting support from key stakeholders of the university. Next steps will be outlined with a plan of development and implementation to increase the international awareness and opportunities for the engineering student.

Background Although international programs have been important to the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech for many years, widespread commitment to this area has recently seen a marked increase in the college as well as the university.

The university as a whole has several offices in place which support international programs. The College of Engineering utilizes these resources with the goal of not duplicating the services that they offer. For example, the Education Abroad Office operates under the auspices of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development. Bilateral exchange programs, faculty-led study abroad trips, and other international education experiences are all coordinated through this office. Students can also enroll in international co-ops through Career Services. For international students, faculty, and their dependents, the Cranwell International Center serves as invaluable resource. Here, an abundance of pertinent information can be

Scales, G., & Gunter, R., & Peed, C. (2007, June), The Shaping Of Virginia Tech’s International Engineering Education Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1885

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