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Understanding Engineering and Technology Student Perceptions: Barriers to Study Abroad Participation

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Why Can't We Get Faculty and Students to Go Abroad?

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Gregg Morris Warnick Brigham Young University

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Gregg M. Warnick is the Director of the Weidman Center for Global Leadership and Associate Teaching Professor of Engineering Leadership within the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University (BYU). His research and teaching interests include leadership, global agility, globalization, project management, ethics, and manufacturing processes. Gregg has lived in numerous locations within the USA and Europe and has worked in many places including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Prior to joining BYU, Gregg worked for Becton Dickinson, a Global Medical Technology fortune 500 Company in various engineering and leadership positions. Gregg is currently the program chair/chair elect within the Engineering Leadership Development Division (LEAD) within the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Gregg received his PhD in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Master of Technology Management degree and a BS in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, from Brigham Young University. Gregg also provides consulting in leadership development and project management working with Strategy Execution and Duke Corporate Education where he provides training for fortune 500 companies throughout the world.

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Marie S. Call Brigham Young University

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Marie Call graduated from Brigham Young University in 2013 with a BS in Chemical Engineering. She worked as a Transdermal Development Process Engineer with Actavis Pharmaceuticals from 2012-2013. Since then she has enjoyed balancing her primary occupation--raising her two (almost three) children--with research writing and collaboration with the Weidman Center for Global Leadership at Brigham Young University, focusing on Engineering and Technology student perceptions toward study abroad experiences. She currently resides in Houston, TX.

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Randall Davies Brigham Young University

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Dr. Davies is currently an assistant professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. His research involves program evaluation in educational settings with the general objective of understanding and improving the teaching and learning process. His research has a specific focus of evaluating technology integration, assessment policy, and educational practices.

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Globalization is not a passing phenomenon. Globalization continues to impact how interconnected and interdependent we have become. Engineering and Technology graduates must not only develop strong technical skills but must also develop their leadership and global agility to remain relevant within their career. As a result, engineering and technology educators need to identify, develop and provide opportunities for international collaboration and interactions among students throughout the world.

Over the past 15-20 years, universities with engineering and technology programs have made great strides in providing international technical experiences for their students. These include study abroad, international internships, mentored travel, field trips, service learning, virtual collaboration and others. While student participation in these opportunities continues to grow, many more engineering and technology students could be accommodated.

This study utilized a mixed methods research approach to better understand the barriers to and perceptions of study abroad participation for engineering and technology students at a large private research university. 418 students (representing nearly 10% of all engineering and technology students within the university) completed the survey. Students at all levels (freshman to PhD) from ten different engineering and technology majors participated. Financial considerations were most often cited within this study and the literature as a barrier for participation. However, this paper provides additional insight and concludes that finances, while cited regularly, may not be the only deterrent for study abroad participation. Other pertinent factors include: awareness, concerns about delaying graduation, and family obligations.

Warnick, G. M., & Call, M. S., & Davies, R. (2018, June), Understanding Engineering and Technology Student Perceptions: Barriers to Study Abroad Participation Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31174

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