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University-Industry Partnership for Global Education: Implementing and Integrating an Engineering International Internship into the Engineering Curriculum

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 8

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1632.1 - 26.1632.11



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Maria Claudia Alves Texas A&M University

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s. Maria C. Alves is the Director for Engineering International Programs at Texas A&M University. She has been in this position since July 2012. In this position she is responsible for internationalizing the research and education acticities of the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Under her leadership the college has increased the number of students studying abroad, established new models of study aborad including co-op and research abroad and established meaningful connection for research and attraction of funded international graduate students. Maria started working at Texas A&M in 2005 as Assistant Director for Latin American Programs and in 2009 she was promoted to Program Manager for South America in the same office. During her time at the Office for Latin America Programs she created, managed and developed projects to enhance the presence of Texas A&M University in Latin American and to support in the internationalization of the education, research, and outreach projects of the university. She was charged with the development and implementation of a strategic plan for Texas A&M in South America. While at the Office for Latin America Programs, Maria was also responsible for the opening of the Soltis Center in Costa Rica. Maria speaks three languages fluently (Spanish, Portuguese and English). Maria completed her undergraduate studies at Lynn University in Florida, where she graduated with honors in Business Administration in 2002. She was part of the tennis team and was the team captain for two years, including the year the team was NCAA National Champion in 2001. She is a December 2003 graduate of the MS-Marketing program at Texas A&M University. And in the Fall of 2009, Maria started the PhD program in Higher Education Administration and is expected to conclude the program in 2015.
Contact information: | (979) 862 - 1880

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University-Industry Partnership for Global Education: Implementing and Integrating an Engineering International Internship into the Engineering CurriculumEngineering organizations, Fortunes 500 companies and the Carnegie Foundation, to name a few,have stated that engineers of the 21st century will spend considerable portions of their careers inenvironments rich with global connections. Therefore, engineering colleges must developstrategies that provide global perspectives and international experiences to help their graduatesexcel in their future work environment. Despite this need, higher education institutions havefaced challenges to provide international experiences to their students: The 2013 Open Doorsreport from the Institute for International Education shows that nationally only 3.9% ofengineering students studied abroad during their undergraduate career (IIENetwork). In addition,despite the growing awareness of the benefits of study abroad by students, the challengespreventing students from studying abroad are numerous and complex - The primary challengesfor many U.S. students can be grouped into to three overarching categories: cost, curriculum andculture.Our paper contributes to the body of knowledge in two ways:(1) Describing how a university-industry partnership can support the creation of a new studyabroad program and how it can be implemented and integrated into the engineering curriculumof a large college of engineering and therefore providing ways for engineering studentsinternational experiences(2) Detailing how this industry-university partnership addresses the primary challenges of cost,curriculum and culture for students to study abroad.This paper is presented in form of a case study detailing the recruitment efforts, studentapplication and selection process, and the implementation of the internship. This paper alsodescribes how the new program was integrated into the curriculum, the challenges faced in thatprocess and how the effort of the university addressed the primary challenges of students.Strategies included demonstrating the value industry places on global competencies, preparationof students before the internship and mentorship during.Educators must prepare today’s students to succeed in the global economy. This paper providesdetails on one program which addresses student perceived challenges and exemplifies asuccessful industry-university collaboration to foster the development of global competencies.

Alves, M. C. (2015, June), University-Industry Partnership for Global Education: Implementing and Integrating an Engineering International Internship into the Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24968

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