New international engineering minor prepares students for global careers

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A new international engineering minor in the College of Engineering aims to provide students with opportunities to learn about their future professions in a global context. The minor is among changes to undergraduate programs in the consent agenda for the Board of Trustees for its meeting today (May 9).

"Top engineering professionals and professors have to be socially aware and globally connected, in addition to rigorously mastering fundamentals and a systems-integration perspective," said Amr Elnashai, the Harold and Inge Marcus dean of the College of Engineering. "The minor is an essential component that has been missing in the college’s immense intellectual armory. It will equip engineering students with the awareness and tools to engage with their colleagues across geographical boundaries and will enhance their operational effectiveness in different technical cultures and global statutory contexts."

The minor can be paired with any engineering baccalaureate major at any campus. It is designed to provide students with the knowledge, language skills and experiences to help prepare them for a professional career that is likely to include collaborations with professionals from various parts of the world. Students will learn to address the cross-cultural communications challenges and the global arena in which their professions are practiced.

The college's senior exit survey results from 2012 and 2013 indicate that students who study abroad get more job interviews and full-time job offers and are more satisfied with their overall education.

"One of the most exciting pieces is that every student in the minor must take at least six credits of technical courses at an international institution," said Christine Masters, assistant dean for academic support and global programs.

Masters explained that the college currently offers all the courses necessary for students to earn the 18 to 21 credits required to complete the minor. However, she doesn’t rule out the possibility of adding a broader variety of options in the future. "We are always encouraging faculty to enhance existing courses or develop new courses with international components that will create more global educational opportunities for students," she said.

The minor will become effective this summer.

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Last Updated May 08, 2014