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Global Engineering and the Liberal Arts

Steven H. VanderLeest, Edward G. Nielsen
Calvin College

Abstract

Design that targets emerging global markets requires not only good business sense, but also requires an understanding of foreign cultures. Students can achieve this broad understanding of society and humanity through education in the liberal arts. We have developed a new course that integrates global engineering and the liberal arts by immersing the students for one month in the engineering, business, and cultural aspects of a foreign (European) society. The course combines a number of creative approaches, including visits to a wide range of engineering sites in the commercial, academic, and government domains; a multidisciplinary team of faculty; and involvement of a larger segment of the home campus through a set of Internet web pages. Students achieve a number of important outcomes: discerning cultural differences, cultivating non-technical interests, developing critical thinking, and understanding global markets.

Steven H. VanderLeest and Edward G. Nielsen, "Global Engineering and the Liberal Arts,"  1998 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Seattle, WA, 1998.


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