CU-Boulder Engineering College Wins Award for Innovation in International Education

Published: Jan. 26, 2010

The University of Colorado at Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science has been a campus leader in creating new international offerings for students, including student exchanges, dual degrees, certificate programs and study abroad opportunities.

The college's efforts are receiving national attention from the International Institute of Education, which has selected the engineering college for an Honorable Mention for the 2010 Andrew Heiskell Award in the "Internationalizing the Campus" category with a special focus on engineering programs this year. The award, which recognizes innovation in international education, will be presented in New York City on March 19.

Building a Global Crossroads and Learning for a Diverse World are among the main initiatives of CU-Boulder's Flagship 2030 strategic plan, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science has led the campus in initiating new international exchanges, dual degree programs and research partnerships with international universities over the last year.

"We recognize that engineering is a global endeavor and we have expanded our international programming in a variety of ways to meet the needs of students and faculty," said engineering Dean Robert Davis. "We are both educating engineers who are prepared to work in an international environment and helping faculty to collaborate on international projects that will benefit global society."

The award recognizes the college for the breadth of its international initiatives, which include:

· Designating a professional administrator to coordinate international programs.

· Growing the college's International Engineering Certificate program to include six languages and cultures: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. Forty students have completed the certificates since their inception in 2003 and 86 students participated in the program last year.

· Providing international education, research and service opportunities in sustainable community development through the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities and the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

· Joining the Global Engineering Education Exchange Consortium, a group of 30 universities offering study abroad opportunities to partner institutions.

· Initiating more new exchange programs, dual degree programs, and research opportunity agreements with international universities than any other unit on campus. The college currently has four dual degree programs with universities in Chile, China and Italy, and just last year added five new exchange programs that focus on engineering.

In addition to the programs mentioned above, the number of CU-Boulder engineering students studying abroad rose to an all-time high of 46 in 2008-09, a number that is likely to climb higher with expanded opportunities and the support of college advisers, according to Kim Kreutzer of the Office of International Education.

"International programs and activities for engineering students and faculty continue to grow because there is continued demand for collaboration to solve the world's problems. Today's engineer is truly a global engineer," said Sherry Snyder, who coordinates international programs for the college and advises students on opportunities.

Twenty to 30 years ago, engineering students were discouraged from studying abroad because it would slow their progress toward getting a degree, but new programs now allow engineering students to take required courses abroad, and if they plan well, to graduate on schedule.

An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the International Institute of Education is headquartered in New York City and has a network of over 20 offices worldwide and more than 1,000 member institutions. More information is available at .

For more information on international programs and activities at the CU-Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science visit .

CU-Boulder engineering students Christie Chatterley and Wesley Ashwood make friends with children in Muramba, Rwanda, during their summer 2008 outreach visit with Engineers Without Borders. Photo courtesy Engineers Without Borders-CU