Document Type


Publication Date

June 2015

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

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Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Engineering Education


In order for students to thrive in the highly competitive global economy, it is critical for them to develop international perspectives and appreciation. As a result, in 2004, the San Jose State University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering established a one-million-dollar Global Technology Initiative (GTI) program. The mission of the GTI program is to expand students’ horizons about the opportunities and challenges of a global economy, to expose them to global, environmental, and energy problems in which technology plays a central role, to motivate their learning of global issues and different cultures, and to introduce them to a more comprehensive focus on global leadership. Essentially, the program provides U.S. students with a global perspective focused on technology and business leadership, while relating the high-technology industry to the Silicon Valley and Asia-Pacific region. The program has constantly evolved, improving the GTI scholars' experience. Over 160 GTI participants have traveled throughout Asia to various industries within China, Taiwan, and India. The first three cohorts (2004-2006) visited Taiwan and China, the next three traveled to India (2008-2010), and the past three visited Taiwan and China (2011-2013). Not only has the destination changed over the years, but the original scope of GTI as well. After the first year, the initiative began including environmental and energy concerns, based on growing student interest, and therefore included tours and trips to not only technology industries, but also environmental and energy enterprises. In 2009, previous students felt that there was a lack of cultural and social context when visiting these countries, leading to the development of a three-unit course taught in collaboration with SJSU Department of History professors who specialize in the history of India or China, depending on the summer destination. All these changes culminated into making the program the success it is today. Due to these innovations and constant evolution, the 2014 GTI cohort was unlike any other. SJSU students were given first-hand experience about technology's global role, entrepreneurship, and cross-cultural collaboration when they participated in the International Innovation & Entrepreneur Leadership Experience(IIELE) at Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU) in Jhongli, Taiwan. In three weeks, students created innovative business propositions, toured industries that had a great sense of traditional values and environmental awareness, and explored Taiwan's culture through the eyes of local students. The cohort was a resounding success, with overwhelming positive student feedback. Overall, the SJSU GTI program has been very successful and has met the objectives set for it. Embedding continuous assessment and improvement into this program has allowed us to adapt to changes and provide the participants with an intensive global experience; a wonderful experience for all involved.


© 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. This article originally appeared in the proceedings of the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference, and can also be found online at this link.