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ERIC Number: EJ993718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May-18
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
In Rhode Island, an Unusual Marriage of Engineering and Languages Lures Students
Fischer, Karin
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2012
Students in the University of Rhode Island's International Engineering Program (IEP) spend a semester studying at an overseas university and another six months interning at a company abroad; at the end of five years, they earn two degrees, in engineering and a foreign language. Despite the extra academic demands, nearly a third of Rhode Island's undergraduate engineering students, about 300 over all, enroll in the IEP. By contrast, fewer than 4 percent of engineering students nationally study abroad, according to the Institute of International Education, a rate far lower than that of their classmates in the humanities, social sciences, and even business. While other colleges have considered cutting foreign-language programs, Rhode Island's have grown, due in large part to the IEP. Only the University of Michigan graduates more German majors each year, and Rhode Island is one of just seven institutions with a federally recognized national center for intensive language instruction in Chinese. There have been other, less-anticipated benefits of the IEP: Women have enrolled in engineering in increasing numbers and the academic quality of Rhode Island's engineering students has improved. More than half of all IEP students receive the university's top academic scholarship.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island