Establishing successful partnerships for global service learning in engineering

Jeffrey R. Seay, John Christopher Higgins, Chandni A. Joshi, Sarah Frances Willett

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Service learning experiences can be life changing events for both engineering students and faculty. These courses can provide educational context for the impacts - both positive and negative - that engineers have had and continue to have on the developing world. Non-traditional education abroad experiences in developing countries can be a challenge to organize, but can benefit greatly from strong partnerships with organizations in the host country. The University of Kentucky Appropriate Technology and Sustainability (UKATS) research group is an undergraduate, service learning and sustainability focused research group at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering Paducah Extended Campus Program. This group has established successful partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in Cameroon and India as part of a non-traditional study abroad course in global service learning in engineering. The service learning projects undertaken by the UKATS research group as part of the EGR 390: Global Service Learning in Engineering course at UK are focused on the development and dissemination of technology based on the principles of appropriate technology and sustainability - particularly the societal impacts of those projects on the local communities. This contribution gives an overview on how these partnerships were developed and describes the importance of strong in-country partnerships for successful service learning experiences. In particular this contribution will illustrate how the need for community interaction is critical to the success of any project in a rural or developing community. The experiences of the UKATS group with the African Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST) in Cameroon and the Organization of Development Action and Maintenance (ODAM) in India will be described. In addition, lessons learned regarding properly preparing students for service learning based education abroad experiences will be described.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2016
Event5th Annual ASEE International Forum 2016 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2016 → …


Conference5th Annual ASEE International Forum 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period6/25/16 → …

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©American Society for Engineering Education, 2016.


  • Africa
  • Cameroon
  • Education abroad
  • India

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Education


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