Cultural and global awareness has become an increasingly important component for professional success. Research shows that today’s employers look for more than a particular college degree; up to 83 percent of employers favor job candidates who can analyze and solve problems with people of different backgrounds and cultures. Seventy-eight percent of employers reported their priority is to recruit and employ college graduates who have international experience interacting with people and business operations in cultures outside their own.
With the goal of preparing students for workforce success, the transformation of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute includes a focus on the global learning skills most valued by employers. Through study abroad opportunities, international internships, cultural awareness certifications and a range of activities and classes, the Polytechnic helps students develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for cultural and global perspectives and their impact on business and industry.
Discovering a global perspective
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute prepares students for real-world success with a dedication to achieving:
- Heightened cultural awareness
- Respect and understanding of differences
- An understanding of globalization impacts on their chosen profession
- Working knowledge of global challenges and global opportunities
- The ability to perform in diverse team environments
The world keeps getting smaller
Purdue Polytechnic’s Office of Globalization focuses on much more than the global reach of the college itself. With student success as a focal point, every plan of study in the college now requires a combination of global and/or cultural experiences.
“We’re creating a global culture in all aspects of the student experience,” said Robert Cox, senior associate dean for globalization. “Technology makes the world smaller every day, and our students will be prepared to succeed – not just in a state, region or country, but in diverse groups anywhere on the planet.”
Polytechnic students can choose from a host of global experiences that benefit their path of study. The college works closely with more than a dozen locations on four continents to provide students with full-semester study abroad experiences, taught in English, which align with plans of study to ensure on-time degree completion. More than 1,200 Polytechnic students have studied abroad since the beginning of the college’s transformation. On campus, cultural immersion classes, visiting international scholars and one of the University’s largest populations of international students provide genuine experiences to help students better understand, appreciate and work with other cultures and points of view.
To measure the success of student global and cultural immersions, the Polytechnic has added an intercultural assessment tool. This tool measures the intercultural competence of every incoming first-year student, and then performs a reassessment when those students become seniors. This allows the college to measure and quantify the success of global and cultural programs and provides feedback in terms of what the Polytechnic can add or improve to enhance students’ ability to succeed in a global environment.
International student augments degree with bachelor’s from Polytechnic
The Polytechnic offers expanded global and cultural opportunities through partnerships with universities around the world. In 2018, Angello Vindrola was the first graduate of a double degree program between Purdue Polytechnic and the Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia (UTEC) in Lima, Peru. Vindrola had nearly finished his mechanical engineering degree at UTEC when he opted to add a bachelor’s degree from the Polytechnic – a dual-country, dual-language challenge. He graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering technology and then returned to Peru to graduate from UTEC.
“Angello didn’t just complete the program. He exceled in it,” said Elizabeth Barajas, global programs coordinator.
With a focus on innovative learning methods, hands-on experiences and industry partnerships, these 10 Elements of Transformation drive the Polytechnic Institute’s dedication to impactful technology education.