PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo FEBRUARY 2005 - VOLUME 14, NUMBER 6
Special Double Issue: 2005 ASEE Annual Conference - June 12-15 - Portland, Oregon
The 36 Percent Problem

Frank L HubandThis month's cover story, "Application Shock," looks at the fallout resulting from the restrictive visa policies put in place after the 2001 terrorist attacks. For the past few years, it hasn't been easy for foreign students to get visas to study in the United States. And although the State Department assures us that the visa situation has improved, the word on the street is that it remains tough. Perception is powerful, and there's been a dramatic decline in the numbers of foreign students applying to American universities. Engineering graduate programs have been the hardest hit, experiencing a 36 percent drop in the number of non-U.S. student applicants. At the same time, American institutions are facing serious competition for students from schools in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Even China is working hard to keep students at home. The country's Tsinghua University has remade itself into a first-rate university by overhauling the curriculum and hiring top faculty from around the world. Between 2003 and 2004, the number of non-U.S. graduate applicants to U.S. schools declined by 28 percent, and the number of applicants from China plunged 45 percent. Declining numbers of foreign students will have long-term economic implications for the United States.

The article, "Engineering's New Look," examines the engineering department at the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and its success recruiting Hispanics. In 2002-2003, UTSA achieved an impressive record: Half of the 160 engineering bachelor's degrees it awarded went to minority students, including 58 to Hispanics. UTSA has engaged in early outreach to middle and high schools, workshops, and reliance on the principle of like attracting like in an effort to recruit minority students. The department's goal is to have the same proportion of Hispanics enrolled in their program as live in the surrounding community.

Penn State's college of engineering has augmented its curriculum with a dramatically restructured track. The new service-process engineering program takes engineering's approach to problem solving and applies it to the service industry. If engineering's template can be applied to the service industry, the potential benefits are enormous. Critics question whether it can be done. Read "The Big Squeeze" and see what you think.

Prism magazine tries to provide our readers with an interesting mix of articles. I would be interested in your comments.

Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher



Difficult Crossing - By Jeffrey Selingo
Engineering's New Look - By Thomas K. Grose
The Big Squeeze - By Mary Lord
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TECH VIEW: Rebuilding After 9/11 - By Mary Kathleen Flynn
SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE: 2005 ASEE Annual Conference - June 12-15 - Portland, Oregon
SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE: 2005 ASEE Annual Conference - June 12-15 - Portland, Oregon

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