Multi-Level Assessment of Program Outcomes: Assessing a Nontraditional Study Abroad Program in the Engineering Disciplines

  • David DiBiasio
  • Natalie A. Mello
Keywords: Assessment, Program Outcomes, Non-traditional Study Abroad, Engineering Education


At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) a Global Perspective Program (GPP) has evolved that provides an international experience for most graduates. Currently more than half of WPI students travel internationally to do academic work. The GPP grew from the basic project-based educational structure implemented over 30 years ago. In this paper, we describe the structure and operation but will emphasize the multilevel assessment process used to understand student learning and improve the program. Although our specifics are related to technical education, our assessment design and implementation may be useful to a much wider audience.


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Author Biographies

David DiBiasio

David DiBiasio is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Assessment Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is also Director of WPI’s Washington D.C. Project Center. His undergraduate and graduate degrees are from Purdue University. His research interests are in engineering education including understanding the process of student learning, international education, and educational assessment.

Natalie A. Mello

Natalie A. Mello, Director of Global Operations in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, oversees the administration of WPI’s global perspective program. She holds a B.A. from Connecticut College and graduate degrees from Clark University. A member of the Interorganizational Task Force on Health and Safety in Study Abroad, she contributed to the latest edition of NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad.


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How to Cite
DiBiasio, D., & Mello, N. A. (2004). Multi-Level Assessment of Program Outcomes: Assessing a Nontraditional Study Abroad Program in the Engineering Disciplines. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 10(1), 237-252.