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Academic Outcomes

Through its rigorous experiential curriculum, Global TIES students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed and lead in the 21st century. After just one quarter in the program, Global TIES students report increased confidence in all of the engineering and professional skills recommended by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET):

  • Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, physics, and/or engineering to a project
  • Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • Ability to function on a multi-disciplinary team
  • Ability to identify and formulate engineering problems
  • Ability to solve engineering problems
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities
  • Ability to make professional presentations to others
  • Ability to write professional reports
  • Understanding of the impact of technology on society
  • Understanding of the issues facing community, country, and the world
  • Ability to use the techniques, skills, and tools necessary for professional practice
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals of different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds
  • Recognition of the importance of engaging in lifelong learning.

"Global TIES has helped me to apply the subjects I have learned in other classes to real situations and to make a difference in the San Diego and global communities. Through Global TIES, I have become aware of social as well as engineering issues throughout the world, and learned much about how to complete a team project with real-world constraints such as a budget and client. It has been a life-changing program, and has inspired me to continue in the field of humanitarian engineering after graduation."

Lauren Rueda
Class of 2011
Environmental Engineering

Developmental Outcomes

Global TIES students grow in other crucial ways as well. After one quarter, students report self-perceived increases in the following important skills:

  • Leadership skills
  • Team/Collaboration skills
  • Commitment to future service
  • Knowledge and understanding of global issues
  • Appreciation for diversity

Perhaps most significantly, students report a self-perceived increase in their belief that they can make a difference in the world.

The Global TIES program is intended to give students an extended experience with design as a start-to-finish process. The course emphasizes a number of skills that students need in order to become successful professionals after graduation. Evaluation will include these aspects of the course, as well as the quality of the achievements in the student's technical area.


Each project will require written reports, oral proposal and progress presentations, oral communications with project partners and consultants, and intra-team communications.

Analytical thinking and interdisciplinary experience

Because of the scope and size of the project is much larger than is possible in traditional courses, students must apply what they have learned to ambiguous and open-ended problems across a variety of disciplines. This encourages the development of students' analytical thinking, creative problem-solving, and organizational skills.

Teamwork experience

Because projects are large, effective teamwork is an essential component. Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to sign up for Global TIES. Students can expect a wide variety of majors on their team, not only from the various disciplines of engineering, but increasingly from the sciences, arts, and humanities as well. Students quickly learn that the outcome of the project depends on the efforts of every team member, and on fully utilizing the skillset each team member brings to the project. 


Global TIES projects are complex and open-ended. This encourages students to pursue non-traditional educational resources. Projects typically utilize upper-class students in a mentorship role, allowing them to teach and guide less experienced students. Students are encouraged to learn from each other, as well as the project partner and academic consultants who have experience relating to the project.

Resource management

Each team is given a quarterly budget for their project. As a result, students learn the practical as well as theoretical aspects of managing a team and working on a project.

Customer awareness

Projects are drawn from local community organizations and international NGOs. Customer satisfaction is an important criterion in judging project success. Hence, the projects increase the students' awareness of the importance of the customer in producing a high-quality product.

Expanded awareness of the community

By dealing with people outside of the academic community, students become more aware of the world outside UC San Diego. Students learn the local and global context and impact of the projects they work on, raising their awareness of critical issues impacting the community.

Professional ethics

Professional conduct, both in relation to the project partner and within the team itself, will be an essential component of successful projects. Students will have to maintain an awareness of ethical principles while meeting the demands of the project.