For undergraduate programs in biomedical engineering (BME), a comprehensive base of multiple disciplines required for BME studies on campus has been a big challenge, the Industry Professional Advisory Committee members usually recommend incorporating experiential learning modules of co-op or internship in the curriculum. Embedding cooperative modules within the undergraduate BME educational program is aimed to assist students in gaining the highly valuable real-life experience. The internship modules facilitate the students in exploring different realistic aspects of the complex work processes in the biomedical engineering field. It must be emphasized that different countries follow different models for BME education. At the international level, the developers of the BME curriculum find the inclusion of internship experience or internship with a heavy course load in the program a formidable challenge. Having a single model is not likely to work in different countries. The main objective of the present work is to develop cooperative experiential learning models for BME undergraduate students that can be applied internationally and to propose multiple partner organizations to host the co-op. In this paper, designs of a few co-op/internship models embedded in the undergraduate BME curriculum and an innovative array of co-op hosting organizations are described. The results obtained clearly support the proposed co-op/internship scheme. In conclusion, integrating the internship experience will be of significant value in biomedical engineering education by giving opportunities for real-life work experience to the students. For sustained success at the international level, it is essential that a suitable model must be selected to blend with the mission of the overall training program at the academic institution.
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- Embedding Internship Programs to Augment BME Education
Shankar M. Krishnan