Freshman Success Instructors Assist with the QEP

Freshman Success instructors recently participated in an intensive multi-day planning and training seminar designed to provide quality and improve students’ learning outcomes. During one session, Dr. Shonda Gibson, Associate Chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Committee, explained the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS COC) reaffirmation of accreditation process, specifically the planning and execution of the QEP.

Instructors teaching 15 sections of Freshman Success will be participating in a pilot study during the Fall 2014 term to assist the QEP development with gathering baseline data, testing use of an electronic portfolio, and completion of an assessment of global competency. The students will complete the Global Competency Aptitude Assessment (GCAA), which has been reviewed by leaders in business and industry worldwide, the National Foreign Trade Council, representatives from the United Nations, Deans and other senior administrators of universities on four continents, human resource officials, and entrepreneurs.

According to Christi Hunter, CEO of Global Leadership Excellence and President of Global Competence Consulting, “We live in a world that has become increasingly interdependent, one in which geographic boundaries have become blurry, and language, distance and time are no longer barriers to cross-cultural exchanges. In fact, there is a worldwide shortage of people who can demonstrate abilities to fit into a global playing field. There is ample evidence that the 21st century needs people who are Globally Competent.” The GCAA identifies people’s likelihood to succeed in a highly interconnected world, providing scores for eight components of global competence.

Incoming freshman students will also begin crafting electronic portfolios through ManeSync (Texas A&M University-Commerce campus engagement network). The ePortfolio provides every student with a personal website to organize, showcase and reflect on academic course work, co-curricular involvement, internships and employment. Students have the ability to upload work samples, request professional recommendations and link to their social media profiles. In addition, students have a full range of privacy options and contents of the ePortfolio may be downloaded as a PDF for every student to save, email or print out.

The use of the GCAA and electronic portfolios are key components of the proposed Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): Preparing Students for an Interconnected World. The pilot testing in Fall of 2014 serves as an important milestone as the A&M-Commerce community continues the reaffirmation review process, which will culminate with the SACS On-Site Team visit In March of 2014.