By Dr. Garner Dewey, director Quality Enhancement Plan
Beginning in Fall 2013, we inaugurate a new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that intends to provide multiple and varied global learning opportunities, both at home and abroad. Our plan is particularly timely as research from the American Association of Colleges and Universities indicates that although the United States is a world power, “less than 10 percent of four-year graduates are leaving college globally prepared.”
While Appalachian struggles with budgetary cuts and many faculty and staff are fatigued, we must be resilient and creative in making sure that this is accomplished as the “potential benefits of global interdependence are extraordinary.”
My teaching, travel and research experiences have led me to better understand the global forces that define my specific discipline of industrial design, and also to evaluate the impact that our products and technologies have on the economic, cultural and environmental well-being of other cultures and nations. It has been my privilege to take students abroad where they not only learn about the specific areas related to the discipline, but also glimpse the lives of those with whom they come in contact, providing conditions for even more holistic learning.
It is my charge as QEP director to facilitate more opportunities for students, faculty and staff to participate in international experiences. My hope is that everyone will embrace and promote this plan. This, in turn, will better prepare our graduates by pushing them on a journey that leads to cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal development.
Tyler Norwood ’12, an entrepreneurship graduate, participated in a five-week study abroad trip to Vietnam and Thailand. While in Saigon the class visited VinaCapital, the largest capital investment firm in Vietnam. Norwood landed a summer internship there that led to a partnership offer with Everest Education, a premier international tutoring center working to overcome challenges in the Vietnamese educational system.