UT Tyler GATE
The University of Texas at Tyler has chosen for its Quality Enhancement Plan an integrated program to increase global awareness among cohorts of freshmen and sophomore students. We have titled our QEP, GATE: Global Awareness through Education.
The overarching learning goals of GATE are to:
- increase students’ knowledge of the world’s complexities and how political, economic, social, environmental, and technological forces shape their daily lives,
- shape students’ understanding, sensitivity, and respect for cultural perspectives different from their own in order to be ethical and responsible global citizens; and
- prepare students with the technological, communication, social, and cultural skills necessary to be productive citizens in the global environment.
Over the years, the University has built and delivered numerous opportunities for students to experience the world beyond rural East Texas, including travel study, study abroad, international service learning, and research abroad. However, these activities have lacked coordination or integration with the curriculum or extra-curricular activities. To address that shortcoming, GATE will develop students’ knowledge and skills through classroom experiences, exercise their knowledge and skills in co-curricular activities, and test students’ ability to apply them in the real-world of international experiences.
Thus, we will:
- create on-campus Global Learning Communities for freshmen and sophomores that engage students and faculty and strengthen global learning opportunities in and out of the classroom;
- strengthen the UT Tyler Core Curriculum by integrating global content and real-world projects into traditional skills and basic knowledge courses; and
- create a sophomore summer study abroad capstone experience that will expose students in meaningful ways to cultures different from their own.
UT Tyler’s faculty, the keystone to a successful GATE program, will participate in professional development opportunities to help them incorporate global perspectives into Core courses and to develop global experiences.
Assessment will occur at two major levels:
- the extent to which the GATE program attains its three overarching learning goals and
- the increase in the University community’s commitment to and progress toward globalizing the campus.
Achievement of learning goals and outcomes will be measured through the use of external inventories and standardized assessment tools, descriptive rubrics to assess student and faculty work products, and various course-embedded assessments.
University commitment will be measured by annual tracking of seven “commitment indicators:”
- Percentage of students who complete the GATE program;
- Increase in participation in overseas study by faculty and students;
- Increase in the number of activities and programs on campus that relate to global awareness;
- Participation rate of faculty in development activities specific to global awareness;
- Increase in enrollment of international students;
- Increase in globally-relevant partnerships in Tyler and the East Texas region; and
- New curriculum, programs, and degrees with a global emphasis
UT Tyler’s five-year GATE budget includes funding for planning, implementation, and assessment of the program, including new personnel costs, faculty development, student travel, service-learning, GATE learning communities, assessment instruments, electronic portfolio software, and administrative costs.
GATE was selected through broad-based input of the entire campus community and developed by a large group of enthusiastic faculty and staff.
We have chosen to implement GATE not only for its immediate impact on student cohorts participating in the program, but because of its ability to be expanded over time to impact the entire university community by increasing the focus on global citizenship beyond the first two years and into the students’ majors.