Message from Dr. Art Markman, chair of the Proposal and Implementation Committees:
Every ten years, The University of Texas at Austin undergoes accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). A central component of this process is the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is a five-year effort to improve learning outcomes for our students.
There are six core values at the University, and one of those is leadership. While we do not expect that every student will be a leader in every situation, we do anticipate that our students will understand the skills that are required for leadership so that they recognize when organizations are being led effectively and can take on leadership roles when required. The University has a long tradition of developing these skills in our students.
One of the hardest leadership skills to teach in a university environment is teamwork, yet success for our students after graduation depends critically on their ability to collaborate and to work together. A special focus of the QEP is on the degree to which our curriculum provides opportunities for students to learn teamwork and collaborative learning. Our increasing knowledge about this area will be used to enhance experiences inside the classroom and out that help our students develop new skills as team players.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of our leadership education efforts, the QEP engages with UT's School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) to coordinate the curriculum and undertake a comprehensive evaluation of key elements to ensure that students are learning these crucial skills. UGS is an excellent home for the QEP, because this school reaches undergraduate students from across the University, regardless of their major. UGS will be collaborating with faculty from across campus to support teamwork activities in their courses. UGS will be analyzing products from classes as well as assessments of students of their own experience. This evaluation will provide significant opportunities for the University to provide feedback to faculty to improve student outcomes related to leadership.
This project is the result of a two-year effort by a diverse, talented, and committed group of faculty, staff, and administrators from across the University. I would like to thank the members of the three committees that worked hard on behalf of our students to develop this QEP.
Arthur Markman, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts