From Nichole Stack—
Global UCF’s Global Achievement Academy (GAA) has undergone some significant changes this year: a shiny new building, an additional program pathway, a growing summer cohort (we had 8 sections!), and more of a WAW-focus in GAA writing courses. Read on for details!
The $16 million structure, located on the northeast end of Memory Mall, houses UCF’s International Affairs and Global Strategies (IAGS) division. Among the many international involvement endeavors for students and faculty are the English Language Institute (ELI), UCF Abroad, and, of course, GAA. I recommend visiting the building if you haven’t had the chance, if just to experience the meditation room. Yes, it really has one of those. There will be a campus-wide celebration of the building’s opening on August 31st, 9-10am. Free food and tours available!
In addition to offering GAA, which is primarily a language skills-based program, Global UCF will be introducing a cultural transition program this fall that allows more advanced students to enter their undergraduate degree pathways at a faster pace. In the Academic Accelerator Program (AAP), students will take only two semesters of preparation courses, versus three to four for GAA. This means more students each term in 1101. A projected 60 students will begin AAP this year.
Speaking of higher numbers, our department saw a spike in GAA students—and teachers—this summer A session. There were a total of 80 students, and four new GAA teacher-faces: Kevin Roozen, Lissa Pompos, Megan Lambert, and Jen Short. Feel free to approach them for some interesting conversation about their experiences. Teaching GAA students in the summer can be challenging; the population is homogeneous (i.e., there are no domestic students), and the students are taking three or more other classes at the same time. For a six-week term. There’s a proposal on the table to reduce the course load for summer, so we have hope for future summers.
It also brings hope to know that relationships between departments working with Global UCF are continuing to develop. Last summer, DWR and Modern Languages worked together to revise the GAA writing course that immediately precedes 1101, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) II. This Global UCF initiative presented us with the opportunity to share ideas about pedagogy and best practices. The lead instructor of EAP courses was very interested in knowing more about this “Writing about Writing philosophy” of ours, and after a summer of meetings and course development, she decided to adopt the WAW-based course designed for EAP II and has since been teaching it. We continue to meet and discuss how to make students’ learning experiences in our writing courses even better and have plans to work with FCTL to offer a faculty internationalization development track sometime this academic year.
Our department will continue to work with Global UCF this year to support students and faculty involved. It has been a slow start for the program, but as it continues to learn more about all of the stakeholders involved and make efforts to develop relationships with them, it will grow. Things are moving forward!
- DWR Workshop about GAA: October 19th, 3:30pm
- DWR-GAA teacher working group begins this year
- DWR Global UCF website content makes its debut in spring