Quality Enhancement Plan outline detailed during Convocation

Published on
February 13, 2015

Dr. Bruce Cory outlined Union College's Quality Enhancement PlanPlans for academic improvements developed under Union College’s Quality Enhancement Plan were presented to the student body during the 2015 Spring Convocation.

The campus Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, has been developed through internal review of college programs as part of the accreditation reaffirmation review. Throughout the review, one commonality came forward, said Bruce Cory, Chair of the History, Religion and Languages Department, in that Union College students are engaged in higher order thinking skills, but are not necessarily aware they are developing those skills.

Higher Order Thinking skills, or HOT, involve being able to think analytically, process relevant information, understand various solutions and be creative in application of these skills to real world scenarios.

“It is a transferring of ideas into something new,” said Cory. “We are already doing that, but students are not aware they are doing it.”

Cory added the purpose of the QEP is to get students more engaged where HOT skills are involved. He told students at Convocation a recent survey sponsored by the AAC&U revealed those employers wanted to recruit employees that could think clearly about complex problems, be analytical in application of solutions and be creative in their thinking.

“They want employees with higher order thinking skills,” Cory said.

To help build the concept and application of HOT on campus, he said, the QEP has made three recommendations. First, a new course will be introduced, required of all incoming undergraduates, that focuses on higher order thinking; second, a series of designated courses within each major will be designated as “HOT” assisting students in enhancing those skills as they progress academically and more speakers and activities will be introduced to campus that focuses on HOT.

“We send a product out into the world – you,” Cory said. “You are already high quality, but we want to enhance that.”

This HOT initiative will help Union students “catch fire,” Cory added, referring to Union’s new marketing campaign. He said “catching fire” means students should leave Union and go out into the world challenging their communities with critical thinking.

“This is not just about yourself,” Cory summarized. “It’s about changing the world and making it better.”

To learn more about Union College’s academic improvement initiatives, please click here.