This past week, while students enjoyed their last days of summer before they return to school on Monday, August 24, district teachers and staff have been hard at work preparing for the 2015-2016 school year. On Wednesday, August 19, sixth through twelfth-grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teachers, along with principals, assistant principals, learning liaisons, librarians, instructional coaches and members of the Curriculum and Instruction department, attended a panel discussion featuring seven professors/administrators of higher education.
The purpose of this panel was to give teachers important insights into the expectations of universities, the weaknesses college freshman can demonstrate and the things Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is doing well to prepare students for life after graduation.
“One of the most exciting parts of hosting the college panel discussion was that our kindergarten through twelfth-grade system rarely has the chance to hear directly from those who receive the students we educate,” said GCISD Director of Humanities Dr. Suzanne Newell. “Many attendees claimed that this discussion was one of the most powerful learning experiences they've had in years and described how it would directly impact the work they do with students this year.”
As part of the district’s strategic plan, LEAD 2021, GCISD has developed a Portrait of a Graduate, which contains five characteristics students need to be able to demonstrate when they graduate. These characteristics include: effective communicator, skilled problem solver, self-regulated learner, global citizen and collaborative worker.
“One of the most affirming aspects of the discussion was how aligned the GCISD Portrait of a Graduate is with the expectations of colleges,” Dr. Newell said. “In fact, one university representative declared that he was going to borrow our Portrait to share with those at his university!”
Thank you to the following individuals and universities for participating in the panel:
- Dr. Noah Pittman, University of Arkansas, Assistant Dean of Recruitment and Retention
- Mr. Ben Hagen, Oklahoma State University, Assistant Director of Admissions
- Dr. Suzanne Carter, Texas Christian University, Executive Director of the EMBA program
- Dr. Claire Sanders, Texas Christian University, Professor, History Department
- Dr. Jim Warren, University of Texas at Arlington, Assistant Professor, English Department
- Ms. Shewanda Riley, Tarrant County College Northeast, Assistant Professor of English, Humanities Division
- Dr. Wes Waggoner, Southern Methodist University, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management