What is a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?
Florida Institute of Technology has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1964. The QEP intends to “describe a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution” (SACSCOC, 2011).
The Global Workforce and Cross-Cultural Competence
For years, the Florida Institute of Technology has embarked upon an effort to internationalize the campus and its programs. As a result, the topic selected by the Florida Tech community for the new 2015 QEP is “The Global Workforce and Cross-Cultural Competence”--a topic that grew out of ongoing initiatives all over campus. The title reflects two major objectives for the new QEP: to help students prepare for the challenges and opportunities of a globalized workforce by expanding knowledge and understanding of global cultures and developing cross-cultural competencies. The selection of Florida Tech's QEP topic is an important decision made by everyone involved with the university and will not be fully implemented until approved by SACSCOC.
What Defines the Global Workforce?
For the purposes of this QEP, global workforce refers to “the international labor pool of workers, including those employed by multinational companies and connected through a global system of networking and production, immigrant workers, transient migrant workers, telecommuting workers, those in export-oriented employment, contingent work or other areas of employment" (James & O’Brien, 2006).
What Defines Cross-Cultural Competence?
For the purposes of this QEP, cross-cultural or intercultural competence may be defined as “the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with people of other cultures” (Messner & Schafer, 2012). This includes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions--such as motivation and willingness--that are associated with this competence. Increasingly, Florida Tech graduates find themselves entering the global workforce and, whether as part of or apart from their work, find themselves in situations that require them to communication in extremely diverse environments.