Before my participation in the Quality Initiative Project (QIP)–an assessment of student learning related to public affairs, I didn’t give much thought to the public affairs mission. I never even considered why it was so important to the university. But now, I understand its purpose and hope to make it a part of my life outside of the university setting. The principles of the public affairs mission will help our generation create a better world. Equally important, I now know that my instructors care about my learning. The faculty that I met through the QIP workshop showed me that they want students to succeed; not just in the classroom, but in life, as well. My input was taken seriously and showed me that even as a student, I am an important actor in determining the direction of this university. I am so grateful for the opportunity and hope that I will be able to attend other QIP workshops in the future.
My Message to Students
Students, if your attitudes are like mine prior to the workshop, please take heart in my experience. You have an important voice and you are lucky to be at a university where the faculty take student experiences to heart. And just as important, we are part of a community determined to make the world a better place by means of the public affairs mission.
My Message to Faculty
Professors, faculty and staff, don’t be afraid of the public affairs mission. It may seem like a challenge to add new curriculum to your courses, but your contribution will make a difference in the lives of your students. Remember, teaching the Public Affairs Mission is not something that needs to be made as an assignment or a new unit; it can be found in how you portray yourself and in your teaching. As professionals at this university, we should be able to embody this mission in both your personal and professional life. If that can be done, teaching the PA mission will become the norm. If we work together, we can help make a brighter future for everyone!
As a senior and toward the end of my program, I was not at the height of my enthusiasm for school. In spring 2014, I just wanted to graduate. When I attended the Quality Initiative Project workshop in May, 2014, I was coming off an incredibly difficult semester. I had hit a roadblock and, like many other students, had no idea how to take my next steps. Though I did not expect it at the time, the workshop was an eye-opening experience for me, and one that helped restore my faith in education.
Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to witness how much teachers actually care about their students’ learning. Sometimes, as a student, it’s easy to assume that instructors are teaching their classes as a means to a paycheck. The QIP workshop proved the opposite: the participating faculty sincerely cared about how deeply students were understanding the principles of public affairs. For them, it was not enough that students could repeat the names of the public affairs pillars. They wanted to know if students learned enough about the university’s mission to be an example of public affairs in their daily lives.
“The QIP workshop challenged us to analyze ourselves on a personal as well as academic level.”
I don’t think I was the only QIP participant that got more than I bargained for from the workshop. Though the workshop’s purpose was to assess student work, it became much, much more. The QIP workshop challenged us to analyze ourselves on a personal level as well as an academic level.
– Louise Love