Board of Regents Awards School of Modern Languages for Excellence in Teaching

2004 Regents' Awards for Excellence in Teaching

After five years of launching two new joint degrees, creating 61 new courses, building a strong advising program for its undergraduates, developing new team-taught courses and an International Internship Program, the School of Modern Languages in the Ivan Allen College, the liberal arts college of Georgia Tech, will receive the 2004 Regents' Awards for Excellence in Teaching in a Department from the University System of Georgia at the Board of Regents' meeting on May 18. A panel of faculty and department chairs from across the University System independently reviewed the nominations and unanimously selected Georgia Tech's School of Modern Languages to receive this prestigious award in the research universities category.

"For years now, our School of Modern Languages has been a campus leader in innovative pedagogy," said Bob McMath, vice provost for undergraduate studies and academic affairs. "The faculty have developed programs and courses that respond to the needs of all our students and have delivered them with dedication and enthusiasm. It's great to see Georgia Tech's School of Modern Languages recognized by the University System in this fashion."

"As part of an institution dedicated to the education of future leaders in business and technology, the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech plays a crucial role in preparing students for the global marketplace," said Phil McKnight, chair, School of Modern Languages. "Our school's non-traditional curriculum with a vast array of applied and interdisciplinary courses demonstrates faculty attention to current and emerging student needs and reflects our belief in authentic cultural and linguistic experiences and in interactive, non-compartmentalized learning."

The Annual Regents' Awards program recognizes and rewards both individual faculty members and academic programs throughout the University System of Georgia. It honors outstanding teaching that significantly improves student achievement, as well as commitment to effective teaching.

"The Regents' awards exemplify the System's goal of putting students first," said Dr. Daniel S. Papp, senior vice chancellor for academics and fiscal affairs. "The University System of Georgia has placed increasing emphasis on the quality of student learning, which is closely correlated to the high quality of our faculty members."

The selection committee cited the School of Modern Languages' growth rate of new majors and 95 percent retention rate as strong indicators of its excellence. These figures are particularly impressive since Georgia Tech does not have a foreign language requirement. Modern Languages growth supports one of the goals of Tech's Strategic Plan of offering a student-focused education by increasing the number of students who work or study abroad.

In the past five years the School of Modern Languages has launched two new joint degrees - International Affairs and Modern Languages (IAML) and Global Economics and Modern Languages (GEML); has created a strong advising program where all its majors are advised by full-time tenure track faculty; developed new team-taught courses through the Languages Across the Curriculum program funded by a major Department of Education grant; developed 61 new courses with a content-based approach; and developed an International Internship Program in Germany, Mexico, France and Japan.

"The extraordinary growth of our programs has resulted from a shared and dedicated effort to develop a community of teacher-student, student-student, and teacher-teacher collaboration by forging connections within and across disciplines, inside and outside the classroom, and by building international connections with academic institutions and global companies," said McKnight.