Transformational Educational Experience Grant
Texas A&M University at Qatar

Faculty collaborator: Dr. Nayef Al-Yafei
Undergraduate student researchers: Rand Alagha, Sara Al-Banna, and Mohammed Al-Hajri

Project status: in progress (expected completion: December 2020)
Funding: $27,000

Research Team: Sara Al-Banna, Sahar Mari, Rand Alagha (first row, left to right)
Mohhammed Al-Hajri, Dr. Nayef Al-Yafei (second row, left to right)

The goal of this project is to improve the transition and overall experience of students in their first semester at Texas A&M at Qatar through the introduction of a learning journal.

First-year students at Texas A&M University at Qatar encounter certain challenges when deciding to pursue a Western higher-education degree. Clashing values among faculty, administration, and students are not uncommon in a typical university environment; however, due to the special circumstance of the MENA region where culture, religion, gender, and language play a significant role in defining student actions, misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions cannot be avoided. To enhance the first-year students’ learning experiences, this project proposes to design a highly-visual learning journal to guide students through their first semester at Texas A&M at Qatar. Focusing on designing not just a publication but a tool that helps students transition from high school to Texas A&M at Qatar. In addition to serving as an academic planner, the proposed learning journal will provide students with pertinent prompts and ideas for self-discovery, and learning tools relevant to our student population.