Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMU-Q) recently organised a dinner for eight employees of Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) who completed the university’s five-month community education programme.
The course, titled the OASIS Quest Program, aims to prepare professionals to pursue university degrees in the middle of their careers. The programme targets adults who have been out of school for a number of years and are seeking to return to school to earn a university degree.
The inaugural course consisted of classes to improve performance on university entrance exams, the ACT and IELTS to prepare participants to succeed in university if admitted. The course did not, however, guarantee acceptance to TAMU-Q as admissions are decided on a competitive basis.
The eight successful candidates were lauded at the ceremony for completing the programme and separately earning acceptance into TAMUQ’s academic programmes. The candidates were Abdul Wahab Alajii, Ahmad Mohammed al Salem, Ali Abidulla al Braidi, Hassan al Mohammadi, Jalal Ahmed al Hebail, Jassem Altamimi, Khalifa Ali Ismail, Saleh Yaslam A Kaladi and Yousef Al Ibrahim.
Human resources management from QAPCO attended the event to recognise the employees for their success. Human Resources and Learning Manager at QAPCO Nasser al Hajri expressed his joy over the achievements of the course participants.
He said, “It is a great accomplishment that you have finished this Quest programme. You have worked hard and shown true determination. On behalf of QAPCO management and staff, I say we are proud of you. I also thank Texas A&M at Qatar and its Office of Academic Supplemental Instruction Services (OASIS) for providing the necessary support and encouragement. This programme has provided a real learning solution that will help many more QAPCO staff prepare themselves for the challenges of studying at the university level.”
Representatives from TAMU-Q, including the OASIS Quest Program’s director, coordinator and instructors, were present at the event. Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs at TAMU-Q Dr Cynthia Howman Wood said that all eight of the candidates had been accepted to attend the university this fall.
After being out of school for up to 15 years, the programme participants worked throughout the course to raise their skill levels, particularly in English and Mathematics, to assist them in the university’s admissions process.
Speaking about the programme, Salem, one of the participants, said: “Before this programme, I could only write 20 or 30 words at most. Now I can write 300 words without problem. I now have confidence about my writing.” Another participant, Hebail, said: “This class has been very useful for me. My maths knowledge has been refreshed so much that when I enter the university, I will be able to cope. I have a strong background from this class.” Liticia Salter, director of the university’s OASIS and course organiser, said: “Up until now, the emphasis in Qatar has been on moving students of traditional ages of 18 to 21 years old into higher education institutions. We are now beginning to realise some Qatari working professionals are recognising the need for a degree in higher education in order to be promoted to senior management level. It is exciting to see companies encouraging their employees to go back to school and earn college degrees so that they can progress in their careers.”
A university degree is the only thing standing in the way of these professionals’ promotion to higher positions at QAPCO and TAMU-Q’s OASIS Quest Program has opened the door for them to pursue this goal. As they begin classes at the institution in September, the candidates will carry with them a strong foundation in the skills needed to succeed in a world-class engineering university.
source: Qatar Tribune
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