NCA recognizes Blue Fire Program for excellence in communication instruction

Louisiana Tech University’s Blue Fire Program was nationally recognized with the “Program of Distinction Award” by the National Communication Association (NCA) at the organization’s annual convention in early November.

Louisiana Tech's Blue Fire program was honored for excellence in communication instruction recently.The program for first-year students is a part of the University’s quality enhancement plan (QEP) and Tech 2020, Louisiana Tech’s strategic plan. The interdisciplinary program is designed to improve every student’s communication skills and engagement in personal development skills.

Established in 2007, the award recognizes the distinctive excellence of basic course programs and to identify programs that can serve as best practice models for programs across the country.  

“A particularly innovative feature of the program is the collaboration and community that is centrifugal surrounding Communication 101,” said one award reviewer. “The integration and assessment required for the QEP is extensive and well documented. I am excited to see what publications are produced from this extensive and meaningful worked related to COMM 101/FYE. This is clever and needed for our discipline’s future in academics.”

Tech President Dr. Les Guice lent his support to the course’s nomination.

“There is no question in my mind that the program has been highly successful in its first three years,” Guice said. “I attribute that to the interdisciplinary cross-divisional team of faculty who have demonstrated an incredible passion and commitment to the success of the program.”

Lisa Merritt, co-director of QEP, and instructors Tara Raue and Kaitlyn Voges accepted the award. This team of Communication Studies instructors also chaired a panel discussion titled “Communication at Play: Creating Strategic Partnerships between the Basic Course and First Year Experiences” and presented in three Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS) sessions at the conference.