GAC Newsletter

The Quarterly Newsletter of the ACT Global Assessment Certificate Program

ACT GAC Academic Committee News

The Academic Committee’s priority goal is to guide the renewal of GAC curriculum and assessment content to ensure GAC academic quality of competency-based education. 

Since 2020, several GAC research studies have been conducted:

  • ACT research is developing GAC program Theory of Action. The document outlines a Theory of Action for the Global Assessment Certificate™ Program (GAC). A Theory of Action is a working model that articulates how and why the design of a program accomplishes its intended goals and improves user outcomes. 
  • ACT research experts are collaborating with international academic experts to explore the learning and measurement of cross-cutting capabilities (critical thinking, creative thinking, collaborative problem solving, information and communication technology) in GAC Computing modules. Researchers will use data from the Brazil-Mexico connection project-based learning project to explore measurement and reporting of these critical 21st century skills. 
  • ACT research collected data for a GAC student survey during June and July 2021. This is another critical program improvement effort after the GAC teacher survey and GAC school managers survey in 2020. We are gathering student feedback on the GAC program and are asking students to answer a list of online survey questions. Student feedback will be used to better understand the needs of GAC students. GAC students from China, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Mexico participated in the survey. 

With strong demand from the GAC schools and international school market, the Academic Committee has worked on launching two new GAC courses: GAC Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and GAC Career Navigation. In addition, a curriculum update roadmap is established to systematically renew the Academic English Reading & Writing Skills modules, Listening & Speaking Skills modules, and Mathematics modules.  

  • ACT GAC Social Emotional Learning through Project-Based Learning is a new course under development. The module design blueprint has been developed by a team of ACT SEL experts and reviewed by the Academic Committee. The GAC SEL course aims to develop students’ ability to understand and apply SEL competencies to positively impact students’ school community. At the end of the course, students will have produced a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their strength of social emotional skills and competencies through a PBL project and identify areas and strategies for improvement. 
  • ACT GAC Education and Career Navigation: Finding Your Pathways is a new course under development. The module design blueprint has been developed by a team of ACT Career Development experts and reviewed by the Academic Committee. The GAC course aims to develop students’ ability to understand their interests, experiences, and skills needed to make informed education and career choices. At the end of the module, students will have created a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate how their personal profiles are a good fit for education/career pathways that will prepare them for success.  
  • ACT content and assessment specialists completed review and gap analysis of the GAC Academic English modules, Science and Mathematics modules. GAC 2020 teacher and school manager survey reports were used as input for the review and analysis. The Academic Committee members reviewed the gap analysis results and provided feedback to the ACT expert team members. The gap analysis reports from the expert review-provided content and assessment alignment analysis to ACT Holistic Framework and College and Career Readiness Standards and college lower division courses. The student manual, facilitator’s guide and assessment folders materials review, and analysis provided detailed content and assessment improvement recommendations on how to revise and renew GAC curriculum content as the next step. 

ACT GAC China High School Exhibition

Hosted by ACT China with assistance from Udentity and ASDAN China, the ACT GAC China High School Exhibition was successfully held on September 29. The exhibition drew enormous attention from schools, parents, and students that night. More than 1,000 users registered to participate in the live seminar, and nearly 200 universities watched the ACT GAC school's online booth and established instant contact with the school, actively interacting. 

Here is a list of the participating Chinese high schools: 

  • Beijing 101 Middle School 
  • Beijing Bayi School 
  • Beijing No.80 High School 
  • Beijing 21st Century International School  
  • Beijing Qinghua Zhiqing High School  
  • Shanghai Pinghe School 
  • Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School 
  • WLSA Academy 
  • Shanghai Hongrun Boyuan School 
  • Shenzhen Middle School 
  • Shenzhen Academy of International Education 
  • Harbin No. 3 Senior High School 
  • The First High School of Changsha, Hunan 
  • Shandong Zibo Shiyan High School 
  • Dongguan Hanlin Experimental School 
  • Jinan Foreign Language School International Center 
  • Fayao School 
  • Feiyue Experimental High School 
  • Xi'an Tie Yi High School International Curriculum Center 
  • Guiyang Happy Valley International Experimental School 
  • School of International Education 
  • Xiamen institute of technology 
  • Vantage Academy - Taiyuan ACT Center 

Participating high schools arranged visual booths to showcase their school style and advantages to the visiting universities. The exhibition attracted nearly 200 universities worldwide. Many universities not only watched the video but also checked the high school profile established by the school, and at the same time established contact with the school for instant interaction. 

Indonesia: Major Partnership Renewal

On Aug 7, 2021, Dr. Arba'iyah Yusuf, the Head of the Muhammadiyah Primary and Secondary Education Department from the Muhammadiyah Provincial Board of East Java, signed a renewal agreement with ACT Education Solutions, Ltd., (AES) to implement the ACT English Proficiency Program (ACT-EPP) at six junior and senior high schools. The agreement signing ceremony was attended by over 300 participants—current students, teachers, principals, and school administrators. The agreement renewal commits ACT to work together more closely with Muhammadiyah toward a common goal, namely the pursuit of Muhammadiyah’s education internationalization endeavors. A first step in that direction will be the launching of the Muhammadiyah International Class Orientation Program (M-ICO), scheduled to begin with the 2021/2022 academic year.  

Here is what Dr. Arba’iyah Yusuf declared at the signing ceremony: 
 
“One of the indicators of Muhammadiyah Future School is global international education. Several Muhammadiyah schools have joined ACT Education and Solution. Hopefully, in the future, they become a generation that is smart, strong, as the future leaders of Indonesia and the world.” 

With the implementation of the ACT-EPP program, school principals hope that students will achieve the English language proficiency needed for successful college and university education as they progress through the next stage of their educational lives. 

Agreement renewal ceremony

Brazil-Mexico GAC Centers Partnership

The Brazil-Mexico Partnership Project involving Escola Dinâmica in Florianópolis and Colégio Altamira in Guadalajara came to an end in June 2021. After a four-month project-based learning experience, 36 Brazilian and 22 Mexican students presented their final product to their teachers: a video of their work about an NGO of their choice highlighting the challenges of this innovative cross-country collaboration.  

Edify College Prep, Moebian, and ACT GAC take pride in this pilot that allowed students to simulate real-life experiences through international cooperation and problem-solving skills. The project was perfectly summarized by one of the participating students: "We learned a lot, not only about how to be leaders, but also about how to work as a team. And now we all have friends from another country." 

The project was featured in the latest issue of a major magazine about education in Brazil, Revista Educação. The article highlighted the impact of the project, how students coped with Project-based Learning, and the skills and competencies they developed by working with international peers. Learn more here.

Images from the final projects’ presentation.

Cultural Exchange

A Steppingstone to Future Collaborative Group Learning Opportunities between GAC Testing Centers in Indonesia and Vietnam

An animated and productive cultural exchange between GAC Level 1 students from KinderStation Senior High School (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) and Sky-Line International School (Danang, Vietnam) took place in April 2021. Besides an opening dance performance, students took us on a virtual mini tour on their culture, places of interest, and delicious street food. 

Overall, we were extremely encouraged by the enthusiasm exhibited by all teachers and students despite the pandemic. To all of us at GAC, it was a momentous occasion as it heralded a push toward more cross-border collaborative group teaching and learning opportunities involving students and educators starting from Q3 2021. As pioneers in this inaugural collaborative group work, the two schools, KHS and SKS, were very excited to embark on this new milestone and journey together with the Global Assessment Certificate. 

Students and teachers in masks are from KHS School, while the Sky-liners are decked in their blue and white school colors. 

Brazil: Edify College Prep Event with GAC Students

On November 12-13, Edify College Prep students from Escola Dinâmica participated in an immersion program in English and life skills. The event aimed to further develop skills necessary for a successful academic and professional life. The students performed a series of fun activities, with educational purposes, including competitions, narratives, interviews, and theatrical games. 

Focus: Successful GAC Alumni

Focus: Successful GAC Alumni (Thailand)

Marilyn Gardner (pictured with her brother Christopher Gardner) is our top GAC student from the class of 2021 in Thailand. She has repeated an incredible feat her older sibling, Christopher, achieved in 2019. Marilyn has been accepted into Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, her dream school, and there she will have the opportunity to further her passion for drama arts. Her older brother Christopher is now pursuing a joint bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Thammasat University and University of Nottingham. 

The two siblings belong to the top percentile of our GAC students in Thailand. In addition to three solid years of high school academic rigor, where they managed dual curricula along with many responsibilities and obligations, they were also actively involved in major school events, extracurricular activities, and even part-time acting stints. Congratulations to both! 

Focus: Successful GAC Alumni (Indonesia)

Name: Satya Kustamaputra
ATC Center: Budi Mulia Dua International HS
University: Telkom University

Name: Adiana Julia Fatma
ATC Center: Budi Mulia Dua International HS
University: RSM, Erasmus University

Name: Ilkhafan Syahdana Kusuma
ATC Center: Budi Mulia Dua International HS
University: University of Sunderland

Focus: Successful GAC Alumni (China)

Name: He Shuhan 
ATC Center: 2nd High School Attached to Beijing Normal University 
University: Imperial College London 

He Shuhan: The three years I spent in the 2nd High School Attached to Beijing Normal University have been the most fruitful experience in my life over more than ten years. 

Here we learn, 
And here, we do more than learn. 
Countless days and nights, 
In class, after class. 

When I first started in the GAC program, I did not trust myself at all, especially after seeing the assessment of my essays and presentations. Only later, I was able to grasp the value of those assessments. 

During the most difficult time of my program, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the environmental field investigation of GAC023 helped me rediscover the little things around me. For the first time, I physically touched the soil of our community and explored the natural scenery of this otherwise ordinary land full of people. 

At the end of the college application season, international teachers in the program helped us learn and appreciate rich cultures all over the world. Through the often-fierce verbal back and forth and collision of thoughts we often engaged in during classes, unexpected facets of multiple cultures manifested themselves in our minds. 

That story will never stop here and now. It must go on. 

And then, there is the school, 
And then, there is a place beyond school. 
And then, there is a harbor, 
The place for dreams to set sail. 

 

Name: Rong Kangxuan 
ATC Center: 2nd High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
University: Cornell University 

Rong Kangxuan: GAC listening and writing courses were a great help with studying English. Listening materials with different accents that were sometimes played during classes helped me get used to different accents that I might encounter in my university studies from professors and classmates. The paper assignments trained my writing ability and taught me how to write research reports. In addition, GAC helped me adapt to the study and life in international universities. I practiced some common activities, such as presentations and daily communication exercises. At the same time, through the GAC program, I came into contact with a group of lovely and interesting international teachers. They gave me a lot of valuable advice on learning English and living abroad. They also recommended many interesting films and books. Advice on life and study matters most to me, especially in a turbulent time such as this year. I really appreciate their company, teaching, and guidance over the past three years. 

Focus: Successful GAC Alumni (Mexico)

Name: Susana Gabriela Caballero Villegas
ATC Center: Oxford School of English, Mexico 
University: Universidad de Monterrey 

Name: Maria Fernanda Ortiz Barriga 
ATC Center: Escuela Sierra Nevada San Mateo, Mexico 
University: University of British Columbia

Name: Rebecca Legorreta Rubio  
ATC Center: Escuela Sierra Nevada San Mateo, Mexico 
University: Universidad Anáhuac

Name: Maria Jose Lopez Trigos 
ATC Center: Escuela Sierra Nevada San Mateo, Mexico 
University: Universidad Anáhuac

Name: Andrea María Flores González 
ATC Center: UVM Cumbres, Mexico  
University: Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León

Name: Regina María Flores González 
ATC Center: UVM Cumbres, Mexico 
University: Universidad Regiomontana

Name: Natalia Acosta Yan  
ATC Center: Colegio Chapultepec Sur, Mexico 
University: Universidad de Monterrey 

Name: Paulina Cota Higuera  
ATC Center: Colegio Chapultepec Sur, Mexico 
University: Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City Campus

Name: Alejandra López Portillo Pérez Lete 
ATC Center: Colegio Chapultepec Sur, Mexico 
University: Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City Campus

Name: Barbara Vega Piña 
ATC Center: Colegio Chapultepec Sur, Mexico 
University: Universidad Anáhuac

Name: Mariester Guevara Iñiguez 
ATC Center: Colegio Chapultepec Norte, Mexico 
University: Universidad Anáhuac Sur

Name: Alessandra Rodríguez Rentería
ATC Center: Colegio Chapultepec Norte, Mexico
University: UDEM

Name: Lucía Fernández Mayo 
ATC Center: Colegio Triana, Mexico 
University: Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Name: Ana María Patiño Piña 
ATC Center: Colegio Triana, Mexico 
University: Universidad Panamericana Aguascalientes Campus 

Cross-Border Competition: Indonesia and Vietnam

On November 17, our new industry partner, PlusTreat, a startup involved in environmental sustainability, presented an introduction to our young and aspiring ACT GAC Level 2 students on their passions and goals in the recycling business.  
 
Four groups from two schools in Indonesia and Vietnam compete in this Project-Based Learning experience, culminating in the recommendation of a new marketing mix for PlusTreat. 
 
In the process of achieving this major project milestone, students learn and develop new skills in teamwork, interviewing, conducting research, managing conflicts, handling objections, crafting professional slide decks, and pitching their ideas. 

Indonesia: Project Based Learning Webinar

Assessing & Measuring Student Participation

Mr. Munif Chatib is an educational consultant and author of five bestselling books on education: Sekolahnya Manusia, Gurunya Manusia, Sekolah Anak-anak Juara, Orangtuanya Manusia and Kelasnya Manusia. He has new ideas and paradigms of education in Indonesia. We were honored to have Mr. Munif Chatib hold a webinar on the need for and importance of project-based learning in partnership with ACT Global Assessment Certificate.  
 
Here is what Mr. Munif Chatib had to say about PBL: 
 
“Project-based learning (PBL) demands excellent assessment practices to ensure that all students are supported in the learning process. With good assessment practices, PBL can create a culture of excellence for all students and ensure deeper learning for all. After determining whether our course has learning outcomes that fit with PBL, we will develop formative and summative assessments to measure student learning. Group contracts, self/peer-evaluation forms, learning reflections, writing samples, and rubrics are potential PBL assessments.”

Brazil: New Partner Schools

Two new schools recently joined the GAC programs in Brazil: Jardim das Nações and Escola Parque. They do not just share our program; there are other coincidences that unite them. They were both founded in 1970 and were inspired by a constructivist approach to teaching.

Escola Jardim das Nações was born in Taubaté, in São Paulo state, and its mission is to encourage students to become global citizens, leaders, and strive for peace.

Escola Parque started in Rio de Janeiro, and its mission is to educate children for life and democratic values. Both schools integrate open spaces and exploring nature in the curriculum as they believe in a more holistic approach to education.

GAC Center News

China: New GAC Centers

 

 Name  City  Website 
Beijing Academy  Beijing  http://www.beijingacademy.com.cn 
Beijing Bayi School  Beijing   
Beijing Haidian Kaiwen Academy Beijing   
Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School at Yangzhou  Beijing   
Beijing No.101 Middle School  Beijing   
Beijing No.4 High School  Beijing   
Bejing No.80 High School  Beijing  www.bj80.com 
Chengdu Foreign Language School  Chengdu   
Chengdu Shude High School Foregin Language Campus  Chengdu  www.sdgj.com 
Chongqing BI Academy  Chongqing   
Chongqing Jiangbei Bachuan School  Chongqing  www.bachuanquantum.cn 
Dujingyang Guanya School  Dujiangyan  http://www.guangyaschool.com/ 
Fuzhou No.8 School  Fuzhou   
Guanghua Academy - VCA program  Shanghai   
Guangzhou Foreign Language School  Guangzhou   
Guangzhou Zhixin High School  Guangzhou   
Jinan Thomas School  Jinan  http://jn.thomasschools.com/
Jinan Xinhang Experimental Foreign Language School  Jinan  http://sdshiyan.jinan.cn 
Kang Chiao International School East China Campus  Kunshan   
Kunshan High School of Jiangsu Province  Suzhou  
Nanjing Shuren Experimental Academy  Nanjing   
Ningbo Foreign Language School  Ningbo  http://www.ningwai.net/ 
North Cross School Shanghai  Shanghai   
Shanghai Weiyu International School  Shanghai   
Shenyang Feiyue Experimental High School  Shenyang   
Shenzhen Academy of International Education  Shenzhen  www.usapschool.com 
Shenzhen RDF International School  Shenzhen  
SUIS Pudong-Sanlin Campus  Shanghai  http://pudong-academy.suis.com.cn/ 
Suzhou Foreign Language School     
The Attached High School of South China Normal University  Guangzhou   
The No.3 Senior High School of Shenzhen  Shenzhen   
Waiyan Center, Beijing Foreign Studies University  Beijing  www.beiwaiguoji.com 
Wuhan Britain-China School  Wuhan  www.whbc2000.com 
Xi'an Gaoxin No. 1 High School  Xi'an   
Yantai International Academy  Yantai  www.yia-china.com

Indonesia: New GAC Center

Our GAC Center Perhimpunan Pendidikan dan Pengajaran Kristen (PPPK) Petra has now committed two more of its campuses (SMA Kristen Petra 3 and SMA Kristen Petra 4) to adopt the Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) program.  Alongside the ACT English Proficiency Program (EPP), a total of 11 PPPK Petras schools are now part of the ACT family.

Indonesia: New ACT-EPP Centers

 

Name  City 
SMP Muhammadiyah 2 Taman   Sidoarjo, East Java 
SMP Muhammadiyah 3 Waru 
Waru, East Java 
SMP Muhammadiyah 2 Surabaya
Surabaya, East Java 
SMA Muhammadiyah 1 Gresik   Gresik, East Java 
SMA Muhammadiyah 1 Taman 
Sidoarjo, East Java 
SMA Muhammadiyah 2 Sidoarjo 
Sidoarjo, East Java 

Focus on GAC Partner Universities

United States of America - University of Pittsburgh 

A state-related public research university located in an urban setting in Western Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh has joined the GAC program higher education partners in the United States. With 17 undergraduate and graduate school and colleges and a world-renowned medical center, Pitt has over 28,000 students and a sizeable international community comprised of 6,000 international students, faculty, and staff members.

For international student admissions information, visit https://admissions.pitt.edu/international/  

University of Pittsburgh

Mexico - Faculty of Engineering Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City Campus

With more than 40 years of experience, the Faculty of Engineering at the Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City Campus, has become a benchmark of great prestige and recognition. The faculty offers six engineering undergraduate programs and postgraduate programs at the levels of specialty, Master, and Doctorate. Students participate in national and international competitions related to robotics, computing, business simulation and automotive design. The Faculty of Engineering also offers a wide variety of specialized courses, conferences, and congresses that add value to the comprehensive training of our students. 

For more information, visit https://www.up.edu.mx/es/escuelas/mex/ingenierias 

Faculty of Engineering Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City Campus

Australia - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

Founded in 1887, RMIT is one of the top-ranking Australian and world universities, located in Melbourne, Australia, and a global university of technology, design and enterprise offering undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational courses. With over 18,000 international students, RMIT is a welcoming, diverse and inclusive study environment.

GAC students interested in RMIT can check out international admissions information here, https://www.rmit.edu.au/study-with-us/international-students

GAC course equivalency information is available here, https://www.rmit.edu.au/study-with-us/international-students/apply-to-rmit-international-students/entry-requirements/country-equivalency/global-assessment-certificate.  

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)