Frequently Asked Questions about the QEP and Reaccreditation
- What is a QEP? A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a course of action designed to improve student learning. While it is a requirement for reaccreditation, it also is a significant opportunity for John Tyler to enhance its overall effectiveness by increasing student achievement. According to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) standards, the QEP must be focused, grounded in our institution’s mission, and connected to our strategic plan.
- How did JTCC pick the QEP topic? The College began with a broad list of topics to consider. Faculty and staff considered our institution’s strengths and weaknesses, selected their top choices, and offered additional ideas for consideration. Focus groups began grappling with the top selections in the fall of 2010. Three topics emerged for final research and consideration: critical thinking skills, communication skills, and the first-year experience. A committee researched these topics in the literature and considered student data. In April 2011, the College assembled to hear about the committee’s findings on these three topics. After the ballots were counted, the first-year experience won the College’s vote for our QEP topic.
- How was the plan developed? The College president appointed a new QEP Steering Committee to work with a broad-based coalition of faculty and staff to develop elements of the plan which would meet the unique needs of our student population. This six-month-long process included the formation of subcommittees to explore student services, faculty-student interaction, and active learning. As well, six student focus groups helped to shine a light on important elements of the student’s first year at John Tyler.
- Who developed the QEP title? The faculty and staff were invited to submit title ideas to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee reduced the list of submissions to nine, which were then put to popular vote by faculty and staff.
- Where did you get the QEP Logo? In February 2012, the Steering Committee launched a logo design contest among students. Twenty logo ideas were submitted. The Steering Committee included graphic design experts at the College to help select the winning logo. The student winner, Derrick Wallace, was recognized at the annual Student Awards Banquet in April 2012.
What are the desired outcomes of the QEP? Through this comprehensive plan, first year students will:
- experience increased success in first year courses,
- be more likely to continue their educations at John Tyler (improved first-year retention rates),
- express satisfaction with their first-year experience,
- communicate with their faculty advisors when required and when in need of assistance.
- What is meant by “first-year experience?” We define the ―first -year experience as the exposure of our new students to resources, challenges and experiences that support and encourage personal and academic development throughout their first year. Such development will increase a student’s potential for success throughout his or her college career. In examining the issues surrounding the first-year experience, we have identified persistence as an important goal. Thus, our preparation for successful first-year experiences will seek to create an environment where students receive the encouragement and support they need to remain in college until they have reached their academic goals.
Information Maintained by:
QEP Steering Committee
Dr. Julie Ranson, QEP Director