Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
What is a QEP?
As part of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) reaffirmation process, GNTC must develop a Quality Enhancement Plan. This plan is a carefully designed, well-defined, and focused college-wide initiative to enhance student learning. The selection of Georgia Northwestern's QEP topic is an important decision to be made by everyone involved with the college and will not be fully implemented until approved by SACSCOC. It will include faculty, staff, students, board members, trustee members, graduates, and other community partners. A time line has been established that will show the steps we will take in an effort to enhance student learning for GNTC.
UPDATE JANUARY 2013 MATH MATTERS PILOT
We are very excited to announce the Math Matters Pilot will begin at our Whitfield-Murray campus on January 7th, 2013. Students in MATH 0098 and MATH 0099 on that campus will begin the new modularized curriculum. The pilot will be under the direction of the entire Math Matters Team with Tom Rittweger being the lead instructor for that campus and it is the compilation of much hard work by many individuals. Our full-time math instructors have worked diligently for two years to improve the student experience in these math courses to assist in improving mastery. Please help me in congratulating them and watch for new and exciting things to happen in our math department as we expand our pilot in semesters to come.
UPDATE JUNE 2012 MATH MATTERS!!
Are you ready for a math makeover? That's right-MATH 0098 and MATH 0099 will be completely made over for fall semester of 2013. The mastery-based redesign of these classes will include computer-assisted instruction, modularization of the curriculum, increased availability of tutoring, dedicated classrooms and labs, a smaller student-to-instructor/tutor ratio, and updated diagnostics to ensure proper placement.
What does this mean for the student?
- Students will complete diagnostic inventories that will allow for appropriate placement.
- Students will receive more assistance when it is needed and have a dedicated lab on each campus to ensure the assistance ratio stays low.
- Students will be availed to a math instructor in the lab during operational hours.
- Students will be able to spend extra time on math using their home computer (after required class and lab attendance is met) using the computer-assisted courseware.
- Students will be able to move through the modular redesign using guided learning and showing mastery of student learning outcomes.
- Students will have individualized study plans based on mastery attempts.
- Students will have the opportunity to be more prepared for their next math class and their college level math class.
- Students will have the opportunity to be more prepared for the program courses requiring math.
- Students will have a dedicated GNTC webpage for Math Matters information.
- Students will have the opportunity to complete both classes in one semester!
UPDATE JANUARY 2012
To develop the initial focus for the QEP, the QEP Planning Team for Theme Selection conducted an online survey for all of the stakeholders explaining the purpose and asking three simple questions.
- What traits or behaviors would you identify as critical in relation to success at GNTC?
- What challenges prevent GNTC students from achieving academic success?
- What would you suggest GNTC implement to enhance student success?
The answers to approximately 300 surveys were reviewed and divided into five themes which included personal, communication, attitudes, college processes, and academics. Keeping in mind that many results did not involve student learning outcomes, the team began to narrow the focus of the survey results realizing all of the suggestions were valid and would be sent to the appropriate vice president for review. The twelve narrowed topics included several themes which were reviewed by the QEP Coordinator and SACSCOC liaison who recommended the five topics of Tutoring and Mentoring, College Success Course, Reading (could be combined with writing and/or critical thinking), Writing (could be combined with reading and/or critical thinking), Math (could be combined with critical thinking), Critical Thinking Skills (could be combined with reading, writing, or math).
The faculty and administrators with five or more years of teaching experience in technical education were invited to write brief papers on any of the topics. The teams all agreed that the statistics for Math necessitated a change due to the fact that our system just began semesters and students would need several semesters to finish a course and our successful completion rate for MATH 0098 and 0099 pointed to the fact that we needed to improve student learning outcomes in those courses. A subcommittee comprised of all full-time math instructors was formed and is currently working on Math Redesign for those two classes.
Once the topic was selected there was a logo contest amongst the faculty and Math Matters was chosen by all teams involved. The students were then informed of the logo contest and the choice was tough so there were two students who won iPads and the logos were combined. Marketing of the QEP has begun and the math team is working diligently to have processes in place to create the necessary labs and curriculum.
Why is a QEP important?
The most important aspect of the QEP is that it should help us identify a potential area for improvement while working together as a college. SACSCOC requires that the topic selected for a QEP be creative and vital to the long-term improvement of student learning. There should be evidence that developing the QEP engaged the entire college community in the process.
What information is appropriate for the QEP?
Any ideas that may impact student learning at GNTC are appropriate. One may choose to focus on the identification of challenges with respect to education at GNTC or build on existing strengths. The QEP must be consistent with the strategic plan for the college. As there are many factors that impact student learning, both in and outside of the classroom, submissions will understandably cover a wide range of topics that will be narrowed down by the QEP Planning Team.
How did we select our QEP topic?
GNTC will start the process by asking several groups of the college community to answer a very brief survey. The responses will guide the QEP development process by focusing the college's attention on the highest priority for student learning. In accordance with SACSCOC requirements, a QEP must contain specific well-defined goals that are related to an issue of substance and depth which lead to observable results. The results of the survey will be sorted by similar themes or categories. These will be reviewed by the QEP Planning Team and an invitation for more in-depth development will be made. Following thorough evaluation, a final topic will be selected. At that time, we will move forward in establishing the guidelines and committees accordingly.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College is seeking community input for an online survey that will assist the College in identifying areas that will improve student learning. This brief survey will assist us in developing a Quality Enhancement Plan to enhance student leaning and increase the success of GNTC students. (The survey was active from August 1-31, 2010. Thank you for your participation.) See update above for the selection process.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Sharon Wilson, M. Ed.
GNTC QEP Coordinator