2022 Quality Enhancement Plan
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is part of the reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The QEP involves developing and accessing a strategy to improve an area of student learning or student success in a significant way through a campus-wide, five-year initiative. The focus of the QEP is determined by faculty, staff, and students, and must provide resources for the development, implementation, assessment, and completion of the plan. The QEP must be approved by a team of SACSCOC peer reviewers in November 2021 as a condition for Coastal Georgia's reaffirmation in June 2022. The elements of an approved QEP include the following criteria:
Standard 7.2: Quality Enhancement Plan
The institution has a Quality Enhancement Plan that
- has a topic identified through ongoing, comprehensive planning/evaluation processes;
- has broad-based support of institutional constituencies;
- focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success;
- commits resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP; and
- includes a plan to assess achievement.
What is Coastal Georgia's QEP?
COMPASS – Chart Your Course, Integrated Career & Academic Planning, the College of Coastal Georgia's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), is focused on creating an environment that promotes student growth and development through integrated career and academic planning. The goal of the QEP is to direct and apply students' interests and abilities toward developing career goals so that they choose and stay on an academic pathway until degree completion. The plan's goal will be accomplished through the following student learning outcomes:
- Students will increase their confidence in making significant career decisions by identifying their interests and abilities in relation to their career goals.
- Students will develop an actionable career plan with their advisors based on academic interests, aptitudes, and career readiness competencies.
An action plan supports these outcomes, a corresponding description of the organizational structure necessary to achieve the outcomes, as well as an assessment plan to measure the effectiveness of the QEP. The student learning outcomes will be achieved through multiple points during a student’s educational journey, offering students experiences that will connect their academic and social experiences to personal growth and career development. Coastal Georgia’s action plan focuses on two main areas:
- Student learning – To better prepare students to enter the workforce upon graduation by engaging them in career planning activities, ranging from maintaining student ePortfolios to creating and utilizing program maps to engaging in experiential learning.
- Professional development – To equip a cohort of faculty and staff with the knowledge, tools, and ideas to effectively support integrated career and academic planning; create an enriched educational environment that emphasizes students’ career exploration skills; refine and expand existing experiential learning that promotes student engagement through accessible and relevant experiences.
The COMPASS Career & Academic Advising Center will serve as the “bridge” connecting student learning and professional development. The Center is a communication resource nucleus providing academic advising and career counseling, connecting students with academic and career planning resources, offering mentoring opportunities with faculty, staff, and peers, and coordinating QEP-related campus activities.
The QEP topic grew from a year-long comprehensive, systematic, and collaborative planning process. The College's broad constituency – faculty, staff, students, administrators, and alumni – engaged in focus groups, listening sessions, and surveys. Additionally, a review of existing practices, empirical data from campus assessments, and best practices served as a foundation for developing the plan.
The QEP Topic Selection Committee solicited ideas and potential topics, then narrowed the field of proposals within overarching objectives and frameworks of student learning outcomes. Using themes identified during this process, the committee focused on strategic integration of academic advising and career development to improve student success. Actions, institutional structure and resources, and an implementation timeline needed to complete the plan were discussed, designed, and matched with student learning outcomes by the QEP Development Committee. Student learning will be assessed using quantitative and qualitative methods and direct and indirect measures. All these measurements will inform the continuous improvement of the QEP to maximize and sustain its impact.
What actions will be implemented through the QEP?
Over five years, the QEP will engage first-time student cohorts in career exploration, development of a career goal, and selection and persistence of an academic pathway to complete their degrees. As the QEP is implemented, the College will:
- Administer the Career Decision Self Efficacy Survey Short Form (CDSE) to measure students' degree of belief that they can successfully complete tasks necessary to making career decisions.
- Utilize FOCUS2Career, an online career guidance system, to help students establish educational and career goals aligned with their interests.
- Offer in-class COMPASS presentations to students enrolled in core courses to teach the connections between core courses, the reasons they are taking particular classes, and how they are tied to their individual career goals.
- Provide students with individualized program maps, which include course sequences and milestones for on-time degree completion.
- Require students to complete at least one experiential learning activity to bridge the gap between theory and practice, accelerate learning, and enable personalized learning.
- Connect students with co-curricular programs that are aligned with academic and career planning activities.
Each first-time student cohort will use electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) to connect their learning across courses, document the development of their self-assessment skills, house their professional resumes, record and track their personal and academic goals, and provide space for reflection on successful college and work experiences.
If you have any questions about the QEP topic selection or development process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.