What is a QEP?
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes. It reflects and affirms a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the institution considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success that is consistent with our mission and strategic plan.
To equip and prepare students to succeed, Northeast Texas Community College (NTCC) has chosen to implement a one-credit hour First Year Experience course for its Quality Enhancement Plan. Through this project, NTCC will promote student success by utilizing a curriculum that focuses on student engagement and personal responsibility.
The course curriculum will provide students with the basic knowledge within the student engagement and personal responsibility content areas. The expectations are that students will gain foundational knowledge and skills on which they can build as they advance through their academic careers at NTCC and beyond fostering student success. Northeast will use the following learning outline to guide the curriculum.
Increase Student Success (ultimately, defined by retention/persistence or its student defined equivalent)
Sub-Goals and Learning Outcomes Topics to Achieve Student Success:
Sub-Goal 1: Increase Student Engagement – To leverage curricular, and pedagogical practices to create a culture of student investment that ultimately leads to student retention and completion.
Learning Outcomes Topics built into the curriculum of Sub-Goal 1:
- LO1.1: Students will learn strategies to demonstrate increased personal motivation.
- LO1.2: Students will demonstrate improved engagement with various groups.
- LO1.3: Students will improve overall (Oral and written) communication skills during interactions with diverse groups.
Sub-Goal 2: Increase Personal Responsibility – To foster a knowledge of self through 1) the development of a “student” identity; and 2) meaningful connection with peers and the campus community that leads to defined student success.
Learning Outcomes Topics built into the curriculum of Sub-Goal 2:
- LO2.1: Students will learn strategies to improve time management.
- LO2.2: Students will learn strategies to enhance study skills.
- LO2.3: Students will learn strategies to build teamwork skills.
To equip students with appropriate tools, the First Year Experience (FYE) course will include curricular and co-curricular activities related to personal responsibility and student engagement to increase student success. This new one credit hour course will work in conjunction with the newly created EagleGanza which has been recently piloted as a significant but single co-curricular event. EagleGanza provides incoming first-year students and prospective students with an opportunity to become familiar with the campus, engage in activities with fellow students, interact with faculty and staff, and gain a sense of the campus culture. Students are encouraged to ask questions, participate in campus tours, and select activities, schedule placement testing, and register for the upcoming semester.
The project has had significant involvement from institutional stakeholders and student success is rooted in institutional planning. Student success and engagement are focus areas connected to the institution’s strategic plan, Destination 2025, which has received broad based support across the NTCC community. Personal responsibility was identified as the area in need of greatest improvement by stakeholders participating in a college- and community-wide survey.
Northeast will use a tiered approach in inserting the course into the overall curriculum. For pilot purposes, the initial group of students to enroll in the First Year Experience course will be first-time full-time students who have less than 12 credits earned and who are enrolled on the general studies program track. Upon completion of the pilot and initial assessment, the intervention will be expanded to include first-time full-time students in other curricular tracks. In addition, an online FYE course will be developed to provide the intervention to students who choose Distance Education courses. The First Year Experience course will be a required for the selected tracks.
To measure student learning and the success of the curricular intervention, Northeast will analyze several variables using different methods. In the line of retention and graduation rates, Northeast will analyze the completion of the Developmental Education course sequence, Gateway course completion, and the completion of 15 credit hours of students who do and do not take the FYE course. The student learning in the course itself will be analyzed using concept specific rubrics that will be employed pre and post. Additionally, a survey will be conducted to measure perceived success the course had in the development of student success from the view of both the instructors and students.