Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
An Essential Part of SACSCOC Reaffirmation
|SACSCOC||STRATEGIC PLAN||VIRTUAL FORUMS||CRITICAL THINKING||PROFESSIONAL LEARNING GROUPS|
WHAT IS A QEP?
A quality enhancement plan is a five-year plan to enhance student learning and/or success by focusing on a specific topic. It is required for continued accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A college or university QEP must include clearly defined goals and outcomes and have an assessment plan to measure how well those goals and outcomes are accomplished.
Palm Beach State's 2022-2027 QEP will focus on Student Experience and Support!
Thank you to everyone that participated in the development and selection process for the College's next QEP. Opportunities for involvement exist throughout the development and implementation phases, so please join us as the College comes together to envision and craft our QEP.
This focus is an opportunity for the College to create relevant experiences for our students as they become vested members of our Panther community, identify and scale best practices already in place at the College, and create a cohesive experience for students. The College will organize and enrich resources with the goal of ensuring a positive, welcoming student experience. Engaging students early and providing connected, meaningful touchpoints will ensure that students feel that they are a part of the College and know what resources are available to them, which will lead to an improved success and increased retention rates. With a greater emphasis on Student Experience and Support, it is expected that over the course of the five-year plan, the College will develop a culture in which all College employees are engaged in helping students connect with the college, utilize resources, and meet their academic goals.
- Create an employee development program that focuses on Student Development Theory.
Becoming more knowledgeable about the ways in which students learn, grow, and mature
during college can help faculty, instructors, and staff understand students holistically,
leading to more productive student interactions and more engaging academic and co-curricular
- Create a cohesive support network for students where faculty/instructors, advisors,
and SLC staff can connect when a student is struggling in a class or off path. This
would also create an opportunity for departments to collaborate to share resources
and initiatives that exist across the institution, which could then be communicated
to the students.
- Enhance support for foundational gateway courses (ENC1101, MAT1033C, MAT1100) to help
students pass the first time. Reorganizing existing resources and expanding online
resources will boost students’ basic quantitative and communication skills will ensure
students have the tools to be successful.
- Offer a comprehensive New Student Orientation program that informs and engages to
help students acclimate to college life and feel that they belong. The college’s New
Student Orientation is being refreshed to add more engaging, relevant information
and to work within the parameters of Workday. If this proposal is selected, the changes
may be in place prior to QEP implementation. While some changes in the orientation
may be necessary if this proposal is selected, the opportunity with this QEP is to
reinforce what students learn in orientation throughout their education and create
a consistent, supportive student experience.
- Provide opportunities for students to build connections with faculty in SLS1501 and gateway courses. This could be achieved through a number of ways: Pathway-based communities where students and relevant faculty/instructors/staff interact regularly to discuss on career opportunities, challenges students are facing, or open topics. Faculty and staff could partner with Student Activities to create targeted social events that bring everyone together.
We will develop the full QEP this fall in preparation for our SACSCOC on-site visit in October 2021. If you would like to be involved in crafting one of these initiatives or be a part of the advisory council, please contact Erin Sullivan.
Top Proposals Refined in Virtual Forums
Focus on Student Experience and Support:
The College will organize and enrich resources with the goal of ensuring a positive, welcoming student experience. The QEP will be an opportunity for the College to think about what we want our students to experience as they become a member of our Panther community, identify and scale best practices already in place at the College, and create a cohesive experience for students. Engaging students early and providing connected, meaningful touchpoints will ensure that students feel that they are a part of the College and know what resources are available to them, which will lead to an improved success and increased retention rates.
Focus on Soft Skills and Thinking Dispositions:
The College will integrate soft skills, sometimes referred to as employability skills, habits of mind, or thinking dispositions, with core skills and offer micro-credentials as students complete these competencies. Purposefully incorporating lessons that instill skills such as problem solving, decision making, communication, professionalism, teamwork, emotional intelligence, and grit, will give students the motivation and tools necessary to be successful in school, the workplace, and their lives. Additionally, micro-credentials students acquire along the path to a certificate or degree will keep students motivated to complete and give students industry recognized credentials to demonstrate abilities.
Five Proposals Discussed in Virtual Forums
First Time Success
Abstract: The College will organize and enrich resources to assist preparedness of students so they can successfully complete gateway courses – ENC1101 College Composition 1, MAT1033C Intermediate Algebra, and MAT1100 Quantitative Reasoning – on their first attempt. Changes in course scheduling to create combination classes, boot camps, seminars attached to classes, online resources and on-the-ground assistance will be offered to students. Through enhanced programs offered on campus and online, students will be prepared to successfully complete their entry level math and English courses. Successful completion of gateway courses on the first attempt will allow accelerated completion for all students.
Employability Habits of Mind Micro-credentialing
Abstract: The College will integrate soft skills, also known as employability skills, with core skills and will award micro-credentials as students complete these competencies. Offering micro-credentials in employability skills (teamwork, communication, problem solving, ethic, motivation, adaptability and technical application) will provide a way to support students’ employability and career growth while also providing motivation to complete and demonstrating real-world application of class content. Implementation of this proposal would provide students with sustainable employability with greater assurance that their education will lead directly to a positive outcome; employers would benefit by being assured a workforce that is equipped with employability competencies that address specific needs and gaps.
PBSC Gets Gritty
Abstract: The College will create a program that nurtures the individual psychological, social, and emotional qualities that promote learning and offset socioeconomic disadvantage, fuel motivation, and lead to achievement. Grit, according to Angela Duckworth, refers to “passion and persistence for very long-term goals.” The practices intended to promote grittiness include believing in the ability to change and excel (Growth mindset), persisting despite obstacles (Resilience), taking personal responsibility for one’s actions (Independence), and sticking with something from start to finish (Tenacity). Students will participate in a variety of workshops, co-curricular activities, and classroom presentations focused on the traits of gritty behavior. Raising awareness of non-cognitive skills and providing intentional opportunities for students to exercise them would not only enhance students’ overall educational experience and support student success, it would promote retention and completion, and would instill life skills that will serve students beyond PBSC.
Soft Skills for Student Success!
Abstract: The College will incorporate employability/soft skills into all programs and coursework and will expand online presence to provide more opportunities for non-traditional students to accelerate completion. Employability/soft skills such as attitude, communication/listening, organization/time management, interpersonal skills, teamwork, and professionalism, are necessary for success, and this focus would enhance the work done with the previous QEP on Critical Thinking, another essential employability skill. Faculty and staff would model soft skills to project the value, and soft skills could be fostered through targeted assignments, such as papers and oral presentations for communication skills or group projects for teamwork skills. Online soft skills assessments that offer strategies for improvement will be offered. Focusing on employability/soft skills will provide students with a strong foundation of the qualities necessary to work with others and will increase their ability to maintain employment and advance within their chosen profession.
P.A.C.E. Panthers Achieve, Complete & Excel
Abstract: The College will ensure a positive first-year experience through offering a comprehensive new student orientation that informs and engages students, increasing opportunities for new students to build connections with full-time faculty in SLS1501 and gateway courses, providing a meaningful advising experience through case management, offering a faculty and staff development program that focuses on student development theory, and providing curriculum-based experiences. Students that complete the first-year experience will be better connected to the Palm Beach State community and will enter their second year as engaged, contributing members of the College. This will improve retention and success rates from first year to second year and beyond.
From 2012-2017, Palm Beach State implemented its first QEP with a College-wide focus on critical thinking. Resources and virtual workshops developed for the QEP are available here.
Learn more about helping students develop and apply critical thinking skills with online and campus resources
Download the QEP Critical Thinking Guide
Professional Learning Groups offer participatory forums to investigate critical thinking as it applies to teaching, learning, and serving students.
The 2012-2017 summary, full QEP document, and reports may be viewed here.
QEP Contact Info
Erin E. Sullivan, QEP Manager