Truist Foundation grant supports student success through Polk State’s QEP

Posted on by Tamara Sakagawa

Polk State College’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Explore to Complete, is benefitting from a $25,000 Truist Foundation grant which is helping to fund the work of faculty and staff. Funds can be used to purchase educational materials, surveys and reports, institutional licenses, and professional development. These activities support the QEP’s goal to engage students in career exploration and planning activities that will assist them in getting and staying on academic pathways to graduation.

The QEP is focused on student learning and success and is part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation of accreditation process, which Polk State successfully completed in June 2021. Polk State will continue to implement Explore to Complete to bolster academic advising, career planning, and successful initiatives such as freshmen pre-advising.

“The College’s QEP Committee is incredibly thankful to the Truist Foundation for its support of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Professor of Mathematics Megan Cavanah, QEP Committee Co-Chair.

“The Truist grant has helped to ensure that the QEP remains at the forefront for the College,” added QEP Committee Co-Chair Simmi Johnson, who serves as Associate Dean of Student Services. “It has allowed us to keep our faculty and staffed engaged in Explore to Complete.”

The grant has already been instrumental in launching the QEP’s marketing efforts which aim to increase awareness of Explore to Complete activities across the College’s campuses and centers. Most recently, at the start of the 2021-2022 Academic Year, members of the QEP Committee provided hospitality baskets in high-traffic areas to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus and learn more about the QEP.

Grant funds will also support Polk State employees in attending the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Fall Virtual Conference, which is an opportunity for faculty, librarians, and student support services personnel to share best practices that increase student success. Polk State faculty and staff who are interested in participating in the event from October 20 through October 22 should register here by October 19 using their College email addresses.

“I invite all my colleagues to join me in attending the 2021 NISOD Virtual Conference,” said Professor of Psychology Susan Moerschbacher, member of the QEP Committee. “The conference offers an array of sessions focusing on diverse topics ranging from best practices in the online environment to strategies for increasing student success.”

The Truist Foundation grant will continue to support valuable activities such as this professional development opportunity, which will assist the QEP Committee and greater College community in supporting student success.

“Supporting educational opportunities is central to Truist’s purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities,” said Sandy Hostetter, central Florida regional president for Truist, speaking on behalf of the Truist Foundation. “With this grant to QEP, Polk State will provide resources to faculty and staff, and enhance the academic experience for students – sparking future educational and career opportunities across the region.”

More information about Polk State’s QEP, Explore to Complete, is available online at

About Truist Foundation

The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at