Quality Enhancement Plan
Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving over 15,000 students with associate and baccalaureate degree programs, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. In order to maintain its membership with SACSCOC, every 10 years Polk State College must develop, implement, and complete a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as part of its reaffirmation for accreditation.
What is a QEP?
Every 10 years, colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) go through a review for reaffirmation of accreditation. For re-accreditation purposes, SACSCOC requires colleges and universities to engage in a broad-based self-study and discovery process to identify and become involved in a “plan” that will enhance overall student learning and/or the learning environment at the institution. This Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a five-year project that will become part of the college’s culture.
The QEP is a tool for institutional improvement focused on student learning and/or student success.
There are five criteria that must support a QEP. It must:
- Encompass a topic identified through an ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation process
- Have broad-based institutional support
- Focus on improving specific student-learning outcomes and/or student success
- Benefit from committed resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP
- Include a plan to assess achievement
Student learning may include changes in students’ knowledge, skills, behaviors, and/or values that may contribute to the college experience. The goals, outcomes, and assessment strategies must be clearly linked to improving the quality of student learning while supporting the College’s mission and vision.
In August 2018, Polk State formed a QEP Topic Selection Committee (TSC) to identify a topic for the College’s next QEP. Using several sources of institutional data and a series of surveys of faculty, staff, and recent graduates, the Committee was able to narrow eight broad topic areas down to two. The Committee then generated three topic proposals that addressed these areas. After collecting stakeholder feedback, the TSC developed a final topic proposal by combining elements of all three proposals. The final proposal, which centers on career exploration and planning to increase completion, was presented to and approved by the College President and President’s Staff on May 17, 2019.
Polk State College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Explore to Complete, seeks to engage students in intentional curricular and co-curricular career exploration and planning activities. The purpose is to help students develop a career goal so they can get and stay on an academic pathway that leads to graduation.