Development of the QEP Action Plan
In the fall of 2019, the College formed a QEP Writing Team to develop program goals and student learning outcomes, conduct a comprehensive review of the literature, create an action plan, develop a timeline for implementation, develop a plan for assessing effectiveness, and prepare the written QEP document for submission to SACSCOC.
The Team began by focusing on the QEP program goal. In order to develop the goal, the team engaged in a visioning activity. Team members were asked to describe their vision for the College after the successful implementation of the QEP as described in the final topic proposal.
In order to develop student learning outcomes, the team brainstormed the student knowledge, skills, behaviors, and values that would be positively impacted by the successful implementation of the QEP. During the topic selection process, the Topic Selection Committee felt strongly that although the focus of the QEP was career exploration and planning, students should be engaged in related activities throughout their time at the College. This will help students not only select academic pathways but stay on those pathways, resulting in increased persistence and completion.
Further, by engaging in career planning activities throughout their educational journey, students will be better prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. They can connect the skills and concepts learned in their coursework to the skills and competencies needed for employment. As such, the Team developed student learning outcomes that are intended to be achieved throughout a student’s educational journey.
The Team also conducted a comprehensive review of the literature related to career exploration and planning themes, including career assessments and inventories, career decision making, career resource centers, career exploration courses, and competencies for career readiness. The Team reviewed the literature and identified best and promising practices to help students identify career goals and develop plans for achieving them. Strategies were selected based on the ability to effectively accomplish the QEP goal and student learning outcomes. The Team also examined the feasibility of the strategies and how each could be integrated into existing College processes and functions. In order to ensure that students were engaged throughout their educational journey, the Team mapped out the selected strategies using a student journey roadmap. This helped to ensure that career exploration and planning activities were strategically placed throughout the student experience from application to graduation.
In order to gain additional feedback on the action plan, the Team met with key stakeholders. They were provided with the QEP goal, student learning outcomes, and action plan and asked to review and provide feedback. The group was asked a series of questions related to the ability of the action plan to achieve the goal and learning outcomes, feasibility of implementation, and the resources required for successful implementation. The group was also asked to think of ways to assess the effectiveness of the QEP and ideas for building awareness of the QEP among faculty, staff, and students. The Team used feedback from this meeting to further enhance and refine the action plan.
For more information on the development of the action plan for Polk State College’s QEP, Explore to Complete, please see Chapter 1 of the Quality Enhancement Plan.