Explore to Complete, Polk State College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), 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 select and stay on an academic pathway in order to persist and complete.
Eight career competencies have been identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as being beneficial to recent graduates entering the workforce. These competencies, which were developed in collaboration with employers, human resources, and staffing professionals, include critical thinking/problem solving, oral/written communication, teamwork/collaboration, digital technology, leadership, professionalism/work ethic, career management, and global/intercultural fluency.
Through the implementation of the QEP, a career assessment will be administered to students during the onboarding process. The assessment results will be utilized in Pre-Advising, the First Flight Freshman Welcome, and SLS 1122 First-Year Seminar. The results of the assessment will also be used by advisors when they work with students.
Tool kits will be created to assist faculty in incorporating career-based assignments into courses across the curriculum and the career exploration and planning unit in SLS 1122 First-Year Seminar will be redesigned. An online career exploration and planning resource center will be developed, and student clubs and organizations based on individual pathways will be expanded. Other opportunities for experiential learning will be created and enhanced, including the implementation of a career readiness badging program.
The QEP supports the College’s ongoing guided pathways initiative. Currently, many students enter the College undecided about their career. This poses a challenge as students must have a clearly identified career goal in order for them to successfully select and stay on an academic pathway. If students do not have a career goal, they are unable to select an academic pathway and utilize the program maps. The QEP responds to this institutional need. It supports the guided pathways initiative by helping students develop career goals, which is essential for them to select and stay on path.
The QEP supports the goals and objectives of the College’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, SOAR 2022, which consists of three strategic goals: promote retention, support completion, and celebrate achievement. The purpose of the QEP, Explore to Complete, is to help students develop a career goal so they can select and stay on an academic pathway in order to persist and complete.
The QEP, Explore to Complete, has a comprehensive plan to assess the successful implementation of the QEP.
The plan is organized into two parts.
The first part is designed to assess achievement of student learning outcomes. The second part is designed to assess overall program effectiveness and whether or not the QEP is on track to meet its intended goal. The plan uses a combination of formative and summative, direct and indirect, and qualitative and quantitative assessment measures. Assessment measures include institutional data such as retention, progression, and completion rates; national surveys such as CCSSE, SENSE, and CCFSSE; participation rates of students, faculty, and staff in QEP program activities; and institutionally designed rubrics applied to artifacts of student work.
The QEP will be implemented over the course of three years, starting in 2020. In the three years that follow, assessment and reporting activities will be completed and the QEP will conclude during the 2025-2026 academic year.
QEP updates will be posted on the polk.edu webpage and social media platforms. Individuals will also hear more about the QEP through College faculty and staff.