Thursday, September 22, 2011

The QEP: What will it be?

Members of Daytona State’s Quality Enhancement Plan topic selection committee are moving forward in the meticulous process of arriving at a final focus.
Dr. Evan Rivers, co-chair of the QEP Leadership Team,
speaks with workshop participants during Fall Planning.
More than 200 faculty, staff and administrators turned out for three working sessions during Fall Planning 2011. Their task was to rank a list of nearly two dozen proposed QEP topics originally derived from brainstorming sessions held this past spring, as well as from requests for pre-proposals sent out to key constituents in the Volusia and Flagler communities. The result thus far is a diverse range of topics: enhancing instructional technology and curriculum standards, cultivating student engagement and motivation, and strategies for improving retention, to name just a few.
 “It was evident from these workshops that there was a lot of passion at the tables,” said Prof. Joy Colarusso, who is leading the topic selection effort.
The topic selection committee now has a framework to begin refining, filtering and possibly combining those topics in order to come to a short list of five by January. Meanwhile, the committee will distribute a survey to the entire college community in October, which will help members further gauge sentiment among constituents regarding what they feel are the most pressing institutional needs that can be targeted through the QEP.

Dr. Ted Sofianos facilitates QEP
workshop discussion

Devising, developing and implementing a future course of action to enhance student learning are the main objectives of the QEP, which is a required element of the reaccreditation process defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is an opportunity for Daytona State to build upon its quality and effectiveness by focusing on a single issue considered critical to student success. While the SACS compliance recertification review looks at current institutional practices, the accrediting body added the QEP component to the reaffirmation process to encourage colleges to launch initiatives that aim even higher.
Colarusso is pleased with how the college community is responding to the topic selection initiative, particularly with the participation during the Fall Planning workshops. “As the process went forward, people began to see that maybe the thing they were most fervent about was not pinnacle, but could be part of the solution. That’s the kind of collaboration that SACS wants to see as topic development progresses.”
During the next phase of the selection process, the QEP team will review the proposed topics to determine if they can be supported and measured by research, are fiscally feasible, and whether they have previously been supported by academia and are relevant to SACS expectations. The five topics that meet these criteria will be refined in focus and further developed during the first half of 2012 before a final topic is selected.
The QEP will be submitted to SACS in the summer of 2013.
Visit the college’s SACS website at for regular updates and more details about the reaffirmation process and its participants.