Thursday, February 3, 2011

QEP: The other part of Daytona State’s SACS reaffirmation effort

While eight subcommittees of a Daytona State College task force gear up to demonstrate compliance with the core requirements and comprehensive standards necessary for reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a ninth subcommittee has begun laying the groundwork for a plan to elevate the academic experience for students.

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a relatively new element of the accreditation process and is separate from the SACS compliance report the college is required to produce as part of the reaffirmation effort. By definition, the QEP describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning.

“The QEP is an opportunity for the institution to build upon its quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the college community considers critical to student success,” said Dr. Evan Rivers, chair of the School of Humanities and Communication, who is co-chairing the QEP subcommittee along with Dr. Nancy Morgan, associate vice president of Resource Development.

"While the SACS study looks at past behavior, the QEP looks at a future course of action,” said Dr. Morgan. “It encourages colleges to do something that makes them better, rather than just complying with (SACS accreditation) standards.”

Developing the topic for the QEP will not be a short task. The focus must ultimately be research-based, encompassing an outgrowth of a comprehensive institutional assessment. The process must include the broad-based involvement of the college community and its constituents, and its objectives and outcomes must be measurable and sustainable. Ultimately, the topic of the QEP could take up to a year to define.

The diagram below illustrates the QEP development timeline:

Websites providing information about the work and progress of the SACS Taskforce and QEP subcommittee will be developed in coming weeks. We'll let you know when this happens in future issues of In Brief.

In the meantime, visit SACS online or download the official SACS QEP handbook for more information.

College’s suicide prevention program lauded as national model

Tony Deobil presents at the national SAMSHA conference
in Bethesda, MD.
Daytona State College’s suicide prevention program – Project SPEAK – has been identified as a model among the nation’s colleges and universities, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The federal agency, which is funding a three-year, $300,000 grant for Daytona State to develop Project SPEAK, (Suicide Prevention Education and Knowledge), recently recognized the college at its National Conference on Suicide Prevention in Bethesda, MD, according to Tony Deobil, program coordinator. Mr. Deobil was a co-presenter at the conference along with a colleague from Penn State University. Their workshop entitled “Life is Precious” focused on collaborating with faith-based and veterans groups, as well as with parents to help prevent suicides among college students.

“The gist of our presentation was about going outside the walls of the institution to develop supportive networks for college students,” Mr. Deobil said. “One area would be working with the faith community. Statistics show that people are twice as likely to seek out a member of the clergy over a mental health counselor.”

All totaled, SAMHSA is awarding $6.3 million in grants to assist colleges and universities across the country in their efforts to facilitate a comprehensive approach to preventing suicide.  “We are kind of at the forefront,” Mr. Deobil said. “They are referring a lot of other schools to us so we can share some of the things that we are doing.”

In June, the college will host a statewide conference on suicide prevention in higher education. The conference will take place at the News-Journal Center located downtown on Beach Street.

Project SPEAK is a cooperative effort among Daytona State, Seminole State College and the University of Central Florida. The project team offers educational seminars at all college locations to help students and staff recognize the signs and risk factors of depression and suicidal ideation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. In recent years, several Daytona State students have died by suicide; however, Project SPEAK has trained literally thousands of students, staff and faculty from the three local institutions to recognize the warning signs and offer some level of assistance to those in crisis.

For more information or to get involved with Project SPEAK, please e-mail or , or call (386) 506-4218.

Films and discussions added to Daytona State’s Pride and Passion exhibition

Daytona State College will host two film screenings and discussions this month as an adjunct to its exhibition Pride and Passion: the African-American Baseball Experience.

The first, Only the Ball Was White, will be on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the Madorsky Theater, bldg. 1200 on the Daytona Beach Campus, from 5 to 7p.m.   The post-film discussion will be moderated by Dr. Joanne Pinkston-McDuffie, senior professor in the School of Humanities and English. 

The second, Soul of the Game, will be on Friday, Feb. 11, from 2 – 5 p.m., at the college’s DeLand Campus, bldg. 6C, rm. 135.  The post-film discussion will be moderated by Doug Giacobbe, associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences.  Both of these films, as well as the Pride and Passion exhibition, are free and open to the public. 

Pride and Passion is the highly acclaimed traveling exhibition that chronicles the challenges faced by African-American baseball players beginning in the post-Civil War era. The exhibition was organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, Chicago. The exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Daytona State’s library is hosting the exhibition through March 3. The library is located in bldg. 210 on the Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd. Regular library hours of operation: Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information or to arrange a group tour, please contact Dustin R. Weeks, (386) 506-3593, or