Friday, May 11, 2012

QEP topic to focus on student motivation

A college-wide vote in late April selected Student Motivation as the topic for Daytona State College’s first-ever Quality Enhancement Plan.

Student Motivation: Learning to SOAR received 198 votes, outpacing the 161 votes tallied by topic contenders Critical Thinking: Just Think! and Retention: Fostering Student Retention, which garnered 128 votes.

The 487 votes cast during the online polling represent a voter turnout of more than 47 percent, which, according to the Federal Elections Commission, closely mirrors the average national voter turnout in most presidential elections since 1960.

“To me, this is evidence that the college community is engaged and committed to excellence in serving our students,” said Daytona State President Carol Eaton.

During the summer, the college’s QEP committee will put together a team that will shape the winning proposal into a plan that will be submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools next year as part of Daytona State’s reaffirmation effort.

Dr. Carole Luby, who co-chaired the student motivation top development team, said the Learn to SOAR proposal is based on research of best practices for new students of community colleges. “Our college provides access to everyone, but for some, success can be elusive,” she said. “Retention begins with the first contact for each student. Our goal is to provide new students with the tools for success, and to strengthen their confidence to stay motivated through graduation."

Some of the strategies that will be incorporated into the plan include building student and faculty relationships through a first-year college experience program that will set high expectations for students. During this proposed “First-Year Academy,” students would be given a clear academic plan that would include career exploration and a pathway to acquire the necessary skills to pursue employment in their field of interest.
The plan also calls for a tracking system that would help transition developmental students into college-credit classes, as well as expansion of learning communities such as the college’s QUANTA program, and other academic and social support networks.

"This whole process generated some great ideas and discussion among all the people involved,” said Dr. Nancy Morgan, associate vice president of institutional effectiveness who is leading the SACS reaffirmation process. “Those proposals that were not selected as the final topic still have components that should be pursued through the college’s normal planning process.”

Read more about Daytona State’s QEP on the college’s website.