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GetREAL

The College’s Quality Enhancement Plan is a required component of our reaffirmation process by the Get Real LogoCommission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS COC).  With a focus on improving student learning through the use of active learning strategies, the Quality Enhancement Plan is called Get REAL—Really Engaged in Active Learning.
“Active Learning” is an instructional method that engages students in the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, or new behaviors through participation.  The “Active Learning Strategies” used to implement our Quality Enhancement Plan consist of instructional techniques that involve our students in the behaviors of listening and discussing, writing, reading, reflecting, and solving problems.  In turn, those strategies will create “Learner Engagement” that will occur by actively engaging our students in learning when they are listening and discussing, writing, reading, reflecting, and solving problems,

including project activities.

The goals of our Get REAL Plan are to:

  • Improve student learning by integrating Get REAL active learning strategies into course instruction, and
  • Prepare faculty to implement Get REAL active learning strategies into course design.

With the Quality Enhancement Plan topic in place, a logo was needed to promote Get REAL—Really Engaged in Active Learning.  More than a dozen WPCC students submitted logo designs including Michael Lee who won the competition.

Enjoy Our QEP Video

Find out more about GetREAL through this video presentation:

 

GetREAL Video Version with Narration

 Steps on  How to Get Real

QEP Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some details on what Get REAL is all about at WPCC.

1. What is a Quality Enhancement Plan?

Engaging the wider academic community and addressing one or more issues that contribute to institutional improvement, the Quality Enhancement Plan should be focused, succinct, and limited in length.  The QEP describes a carefully designed and defined course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning.  It is required by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS COC) during the reaffirmation process.  (The Principles of Accreditation; http://www.wpcc.edu/uploads/file/pdfs/SACS_AccreditationPrinciples.pdf)

We have determined a topic for the WPCC Quality Enhancement Plan and our QEP committee is now working on a plan to implement it with our faculty, staff, and students.  To achieve this, all of our partners in education are involved: students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and other community associates.

As topics for all QEPs are required to be, the topic for our QEP is:

  • Creative
  • Vital to the long-term improvement of student learning
  • Assessable
  • Sustainable

2. How was the QEP Topic selected?

The Western Piedmont Community College QEP,  GetREAL: Really Engaged in Active Learning, was identified out of institutional research, surveys, and forums involving various College stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, trustees, and local employers. This formative process was managed and conducted by the QEP Topic Identification Committee.

3. How will the QEP support or complement WPCC's ongoing planning and evaluation process? How does it fit into the College's strategic plan?

The QEP topic was identified by a formal assessment process designed to ascertain current needs in light of future goals. It is intended to bring significant and transformative positive change to student learning. It is a five year action plan that will be integrated into every aspect of institutional management, including strategic planning. Practically speaking, however, the QEP may be a part of the College’s culture for up to ten years.

4. How will the QEP be implemented and how will the topic affect the job I already do?

Successful implementation of the QEP will consist of a pilot year and a five-year implementation process. The QEP will involve a preparatory period consisting of professional development for faculty and staff, targeted course redesigns, and up to one year of gathering baseline data related to student learning outcomes.  Future years will involve course redesign and implementation of active learning strategies in additional courses based on pilot year results, data gathering and review of targeted courses, expanded professional development, ongoing and expanded assessment of student learning outcomes, and the implementation of faculty learning communities.

5. How does the QEP fit into the overall SACS timeline?

The QEP must be submitted to the SACS On-Site Reaffirmation Committee four to six weeks in advance of the on-site review. During the on-site review, the Committee will provide consultation and evaluate the acceptability of the QEP. Once the QEP is accepted, it will be forwarded, along with the Compliance Report, to SACS Board of Trustees for review and action. It will also be reported on during the next 5th Year Review process.

6. Why is the QEP important?

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a requirement of the reaffirmation of accreditation process under Core Requirement 2.12 and Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2. The QEP development process is also an opportunity for Western Piedmont faculty and staff to ask, “What are we doing to enhance student learning?”. 

 

The purpose of the QEP is to improve student learning by using institutional assessment data to identify areas of concern or areas needing improvement related to student learning outcomes, choosing one topic area to focus on (For WPCC, our topic is Active Learning), implementing the five-year QEP project, and finally sharing the results with others. A clearly defined and well-executed QEP can positively transform the College’s ability to provide students with an accessible, high-quality educational experience.

7. QEP Development Timeline?

The timeline for implementing Western Piedmont Community College’s Quality Enhancement Plan is as follows:

 

  • May, 2012 – QEP topic identified
  • July, 2012 – Initial meeting of the Development Committee
  • August, 2012 – QEP plan development and drafting begins
  • October 12, 2012 – QEP draft one sent to Star Brown & Tom Frost
  • October 22, 2012 – QEP sent to Dr. Williams of SACS for review prior to her visit in November, 2012
  • November 15, 2012 – SACS Pre-Visit with Dr. Williams
  • November 16, 2012 – Begin revision and update process for QEP Draft 2 (develop literature review, research assessment methods, etc.)
  • December, 2012 – John Grubbs, Leslie McKesson and Lisa Miller attended the SACS COC Annual Meeting in Dallas.
  • December, 2012 – QEP website updated, complete initial annotated literature review, develop marketing plan for Spring, 2013, begin researching possible lead evaluator, continue researching assessment methods, prepare for January update for WPCC faculty
  • January, 2013 – Division meetings to update faculty/staff on QEP and to solicit feedback.
  • January 2, 2013 – Faculty Update (CEU/presentation)
  • January 14, 2013 – Full QEP Committee meeting (date subject to change)
  • January-July, 2013 – Full and subcommittee meetings and plan drafting continue
  • March 15, 2013 – QEP Student marketing contest ends.
  • May 2, 2013 – QEP winning logo revealed at Spring Fling
  • August 12, 2013 – Get REAL Plan submitted for senior administration review, presentation at Convocation Breakfast
  • August 19, 2013 – Get REAL Plan submitted to the QEP Development Committee
  • August 26, 2013 – Get REAL Plan final edits submitted and prepared for print
  • September 3, 2013 – Prepare Get REAL Plan drafts for distribution to the On-Site Committee
  • October 23-26, 2013 – SACS on-site review team visit