The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
The Quality Enhancement Plan 2020 (QEP) at Albany Technical College is designed to satisfy Standard 7.2 of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commision on Colleges (SACSCOC) Principles of Accreditation. The standard reads as follows:
The institution has a Quality Enhancement Plan that (a) has a topic identified through its ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes; (b) has broad-based support of institutional constitutional constituencies; (c) focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; (d) commits resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP; and includes a plan to assess achievement.
Albany Technical College’s faculty, staff and students began collaborating in Fall 2018 to design and discuss a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Therefore, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a direct outcome of the College’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation process. ATC’s administrators and select faculty members convene each year to discuss the College’s Strategic Plan and Goals. Albany Technical College’s Mission Statement states that it “prepares individuals to meet dynamic and evolving workforce needs, utilizing industry-driven teaching and learning approaches. Albany Technical College is committed to providing higher education and life-long learning opportunities that promote self-sufficiency, economic development, and community growth and sustainability.” The College’s Strategic Plan Goals include Goal 1: Ensure Student Learning and Achievement, Goal 2: Expand Educational Pathways, Goal 3: Enhance Sustainability and Improve Operational Efficiency, and Goal 4: Broaden Community Engagement.
Rationale and Data for the QEP
The first strategic planning goal focuses on improving student learning outcomes and student success is the main emphasis at the college, and the QEP addresses this critical objective. An essential part of improving student learning outcomes is tracking student progress. Albany Technical College uses a variety of measurements for student learning. Each term since 2013, the College’s IE Department has produced the College’s DREAM Report. The Dream Report analyzes and tracks, by term, the following student data by program: placement, graduation, retention, dual-enrolled, Ability to Benefit, new, and readmitted. This report has been an integral part of the College’s continuous planning and evaluation process. This data revealed a high attrition rate among the College’s new students. The College defines the term “new student” as a student who is in his/her first semester of higher education at a Technical College System of Georgia College. An analysis of the data determined that new students had a withdrawal rate of 12.6% compared to the 10.1% withdrawal rate of returning students. The data also indicated that new students had a lower pass rate of 64% and a lower GPA of 2.18 than returning students. Returning students had a 73.7% pass rate and 2.89 GPA. With this initial data in mind, the next phase of the QEP consisted of forming a QEP Topic Selection Committee.
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