|El Centro, along with sister colleges in the DCCCD, is in the process of seeking reaffirmation of its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC). One requirement of that process is to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) which will provide an improvement in student learning. As SACS-COC phrases it: "The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is the component of the reaffirmation process that reflects and affirms the commitment of the Commission on Colleges to enhancing the quality of higher education in the region and to focusing attention on student learning.
The QEP describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution. The QEP should be embedded within the institution’s ongoing integrated institution-wide planning and evaluation process and may very well evolve from this existing process or from other processes related to the institution’s internal reaffirmation review." (Handbook for Institutions Seeking Reaffirmation, August 2011).
Our El Centro QEP grew from the needs expressed by faculty, students and the community as well as from monitoring of data trends within the college. Collectively, this information portrays the widely varying preparation that students have as they enter El Centro and the many challenges they face as they approach college level education. One of the greatest challenges is transitioning into a learning environment where analysis and problem solving are necessary for academic success.
A key element in meeting this challenge is to think critically and reflectively as new information is absorbed. Data from internal research indicates that students are not always introduced to new ways of thinking. Likewise, the same research demonstrates our students as having limited course work that actually challenges or demonstrates their level of thinking. Within the five years allotted for the QEP the college will more intensively explore ways to explicitly encourage critical thinking that will result in students better prepared to grow and take full value from their learning experiences.
We welcome and encourage the entire college’s participation and feedback as we embark upon our quest for improvement.
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