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SWGTC’s Quality Enhancement Plan Underway

 QEP 2nd cohort

 

In photo from left to right: (front row) Michael Young, Dr. Angie Davis, Stephanie Pierce, Catina Jones, Londa Wilson, Chad Faircloth, (back row) Summer Washington, Sid Perry, Heidi Bivins, and Karen Murray.

 

In July 2011 Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) began the implementation of its Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP.  A Quality Enhancement Plan is a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning. SWGTC developed their QEP as part of the College’s reaffirmation of its credentials as an agency accredited by the Southern Commission on Colleges (SACS).

 

After a two year period of research and data collection from faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators and other constituents of SWGTC, a QEP Topic Selection Team chose one purpose for the QEP.  They decided to focus on increasing student learning by enabling students to become effective learners through effective teaching.  This plan was then named L.I.F.E. – Learning Is For Everyone – which would focus on effective learning and effective teaching with two goals – to increase student engagement in the classroom and improve student performance of higher-order thinking skills. 

 

In order to work towards L.I.F.E.’s goals, the College began to incorporate teaching strategies that research has proven make an impact on student engagement and higher-order thinking skills.  They also started the first cohort of faculty members to go through the L.I.F.E. Seminar.  This seminar is a 15-week class where instructors have the opportunity to learn and practice effective teaching strategies together.  Each cohort will have about 9 instructors who voluntarily participate and SWGTC hopes to complete one a year for the next five years.

 

“The first cohort of L.I.F.E. participants have really gotten the QEP off the ground and set the bar high for what can be accomplished through this initiative. The first cohort was comprised of a cross-section of faculty from the campus, which added richness to the group that will be difficult to match. With all participants coming from a different background with regard to content area, each member provided a unique view of teaching effectiveness and strategy implementation experiences. Professional collaboration has already been enhanced with our first group of faculty and we are excited to see how this will spread to future groups of faculty that plan to participate in coming years. Our faculty are enthusiastic about teaching and are really passionate about the success of their students; this is another way to fuel the fire we already have and improve student learning at our College,” commented Summer Washington, QEP Director.

 

SWGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Annie McElroy said, “Congratulations, faculty graduates of our first QEP class!  Thank you for volunteering for the first class and now to serve as role models and mentors for the next class of volunteers. Together let's take teaching and learning to new heights at SWGTC. Lead the way!”

 

The College also contracted two employees with the Southwest Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) to serve as L.I.F.E. Facilitators, Dr. Angie Davis and Alan Cleveland, both retired teachers.

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