VC to “SEAL” the deal with plan to improve student success

VC President Tom Butler

Victoria College is developing a plan to improve student success by helping students become more actively engaged in their education.

Increasing active learning in the classroom will help students improve their critical thinking and communication skills, said professor Marty Stockbauer.

“Active learning may include pausing during a lecture and asking students what they understood from the material discussed,” Stockbauer said. “Other examples of active learning include group projects, lab work, peer projects, and using technology such as clickers or classroom response systems. By incorporating these strategies, faculty can empower students to have a more active role in the learning process.”

President Dr. Tom Butler said VC is committed to helping students succeed, and active learning is another proven strategy that leads to student success.

“Student engagement in the classroom has been shown to have a positive impact on student success – from mastery of the concepts, to persistence in one’s course of study, to successful completion,” Butler said.

Active learning is the topic of VC’s Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP—a required component of the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, commonly referred to as SACS.

The plan is designed to enhance the learning experience for the student, thereby leading to greater student success.

The QEP process
In spring 2012, VC organized a QEP topic selection committee, which asked the campus and community to complete a survey regarding student learning specific to Victoria College. The committee compiled the 1,000 responses, analyzed other student success data, and then selected a QEP topic—active learning, as it specifically addresses critical thinking and communication skills.

This fall, VC hired Tempi McLeod to serve as VC’s QEP director, who immediately began working with a QEP development committee to formulate a plan and slogan based on the topic selected.

“The slogan, Students Engaged in Active Learning, summarizes what the QEP is all about, and the acronym SEAL symbolizes our ultimate goal: to help students succeed,” said McLeod.

Moving forward, VC has begun hosting small focus groups involving faculty members from each of the college’s five academic divisions.

“We want to give the faculty a voice as we continue our research on best practices of using active learning strategies in the classroom,” McLeod said.

The final plan will be submitted to SACS next July. Representatives from SACS will visit Victoria College in September 2013 to review the plan. Once SACS approves the plan, VC will begin its five-year QEP implementation.

SACS approval of the QEP and VC’s reaffirmation of accreditation will take place in June 2014.

Getting students involved
In order to help students learn more about the QEP and its importance, Victoria College will hold a QEP logo contest between Oct. 15 and Oct. 26. Current VC students are invited to submit a logo that they think best represents the QEP slogan: SEAL (Students Engaged in Active Learning).

All participants who enter the contest will receive a flash drive wrist band. The winner will be selected in November and will receive a $50 VISA Gift card as well as campus-wide recognition. VC will use a version of the winning logo in future communications regarding the QEP.

Students may submit their entries as a JPG or a PDF to Logo submissions must include the words of the slogan “Students Engaged in Active Learning” and be submitted by 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.

Tempi McLeod, QEP director
Published: Thursday, 11 October 2012

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