Carteret Community College is a public two-year community college and a member of the North Carolina Community College System. Carteret CC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. In order to maintain its membership with SACSCOC, Carteret CC must develop, implement, and complete a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
Every ten years, colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) go through a review for reaffirmation of accreditation. For re-accreditation purposes, SACSCOC requires colleges and universities to engage in a broad-based self-study and discovery process to identify and become involved in a “plan” that will enhance overall student learning and/or learning environment at the institution. This Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a five-year project that should become part of the college’s culture.
The QEP is a tool for institutional improvement focused on student learning. There are five criteria that a QEP must meet:
Student learning may include changes in students’ knowledge, skills, behaviors, and/or values that may contribute to the college experience. In other words, the QEP is a process of formulating intended student learning and associated measurements. The goals and evaluation strategies must be clearly linked to improving the quality of student learning while supporting the College’s mission and vision.
According to SACSCOC Standard 7.2, the QEP topic must be identified through ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes and should have broad support of institutional constituencies. In early 2016, Carteret Community College identified main topics/categories through a QEP discovery survey. This survey was sent to faculty, staff, trustees, students, and advisory boards. Focus groups were held on campus in April and August of 2016. After review of survey results and focus group notes/comment cards, the topic that emerged was our college’s need for a career and advising center.
After identifying a topic for Carteret CC’s QEP in early 2017, the college began to explore a design for an advising center. The proposed advising center is located in McGee 104 near Academic Support, Admissions, TRiO, Financial Aid Office, Office of the Registrar, and Student Services. The MAPS Center is the title of the advising center and Mentoring, Advising, and Planning for Success will be the title of the QEP.