On September 12, 2023, during their monthly board meeting, the Sampson Community College (SCC) Board of Trustees was formally presented with the official Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) of the College: Viking CREW: Connected and Ready for Education on the Web.
Last year, SCC constituents voted to implement a multi-year QEP, in accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The QEP is co-chaired by Dr. Crystal White, Department Chair of Social Sciences & Humanities, and Britt Honeycutt, Department Chair of English & Communications.
A QEP reflects and affirms a college’s commitment to overall institutional quality and effectiveness by developing a formal plan that focuses on a principal issue the institution selects, working to improve specific student learning outcomes and general success.
Since the onset of COVID-19, SCC has seen a vast increase in virtual courses as the preferred learning modality by students. With students enrolling in online programs to a greater extent than ever before, College administration noticed the success rate in online classes was lower than the success of students attending in-person classes. This began the idea of cultivating the QEP to reach those struggling with online coursework.
In their research, the QEP Discovery Team found that creating a culture of online student and faculty support is pivotal to the SCC Viking experience and charting the path forward to academic success.
With this in mind, Viking CREW was officially launched in August 2023 with a focus on improving online education at SCC by creating a virtual learning orientation course for all new students and a faculty training course for online instruction.
The goal is to improve student success rates for online curriculum courses at SCC by 5%.
White explained, “This QEP will benefit students long-term by fostering online learning readiness and providing students with the support needed to be successful.”
The Crew Course will prepare students for online courses by setting expectations, explaining course functions and navigation, and teaching skills for online success. Viking Navigator, an online certification program created for faculty, will equip instructors to produce high-quality, online courses that utilize best practices for web instruction.
Student orientation will be slowly implemented in Fall 2023, while faculty training will be piloted in the Spring semester. Both parts will continue to be enacted throughout the next five years at the College.
Recently, the QEP Team conducted a focus group for the Crew Course with Sampson Early College High School (SECHS). All incoming freshmen took the course and submitted an evaluation of their experience. The team plans to take this information into account to adjust the course as they prepare to fully enact it in the Spring.
“We truly believe that the Viking CREW charts a path forward to academic success at SCC,” voiced Honeycutt.
As online education continues to grow at SCC, the Viking CREW is committed to bridging the gap between traditional and online academic success through preparing both students and faculty for the specific modality of learning.
For more information about SCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/qep
About Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices primarily among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and certain other international sites approved by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. The Commission also accepts applications for membership from domestic institutions in the other 39 states, as well as international institutions of higher education around the world. https://sacscoc.org/
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and
Dr. Crystal White and Britt Honeycutt contributed to this article.