Gwinnett Technical College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is STRIDE!

What is STRIDE?

Strengthening Teaching, Readiness, and Innovation in Distance Education.


During the QEP topic development process, data gathered by the QEP Development Steering committee found that online courses were an area of concern. Online courses consistently see differences in student success compared to courses that include classroom instruction. Students frequently withdraw or do not pass online courses, and rate their online courses lower in satisfaction. By focusing on improving the online course experience, STRIDE aims to improve student satisfaction with their online courses and improving indicators regarding student progression and success such as retention and graduation rates.

What benefits does STRIDE have for Gwinnett Tech’s students?

STRIDE will be targeting 100% online courses at Gwinnett Technical College.

The goal of STRIDE is to reduce barriers to success and persistence in online courses and improve the online learning environment for students. In order to achieve this overall goal, the QEP Development Steering committee has developed the below student learning outcomes for STRIDE. These student learning outcomes evolved from the data compilation and evaluation and literature review during the topic exploration and selection process, and these outcomes serve as the foundation for understanding how STRIDE will enhance and positively impact student learning at Gwinnett Tech.

STRIDE Student  Desired Student Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to utilize provided resources for their online course success.
  2. Students will be able to successfully navigate course-related materials and tasks.
  3. Students will be able to successfully complete assignments and pass the course.

Gwinnett Tech will accomplish these desired student outcomes and the overall goal of STRIDE by employing a range of strategies that can be grouped into 2 broad categories. These strategies and their corresponding actions are centered on 1) Student Preparedness and 2) Faculty Preparedness and Online Course Design.

STRIDE will heavily focus on enhancing support and training for faculty to be able to promote the student experience and improve factors affecting student persistence in an online course. Thus, the below represent the faculty learning outcomes that will be central to STRIDE accomplishing its desired student outcomes.

Faculty Learning Outcomes

As a result of STRIDE’s faculty strategies, faculty will be able to create and deliver an online course that has:

1.    A clear lesson structure that enhances student ability to navigate and understand course (QM I.1)

2.    Clear communication standards and policies (QM I.3)

3.    Engagement between instructor-to-student, content-to-student, and student-to-student (QM V.2)

4.    Course instructions that articulate or link resources for course success (QM VII.4)

What is Student Online Learning Readiness Assessment?

A student online learning readiness assessment was developed by faculty and staff at Gwinnett Tech for students to learn about their strengths and areas of development related to online learning. The assessment consists of questions related to student academic behaviors, student personal characteristics, and a short reading comprehension exercise. The student online learning readiness assessment replaces SmarterMeasure.

Members of the QEP Development Committee:

Committee Chairs:

  • Sylvia Bey: Instructional Design Coordinator
  • Ryan Cheek: Instructor of Veterinary Technology
  • Dr. Carolyn Duven: Coordinator of Retention Services

Current Development Committee Members:

  • William Crissman: Coordinator for Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Trudy Dunson: Instructor of Business Management
  • Jeanette Faucett: Asset Management Specialist
  • Susan Goines: Career Services Coordinator
  • Wendy Lee: Administrative Support Assistant for Veterans Affairs
  • Dr. Carla Morelon: Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
  • Ozan Ozcan: Instructor of Biology
  • Dr. Julie Post: Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Niquanna Robinson: Instructor of Cardiovascular Technology
  • Travis Simpson: Office of Military & Veteran Student Support Coordinator
  • Padmaja Vedula: Course Coordinator and Instructor of English
  • Deborah Von Deutsch: Coordinator for Compliance and Accreditation
  • Song Yang: Director of Distance Education

Additional faculty, staff, and student members coming soon!

What is QEP?

A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an action plan to develop and implement a clear, focused project to address a topic or issue related to improving student learning at the college. It represents an opportunity to enhance overall quality and effectiveness of the institution by focusing on an issue or issues the college considers important for continuing to improve student learning.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires each of its member institutions to plan and implement a quality enhancement plan. The SACSCOC requirements include the following for a QEP:

SACSCOC – Principles of Accreditation
SECTION 7: Institutional Planning and Effectiveness
Effective institutions demonstrate a commitment to principles of continuous improvement, based on a systematic and documented process of assessing institutional performance with respect to mission in all aspects of the institution. An institutional planning and effectiveness process involves all programs, services, and constituencies; is linked to the decision-making process at all levels; and provides a sound basis for budgetary decisions and resource allocations.
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes. It reflects and affirms a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the institution considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success.

  • The institution has a QEP that (a) has a topic identified through its ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes; (b) has broad-based support of institutional constituencies; (c) focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; (d) commits resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP; and (e) includes a plan to assess achievement. (Quality Enhancement Plan)
QEP Announcements

Check here for announcements on progress of the QEP and campus QEP information!

October 2015:
Faculty and Student Surveys launched; faculty and students participate in sharing experiences with online courses and factors for success in online courses at Gwinnett Tech

August & Sept. 2015:
Development committee analyzes and reviews college data on areas of concern in online courses; works in data and literature review subcommittees

May – July 2015:
Development Committee explores Internship topic, data, and actions to implement for QEP; recommends change to the Strengthening Distance Education topic from campus voting

April 2015:
Campus voting results on top topics- Internships emerges as first place vote winner; QEP Development Committee formed

Feb. & March 2015:
QEP topic search launched; student, faculty, and staff submit topic proposals after QEP purpose presentations; topic submissions combined for top themes by college leadership; faculty, staff, students, and board/community members vote on the top three topics.

QEP Development Timeline

Below is a general timeline of the QEP development process that will occur as part of the reaffirmation for accreditation at the college:

February – April 2015
QEP Topic Search & Selection
April – May 2015
QEP Steering Committee and initial planning/development begins
May 2015 – June 2016
QEP Development stages in progress
June – August 2016
QEP Submission Preparation
September 1, 2016
QEP Final Report Submitted to SACSCOC Committee
September 1, 2016
QEP Final Report Submitted to SACSCOC Committee