Volume 4, Number 15 - June 17, 2014

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Crystal Esparza

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Improved Writing Skills Targeted By QEP

By Crystal Esparza

As part of Miami Dade College’s accreditation requirement through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Quality Enhancement Plan is currently in the works for the 2015 school year.

The College is preparing a five-year  “Do the Write Thing!” project aimed at enhancing the quality of student education. 

John Adkins, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Kendall Campus, and QEP committee member said the primary goal of the QEP is to improve writing skills and increase career knowledge for all students as well as enhance workforce readiness. 

“I see this as a positive move forward in the process of educating students,” Adkins said. “We have amazing faculty and they are focused and determined in this process. I believe these efforts will allow us to be successful in our pursuit for better writing college-wide.”

Ece Karayalcin, professor in the college’s School of Entertainment and Design Technology and QEP Planning Committee Chair, took a year-long leave from teaching in order to accommodate the needs of the faculty-driven initiative.

“The whole thing is we’re here for the students,” Karayalcin said. “What can we do to make this process better in terms of learning. That’s what the QEP is all about. Enhance student learning.”

MDC is reaching out to the local community to provide real-world experience to their students through activities such as mentoring events from business leaders, educators and MDC alumni.

“Education is not a stagnant process,” said QEP Director Richard Prentiss. “There is always new ways to learn, there is always new technology, there is always new support stuff thats coming out that will support the students learning process and the QEP really kind of formalizes some of that and brings it in to the student to better utilize those opportunities.” 

The process for selecting a specific topic began in September 2012. Miami Dade College assembled a broad-based representative committee who did research through college surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings, and discussions on all of the campuses. With feedback from the entire College community and after a six month review “Writing for the Real World: Strengthening Writing and Career Knowledge” was selected. 

“The way the plan is going to be developed, it’s a plan that will be able to apply to any of the programs across the college,” Prentiss said.  “Within certain courses the desire is to identify writing opportunities for students that get them focused on effective communication and preparing them for entry into the workforce”

From October 21 to 24, SACS’ On-Site Review committee will visit the College to examine the new plan. Once it is approved, the QEP will launch in the Fall Semester of 2015 and the institution becomes fully responsible for implementing it. 

Prentiss said the plan is to start through the School of Justice and then spread to the rest of the college. After five years, a progress report will be submitted .

Without SACS’ accreditation MDC would be unable continue awarding degrees. Every 10 years, the College gets reviewed in order to maintain the positive reputation as a quality institution, and ensure access to federal grants. Funding for student financial would not be possible without it.

In the end, Prentiss said Do the Write Thing is meant to provide all students the best education and a new competitive edge for long term success. 

“[The QEP is] a true benefit to the students because they’ll hopefully have the expertise in place to be effective communicators, especially in the written form, at the time they enter the workforce,” Prentiss said.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.