What is a QEP?

QEP stands for Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP is part of the College’s reaffirmation process required by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), CFK’s accrediting body. The QEP spans five years and is intended to enhance the quality of education for students through assessments and measurable student learning outcomes.


Destination Graduation: Accelerating Success

The topic of the College’s 2022 Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is decreasing students' time to completion. The focus will be on significantly enhancing students’ first semester experiences, thereby laying the groundwork for a stronger start to their educational journey at CFK and, ultimately, a more timely completion. The following tactics will be further developed in CFK's QEP:

Redesign and Reinvigorate Preparing for Student Success  (SLS 1101)

  • Create and conduct training for all SLS instructors
  • Standardized curriculum

CFK Student Onboarding Experience

  • Orientation experience for all new students

Topic Research

Through the strategic planning process, The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) previously identified student time to completion as an opportunity for improvement. That notion is supported by a variety of data. Based on institutional data, the combined average time to completion rates for AY17, AY18, and AY19 are 19% for those who complete within 100% of time, 24% for those who complete within 150% of time, and 25% for those who complete within 200% of time. Per the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which looks at eight years of historical data, the College’s time to completion rate is 34% (this represents full-time, first-time students who graduated or transferred out within 150% of "Normal Time" to completion for their program). By comparison, the same graduation rate for North Florida College, a peer institution, is 47%. Within the state of Florida, looking at cohort year 2015, the graduation rate within 150% of normal time at 2-year postsecondary institutions was 55.5% (30 institutions). Combined, this data illustrates a need for targeted and focused efforts with respect to time to completion at CFK.

Since 2014, the College has participated twice in the national Survey of Entering New Student Engagement (SENSE). The data continues to show that engaged students have better academic outcomes. Engagement is primarily built through making early connections, setting expectations, and having a clear path to success. Using SENSE data, CFK has been better able to identify areas for improvement in students’ early experiences in college. For both survey cohorts that CFK has participated in (2014 and 2018), the survey was administered to all students actively enrolled in developmental reading, writing, and math courses at all levels, students in their first college-level math courses, first college-level English courses, and student success, college skills, first-year experience courses. Results clearly illustrated that the College lagged behind the top-performing institutions in the benchmarks for Early Connections, Effective Track to College Readiness, and Engaged Learning by 15%, 19%, and 11%, respectively.

The three benchmarks where our institution displayed the greatest opportunity for development directly influence time to completion at CFK. When students become discouraged or consider dropping out (as reflected by Early Connections benchmark), are placed in courses for which they are not prepared (defined by Effective Track to College Readiness), and are not provided with effectively-designed learning experiences (demonstrated by Engaged Learning), the likelihood of timely completion rapidly decreases.

Taking a closer look at CFK’s high WDF courses, courses with a high number of Withdrawals or letter grades of D or F, the QEP Committee discovered that the College’s Preparing for Student Success (SLS 1101) has consistently been in the top ten over the past five years. In fall 2019, SLS 1101 became mandatory for all students to successfully complete within their first 12 credit hours. After this change, SLS 1101 ranked higher on the High WDF list, from averaging 7-8 on the top ten list to being 3-4 on the list.

The internal and IPEDS data reflecting lagging time to completion rates, the SENSE data further highlighting the need for development in student engagement and college readiness, and the fact that an entry level, student skills course is on the High WDF list, all support the QEP Committee's topic decision. The topic of the College’s 2022 Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is moving the needle on time to completion using a three-pronged initiative. The aim is to provide the College the ability to focus on significantly enhancing students’ first semester experiences, thereby laying the groundwork for a stronger start to their educational journey at CFK and, ultimately, a more timely completion.

QEP Committee

If you have any questions about CFK's QEP and/or would like to become involved in a subcommittee, please click on the names of any of the members of the QEP Committee to email them. 

Katie Norland – QEP Coordinator, Committee Co-Chair and Executive Committee Liaison 

Beren Lindenberg – QEP Committee Co-Chair and Subcommittee Liaison 

Lana Gaspari – Chair, Instructional Design & Professional Development Subcommittee

TBD – Chair, Faculty Awareness Subcommittee

TBD – Chair, Student Awareness Subcommittee

Karen Powers – Chair, Communication & Marketing Subcommittee

Jeff Smith – Chair, Finance and Budgeting Subcommittee 

Lucja Rice – Co-Chair, Data and Assessment Subcommittee 

Dr. Vijay Khanal – Co-Chair, Data & Assessment Subcommittee

Kristina Neihouse – Research & Content Editor 

Nicole Gerrard – Chair, New Student Orientation Subcommittee