MCC Gearing Up for New QEP: Onboarding!
Published on Friday, March 3rd, 2023
Every ten years, institutions of higher learning (including Montgomery Community College) go through a re-accreditation process. The process of accreditation is similar to an audit, in that a third-party examines the functions and performance of the College, to make sure its activities are aligned with its mission to serve students, and to confirm the institution’s policies and procedures are functioning properly to ensure student success.
The third-party that examines MCC is called the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, referred to as “SACSCOC” among participating member schools. MCC is coming up on its ten-year review in 2024, and because the process is rather in-depth, preparations for the review start a year in advance. This summer, MCC will begin the reflection and reporting required for next year’s accreditation.
Seventy-six requirements of the College will be examined, with an additional, and very impactful, project which occurs with accreditation: a Quality Enhancement Plan. Known simply as the QEP, a Quality Enhancement Plan is a specifically-chosen focus for improving student learning and student success over the next five years. It’s a special opportunity for MCC to assess institutional quality and effectiveness in student learning and implement strategies for improving the student experience.
Over the next five years, 2024 through 2028, MCC will focus on improving the student onboarding experience as its QEP.
What is onboarding, and why did MCC choose it? We’re glad you asked!
Onboarding is the process through which a student applies, is admitted, registers for classes and completes two semesters at MCC. The QEP will redesign the admissions process to create a seamless front-door experience for students, giving them a positive start where they will gain momentum resulting in persistence, retention and completion.
The onboarding topic emerged from institutional assessment, the examination of student progression measures, retention data, an analysis of program outcomes and valuable input from all college stakeholders including students, faculty, staff and trustees. By improving onboarding, MCC believes it can have a dramatic impact on student success.
At this early stage, MCC expects it will retool its onboarding experience using a “navigator model”. MCC staff members, known as Success Navigators, will serve as the first, and single, point of contact for potential students. This wrap-around, concierge-type of approach will establish early and strong individual relationships with students in a “one-stop-shop” process.
This summer and fall the College will begin to make students aware of exciting changes impacting onboarding. During the process staff will measure results and gather feedback along the way with the goal of improving how future students join the MCC family!