Signs bearing the phrase “Engage for Success” are popping up all over Ferrum College’s campus this fall. These three words sum up the institution’s theme for the new quality enhancement plan, or QEP, which will be in effect for about the next decade.
This QEP topic was chosen after a yearlong process which included focus groups and surveys from students, faculty, coaches, and administrators. The general consensus was that campus members, particularly students, wanted to increase academic engagement on Ferrum’s campus.
“We believe that Ferrum students achieve more when they are more active in their classrooms, on the playing field, in worship, or other activities,” said Associate Professor of Political Science Ed Hally, who is leading the new QEP initiative. “Not only that, but engaged students adjust to college life better and tend to feel a greater connection to their fellow students, Ferrum faculty and staff, and the College as a whole.”
“Engage for Success” includes six subcategories of engagement:
Once the topic has been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), “this upcoming year – year 0 – will be mostly about getting a snapshot of how engaged students already are in these areas,” explained Hally. “We’ll use this year to establish a baseline and then try to beat that baseline in future years.”
Hally and the QEP team plan to utilize an online app called “Presence” to monitor the program’s progress. With the app, event coordinators will be able to list their events, tagging up to two types of student engagement. Students will also be able to easily access an events calendar to attend gatherings.
Fall 2021’s goals include ramping up student engagement as much as possible with encouragement from student leaders, faculty, and staff; and prize giveaways rewarding the most engaged students at Ferrum.