Wharton County Junior College Director of Instruction Assessment and QEP Coordinator Tracy Emmons reviews “Destination Bound” marketing materials with administrative assistant Anna Cortez. The QEP program seeks to assist students by making their college experience more timely and cost effective.
WHARTON, TEXAS – Wharton County Junior College students will soon be able to achieve their educational goals in a more efficient and cost-effective manner thanks to the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan.
Composed of elements identified though surveys, strategy sessions, focus groups and several initiatives, the QEP’s “Destination Bound: Choose, Connect, Complete” program seeks to assist students through developments like proactive advising, structured schedules, career onboarding and the creation of course pathways.
“The objective of the QEP is to provide students with support to choose an appropriate pathway based on their current goals and to connect them with college resources to aid in completing that goal,” said Tracy Emmons, WCJC’s Director of Instructional Assessment and QEP Coordinator.
Emmons said that the current average for a WCJC student to obtain an associate degree is 4.1 years, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Many graduates end up with 90 or more credit hours – far above the 60 hours required for most of the college’s associate degrees.
That means most graduates are spending too much time – and money – on classes that do not apply to their eventual degree.
Through the QEP’s “Destination Bound” program, students will be assigned a single academic advisor who will aid the student in choosing a major pathway in order to prevent this waste of time and resources.
“We want to make sure students choose a major that is right for them,” Emmons noted.
Emmons said the QEP is a requirement for accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and must be re-visited every 10 years. Faculty and professional staff involvement will be crucial to the success of the program, which is set to be fully implemented by Fall of 2019.
The major pathways students can choose from include the following:
The “Destination Bound” program supports the statewide Texas Pathway Project, an integrated, system-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, that guide each student effectively and efficiently from the selection of a high school degree program to postsecondary entry to attainment of high-quality credentials and careers with value in the labor market. The program further supports the Houston Guided Pathways to Success (GPS), a partnership led by the University of Houston to provide students with a seamless transfer from community college to Houston-area universities.