Photo Caption: Students at Columbia State received free highlighters and pens for listening to information about the Quality Enhancement Plan and its importance in the reaccreditation of the college.
(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Sept. 10, 2012) - - - Writing to Learn……Matters. It matters a lot at Columbia State Community College, where the college has launched its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to study the ways in which learning is enhanced in every classroom, every day with short writing assignments.
“The QEP is a SACS accreditation requirement,” explains Candace Warner, QEP program director. “Even if there were no requirement, this is a wonderful way to explore the ways in which faculty can incorporate short writing prompts into every class.
“Writing doesn’t have to be long papers or essays,” Warner says. “It may be that faculty will challenge students to write three questions they have about the day’s lecture at the end of a class or maybe to summarize the lecture in a one minute writing exercise.”
The QEP, a required portion of the accreditation, asks colleges to pick out an area of study. Using some students as a control, others will be exposed to the additional writing focus in their first year classes. Data will be collected to identify whether additional writing exercises may lead to higher grades and/or more likely to stay in school.
Plans for alerting students, faculty and staff about the Writing to Learn Matters initiative have taken place throughout the summer
While the Writing to Learn Matters program doesn’t actually begin with students until next year, Warner notes that the accreditation review incorporates the QEP program into its process.
The college is welcoming its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation team to campus beginning Sept. 17. Janet F. Smith, Ph.D., president of the college, notes that faculty, staff and students have worked hard to insure that the college is ready for the visit.
Tammy Borren has chaired the task force that has readied the college for the Sept. 17-19 accreditation review.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.