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Victoria College submits re-accreditation plan

By Victoria Advocate
Sept. 7, 2013 at 4:07 a.m.

VC welding instructor Wade Vrana and his spring students create a large Students Engaged in Active Learning logo out of sheet metal to show support for VC's Quality Enhancement Plan. The design is displayed at the Betsy Wright Center for Academic and Professional Excellence.

Victoria College recently submitted its Quality Enhancement Plan, a required component of the college's accreditation renewal by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Campus officials are now preparing for an on-site visit by a commission committee later this month.

The focus of VC's plan is to improve critical thinking skills. This will be accomplished by enhancing student engagement through the incorporation of active learning strategies in the learning environment.

Last fall, the college selected the plan's topic - Students Engaged in Active Learning - after seeking input from faculty, staff, students and the community. The plan's development committee took that initial work and prepared a comprehensive plan, which includes three main components: basic training, boot camp and Students Engaged in Active Learning academy.

Basic Training will be introduced to all new VC students in mandatory New Student Information Session. The training will help students understand their role as engaged and prepared partners in active learning while providing important information about how VC supports student success.• Boot Camp will provide professional development opportunities for all VC employees. Faculty and staff will be able to participate in a series of courses introducing them to active learning and learner-centered environments in order to enhance their role in student success.

SEAL Academy will give selected faculty an opportunity to participate in a structured, year-long development program. Participants will research active learning strategies and collaborate with professionals experienced in curriculum, design, and technology to implement active learning strategies in their classes.

A 10-person commission reaffirmation committee will visit Victoria College on Sept. 24-26.

On Sept. 24, the group will look at Victoria College's compliance certificate.

"We had four areas where we didn't provide the appropriate evidence to prove that we actually do what we say we do," said Patricia Vandervoort, vice president of instruction at Victoria College. "The team will verify the information we provided in our focus report addressing those areas."

The committee is also required to confirm VC's compliance with 10 selected core requirements and comprehensive standards as well as nine federal requirements, such as distance education, program curriculum and student achievement, Vandervoort said.

Sept. 25 will be devoted to reviewing the Quality Enhancement Plan. During the review, committee members will examine five general areas:• The institutional process

• The plan's focus

• VC's capacity to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP

• Broad-based involvement in developing the plan

• Assessment of the QEP

Exit interviews will be conducted Sept. 26 as the committee prepares a preliminary report and discusses what it will include in the final report to commission, which will be submitted to the commission's board in June.

In the meantime, the college has hired a new instructional design specialist to round out the professional staff at the Betsy Wright Center for Academic & Professional Excellence. That group will begin to develop the components of the SEAL Academy and other plan activities.

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