The Rollins College Quality Enhancement Plan is an exciting new initiative that aims to help prepare Rollins students for their lives and careers after graduation by integrating career preparation tools, training and resources into the faculty-student advising relationship.
Reaffirmation of regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is a process that Rollins goes through every ten years. One required component of the process, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), presents an opportunity for an institution to enhance its overall quality and effectiveness by developing a five-year strategic plan related to an issue that it feels is important to student learning. We are happy to announce that during the Spring 2014 semester, the Rollins College community selected "career and life planning" as the topic of Rollins College's QEP for 2015-2020.
While previous QEPs were permitted to be broad in scope, SACSCOC has required that the rising generation of QEPs assume a significantly more narrow focus. After carefully reviewing the reports and recommendations generated by the Student Success and Retention Task Force, Institutional Planning work groups, the President's Contemporary Council, the Career and Life Planning Task Force, and the QEP Topic Selection Committee, the Provost-appointed QEP Proposal Development Committee (see Appendix for membership) narrowed the scope of the College's QEP to focus specifically on the ways that the faculty-student advising relationship can serve as a vehicle for a student's career preparation. While we hope and expect that the programs and resources developed through this initiative eventually will be accessible to all student groups, including Hamilton Holt undergraduates, our initial focus will be on the residential undergraduate student populations in Arts and Sciences (A&S) and the College of Professional Studies (CPS), populations that currently utilize a faculty-student advising model.
For many reasons, the faculty-student advising relationship is a natural and appropriate focal point for a career and life planning initiative. As the only structured activity on campus that affords all A&S and CPS students with the opportunity for one-on-one interaction with a faculty member, the faculty-student advising relationship serves as both the nucleus of a student's collegiate experience and designated vehicle through which he/she learns to engage in a critical narrative process that helps him/her make and understand the connections between his/her curricular and co-curricular pursuits and career goals. The critical role that faculty advisors play in their advisees' academic and professional development thus necessarily positions the faculty-student advising relationship as the foundation of any and all institutional career and life planning programs and initiatives.
Throughout the Fall 2014 semester, the QEP Proposal Development Committee will be leading the campus in the development of a framework for the design and implementation of a strategic plan that will integrate career preparation into the academic planning process. While assuring the preservation of the integrity of the liberal arts educational model and honoring the role of the academic advisor as teacher and mentor, it is our hope that our collective ideas will give rise to programs, policies, initiatives and philosophies that will help strengthen the faculty-student advisor relationship and provide career and life planning resources and training for faculty advisors.