SPARK (Students Providing Alternative Resources for Knowledge) is GTCC’s QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan).
QEP defined: Based upon institutional assessment, the QEP is an opportunity for GTCC to focus specifically on student learning and/or the environment that supports student learning and accomplish the mission of the College.
In fall 2012, the College involved all College stakeholders in the topic selection process.
In spring 2013, first year experience was selected as the focus area for the QEP.
In summer 2013, a new committee was charged with teasing out the component of first year experience that would best support student learning at GTCC.
Upon examination of College data, other institutional initiatives already in place (Completion by Design and PRESS), and new state policies (multiple measures and performance based funding); peer learning was selected as the kernel of the first year experience, or any point in a student’s experience, most likely to improve instructional capability and student learning.
- The peer learning strategy/intervention was condensed into supplemental instruction.
- Supplemental instruction is a peer-led academic assistance program that targets traditionally high risk courses and is offered to all students enrolled in the supported classes.
- Supplemental instruction will first be implemented in BIO 163, BIO 165, and BIO 166.
- Participation in SI will be mandatory based upon the first course examination score.
Student Learning Outcomes
GOAL: The focus of SPARK at GTCC is to improve student learning strategies and student success by utilizing the active/collaborative learning techniques and principles of supplemental instruction. Students will:
- Develop effective learning strategies and apply them in their current course of study.
- Demonstrate competence (a grade of “C” or better) in selected high risk courses and decrease course withdrawal rates.
- Demonstrate non-cognitive factors of self-efficacy, motivation and resilience which are essential to student success.
- Establish a connection with other members of the community college.
SPARK (Students Providing Alternative Resources for Knowledge) is focused on peer learning. Supplemental instruction is the peer learning strategy we are implementing in biology courses for the QEP.