How to Build Student Success Initiatives Into Your Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

April 20, 2022 Watermark Insights

When Haywood Community College (HCC) set out to increase student success through excellence in advising, they turned to Watermark (formerly Aviso Retention) for help.

HCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Navigating College, aims to assist each student in defining and mapping their own way to success.

To ensure all students could effectively find their own pathway, HCC introduced success coaches and began proactively advising students guided by Watermark's Predictive Analytic Recommendation Engine in Spring 2019.

“Aligning people, process and technology to achieve excellence in advising was critical for our QEP,” said Vice President of Student Services Dr. Michael Coleman. “ Watermark has helped the college design and develop a custom retention and student success plan, explore innovative retention strategies, train coaches, define key performance indicators, use data to support targeted action, and build systems for effective tracking and communications.”

The campus is already seeing results. In 2018-19, from Fall to Spring term, HCC saw an increase in retention of 3 percent. HCC immediately recognized an increase in their High School student course completion of 7 percent from Spring 2018 to Spring 2019, helping them to meet one of the goals set in their QEP ahead of schedule.

“We all had a strong feeling that our QEP initiative, aligned with the access to data and consistency provided with Watermark solutions, would lead to tremendous results for our student body,” Coleman said. “Fortunately, we arrived at the results about a year before we expected to.”

The Watermark software has allowed HCC to create a transparent and highly accessible advising culture. Everyone on campus has access to data and can easily see what actions are and are not working to change student outcomes for the better.

“We consolidated and standardized systems for staff, tracking all student engagement related action items within Watermark only,” Coleman said. “Now, we can clearly visualize our advising inputs and outputs to identify general opportunities for improvement, and best practices for student engagements based on very targeted information and sub-populations. A standard process and heightened transparency is creating confidence for our staff, resulting in better engagements with our students.”

The QEP is a part of the re-accreditation process for the SACSCOC that focuses on specific learning outcomes designed to enhance learning relative to a specific topic. Watermark can be incorporated into your QEP to help improve student learning outcomes and success. The data provided can help your institution identify the students where the right people can make a difference at just the right time. The engagement engine learns where risk lies and how your staff can optimize their actions and impact.

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