Southeastern has successfully initiated the development of an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP Team was appointed in Fall 2003 by President Randy Moffett; however, the concepts and history leading to Southeastern's QEP began in Spring 2000 with the adoption of the University's strategic plan Vision 2005
. Strategic Priority 1 of the plan states
To recruit, advance, and graduate qualified students
Through reputation, geographic location, and creative marketing approaches, Southeastern attracts a diverse, prepared student body. The University promotes personal growth, student success, and retention as well as the development of intellect and character through academic, social, vocational, and wellness programs. Southeastern offers a safe, friendly and inclusive environment in which students are known by name and respected as individuals. Timely completion of degree programs and success in a competitive job market are important indicators of success.
Strategic objectives to advance this priority included university-wide initiatives to develop recruitment and retention/progression plans in academic year 2001-02. Initial University plans to study and implement strategies for increasing retention and progression were developed and then further extended in 2002 and 2003 through consultation with Noel-Levitz. Provided by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the consultation was long-term and comprehensive, and resulted in a broad University retention and progression plan that focused on six foundation areas for retention: academic advising, service culture, co-curricular experiences, first-year experiences, instructional aspects, and student support services. In Spring 2003, the University Planning Council reviewed and discussed the retention and progression plan and selected academic advising as the focus for the QEP.
A timeline on Southeastern's SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation website documents the events leading up to the appointment of the QEP Team as well as the activities of the team during Fall 2003 and Spring 2004. The QEP Workroom website contains a chronology of working documents; documents and minutes are continuously being added as the team progresses in its work.
At the current time, the QEP Team has made recommendations regarding a model that encompasses a new academic advising center for freshmen, designed to facilitate student success and retention by building solid foundations for learning in a collegiate environment. The Team's recommendations also include strategies to facilitate student learning as the student moves from the freshman advisor to a faculty mentor in the student's major department. Action plans are being developed that address budgeting, staffing, facilities, program evaluation, training, technology tools, rewards and responsibilities, and the advising process. Academic year 2004-05 will be a university-wide planning and preparation year with academic year 2005-06 being the first year for implementation of the advising center. Academic year 2006-07 will be the first year to implement faculty mentoring as the freshman cohort exits the advising center.