The Quality Initiative, a focused and systematic improvement project, is one of the most innovative changes in the revision of HLC accreditation process.

Fort Lewis College's Quality Initiative

Increase student success, improve student retention, and graduation rates.

Improve Student Advising

Current Status: Every student is assigned a faculty advisor and a staff advisor. Students must obtain authorization from their faculty advisor (and only their faculty advisor) to register for classes. In addition to assigned advisors, students seek input from a variety of places on campus, including, but not limited to, NAC, El Centro, TRiO, Leadership Center, and Disability Services. Advising is uneven and there are no clear roles for those involved in advising students. There is no uniform evaluation of advising in faculty review. Objectives: Create clear roles and guidelines for advisors. Create a mechanism to evaluate faculty advising based on newly established roles and obligations. Utilize technology more efficiently to improve degree tracking for both students and advisors. Create trigger points to ensure students are monitoring the progress towards degree completion more effectively.

Require students to select their majors no later than their third term.

Current Status: There is no requirement for a student to declare a major at a certain time prior to graduation. Objectives: Create a “Mother Plan” that would guide students towards a four-year graduation. This would include academic progress goals and implications for academic probation and termination of financial aid if consistent progress is not being met. Prevent student malingering.

Provide a clear curriculum map to graduation.

Current Status: There are no systematic navigation tools to assist students towards degree completion. Some departments have their own tools; however, the catalog is updated on an annual basis making it very difficult to navigate degree requirements. Objectives: Create a map for graduation for each program of study (for both first-year students and third-year transfers). Maps will be available to students on the departmental and/or program website. Each program of study will develop and implement a detailed four-year plan of instruction. This would include annual course offerings and faculty teaching and sabbatical schedules. Move to a two-year catalog schedule.

Taskforce
Reports

Articles About Degree Completion

Quality Initiative Taskforce Members

  • Carol Smith, Taskforce Chair and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Jenn Wagnon, Assistant to the Chair and Director of TRiO Student Success Center
  • Beverly Chew, Activity Coordinator, Coordinator of Degree Planning Resources, and Professor of Psychology
  • Academic Affairs Members
    • Catalina Aguilar, Associate Professor of Spanish
    • Steve Stovall, Faculty Athletics Representative and Visiting Instructor of Marketing
    • Bob Stremba, Professor of Adventure Education
    • Deborah Walker, Associate Professor of Economics
    • Amy Wendland, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees and Professor of Art
  • Haeryon Kim, Student Affairs Member and Dean of Students

Because we could submit a formal proposal for our QI for review by the HLC staff as well as peer reviewers beginning Sept. 1, the QI Taskforce was the first accreditation team formed. Faculty members were selected in consultation with the Faculty Senate and the Student Affairs representative was selected in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs.