Initial Actions: Year Zero (Fall 2014-Summer 2015)
During this year, a number of actions must be undertaken to prepare for implementation of the QEP. These include:
- Communicating the "academic coaching" initiative to stakeholders in a coherent, comprehensive manner.
- Appointing a QEP coordinator to oversee the recruitment, hiring, and professional development of the academic coaches.
- Establishing an Academic Coaching for Excellence Advisory Committee to monitor the progress and evaluation of the program.
- Recruiting academic coaches (e.g., graduate students and interns) through campus-wide collaboration.
- Developing training protocol and materials for academic coaches.
- Developing communication materials and messages for targeted student populations.
- Assessing fall 2014 and spring 2015 pilot studies to refine the academic coaching program prior to launching the QEP.
Sustaining the QEP: Year 1 (Fall 2015-Spring 2016)
In the first year of QEP implementation, the focus is on freshmen who are required to participate in academic coaching on a bi-weekly basis. These groups are: (a) continuing freshmen who are placed on Academic Warning, and (b) students residing in a "first generation" living-learning community.
Sustaining the QEP: Year 2 (Fall 2016-Spring 2017)
Upon successful implementation of the QEP in the first year, academic coaching will be expanded to include a larger number of Pell-eligible and first-generation students. In Year Two, academic coaching will continue to be offered to the same target populations as in Year One, while an additional 50 to 100 first-generation and/or Pell-eligible freshmen will be invited to participate in academic coaching.
Sustaining the QEP: Year 3 (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)
The theme of Year Three is "decentralization." While academic coaching will continue to be offered to the same populations as in previous years by a central office, some academic coaching activities will occur within various academic units. This decentralization of academic coaching will allow us to broaden the scope of the QEP. Thus, the centralized academic coaching unit will continue to focus on freshmen, whereas the decentralized initiative will expand to upper-division students.
The QEP Coordinator will consult with various departments to identify key personnel who would qualify to serve as an academic coach to first-generation and/or Pell-eligible students within their respective units. Academic coaching will be noted as a point of service on a faculty and/or staff member's annual review. Likewise, graduate students may view academic coaching as a professional development or résumé building opportunity.
The QEP Coordinator will provide training and professional development for qualified personnel who serve as academic coaches in order to support the achievement of each of the QEP student learning outcomes. The Academic Coaching for Excellence Advisory Committee (ACE) will assist in identifying the training needs for the academic coaches, along with workload issues associated with academic coaching.
Sustaining the QEP: Year 4 and 5 (Fall 2018-Spring 2020)
Years Four and Five will focus on the continuation of the academic coaching initiatives set forth in the first three years of the QEP. Academic coaching activities will continue to be assessed and refined, if necessary. By Year Five academic coaching should be fully integrated into the advising culture at the University of Memphis. As a result, students on Academic Warning and our firstgeneration and Pell-eligible students should demonstrate greater academic self-efficacy and be more purposeful in their degree planning—and ultimately—more successful.