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Quality Enhancement Plan

"Success through Inquiry" Quality Enhancement Plan (2019--2024)

Vernon College is a constantly evolving institution, dedicated primarily to effective teaching and regional enhancement. With this dedication to teaching and to the community, the college encourages open inquiry, personal and social responsibility, critical thinking, and life- long learning for students, faculty, and other individuals within its service area. The collaboration of regional community service, adaption to student success, and the pursuit of inquiry within this institutional philosophy has culminated into Vernon College’s “Success through Inquiry” Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)--a component of the of the college’s accreditation reaffirmation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

Definition. “Success through Inquiry” is a faculty-led, student-centered, inquiry-based learning Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) initiative designed to enrich student educational experiences at Vernon College. Vernon College has adopted a standardized definition of IBL that centers on students’ ability to 1) formulate a question or hypothesis, 2) collect relevant and appropriate information or data and thus 3) evaluate that information for accuracy/relevance. Armed with new knowledge, students subsequently 4) share their findings in a visible, disciple specific manner (demonstration, presentation, research paper, etc.).

Implementation. IBL is a “best-practice” teaching strategy designed to facilitate independent and collaborative knowledge building. The objective of this active-learning QEP initiative is to embed IBL learning strategies into courses across the curriculum for all students, thus creating a student-centered culture of inquiry at Vernon College. Throughout the 5-year implementation, 10 cohorts of selected faculty will participate in an 8-week hybrid professional development course that leads them through the IBL process. At the conclusion of the course, completers have an inquiry-based learning implementation plan (IBLIP) ready for implementation within their courses for the following term.

Assessment. Through both direct and indirect measures, assessment of the QEP will be ongoing and meaningful. The QEP Director and the Director of Instructional Assessment will coordinate QEP assessment efforts for 1) the evaluation of the extent to which the established QEP goals and student learning outcomes have been achieved, and 2) the identification of opportunities for improvement in subsequent rounds of IBL implementation.

Benefits. Courses enhanced with IBL learning strategies provide students with opportunities to engage with and generate material in new and innovative ways while visibly collaborating/sharing content with peers. Simply, IBL in the classroom offers opportunities for enhanced critical thinking, communication and collaboration, student motivation and engagement—whereby equipping Vernon College graduates with marketable, professional skills for success upon graduation.

QEP Documents

QEP Development Information

"Success through Inquiry" QEP Proposal

QEP Planning Committee Members

 SACSCOC Onsite Visit Presentation: QEP Day

Ten Essential Questions About IBL--Interactive Faculty Development Session

QEP Implementation Committee Members

Fall 2019 Launch--5 Year Mission Interactive Faculty Development Session

QEP Committee Minutes

QEP themed Sports Day 2019 T-shirt Design

QEP Timeline

Sample Inquiry-based Learning Implementation Plan--a Unit Opener for SPCH 1315

Reports

Resources

2019-2020 Annual Progress Report

QEP Quick Minute Newsletter (September 2019; October 2019, May 2020, October 2021

2020-2021 Annual Progress Report

Quality Enhancement Resource Inventory

2021-2022 Annual Progress Report

2022-2023 Annual Progress Report

2023-2024 Annual Progress Report

2024 QEP Impact Report

Contact Information

Donnie Kirk, Ph.D.
Director of Quality Enhancement
dkirk@vernoncollege.edu
(940) 696-8752 Ext. 3204 Century City Center 
(940) 552-6291 Ext. 2245

 

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TEACHING. LEARNING. LEADING.
Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 6 p.m. // Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
  • Vernon Campus
    4400 College Drive
    Vernon, TX 76384
    940.552.6291
  • Century City Center
    4105 Maplewood
    Wichita Falls, TX 76308
    940.696.8752
  • Skills Training Center
    2813 Central Expressway East
    Wichita Falls, TX 76302
    940.766.3369
  • Seymour Learning Center
    200 Stadium Dr
    Seymour, TX 76380
    940.889.3133
1970 marked the beginning of Vernon College. Throughout this decade the College continued to grow and more students enrolled in both on- and off-campus courses. On January 20, 1970, a majority of the citizens of Wilbarger County voted to create the Wilbarger County Junior College District. Following that decision, Vernon Regional Junior College was established and on April 9, 1970, the newly elected Board of Trustees appointed Dr. David L. Norton as the College’s first president. Campus construction began in May 1971, and included an Academic Science Center, Administration-Fine Arts Center, Applied Arts Center, Library, and Student Center. The following year, on September 5, 1972, classes met for the first time on the Vernon campus with a total of 608 students. On August 1, 1974, Dr. Jim M. Williams became the College’s second president. In the fall semester of that year, combined on- and off-campus enrollment exceeded 800 students. During the 1975-76 academic year, the College expanded its services to include a learning center on Sheppard Air Force Base. During this year, enrollment in credit courses, both on- and off-campus, rose to a level of 1,199. The scope of the Vocational Nursing Program was enlarged during the 1976-77 academic year with the assumption of the Bethania School of Vocational Nursing in Wichita Falls. In August 1976 the Physical Education Center was dedicated in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A. King longtime benefactors of Vernon College. Growth and changes continued during the 1980s. In August 1980 a Student Residence Center, designed to house 128 students, opened for occupancy. Further expansion of program offerings in the Wichita Falls area was accomplished through absorption of an existing proprietary school that was renamed the Vernon College Technical Center and the integration of the nursing program from the Wichita Falls Independent School District. On March 22, 1982, Dr. Joe Mills took over the leadership of the College as the third president. That fall, the College fielded its first intercollegiate rodeo team. During 1983-84, the Department of Cosmetology and the Career Development Center (previously known as the North Texas Skills Center) were established in Wichita Falls. On the Vernon campus, the Chaparral Center was completed, and the Pease River farm purchased through a state land trade. The following academic year, 1984-85, Vernon College reached a record credit enrollment of 1,863 and a record continuing education enrollment of 7,056 registrations. A Vocational Nursing Program opened in Seymour, and the Board of Trustees established a college foundation and approved an agreement to allow construction of the Red River Valley Museum on the Vernon campus. In February 1987 the College played its first intercollegiate baseball game on the Vernon campus. During May of that year, the new Natatorium was opened in the King Physical Education Center. A newly constructed Athletic Dormitory opened to house 28 athletes in August 1988. In October, Trustees voted to add women’s volleyball as a varsity sport, effective with the fall 1989 semester. In May 1989 Vernon College moved all Wichita Falls programs to one centralized location—Century City Center. Since the College opened its doors 38 years ago, many individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations have made an investment in our students through the creation of endowed and annual scholarships. As of this year, more than 100 scholarship funds are available to help students pursue their educational dreams.VERNON COLLEGE PHILOSOPHY: Vernon College is a constantly evolving institution, dedicated primarily to effective teaching and regional enhancement. With this dedication to teaching and to the community, the College encourages open inquiry, personal and social responsibility, critical thinking, and life-long learning for students, faculty, and other individuals within its service area. The College takes as its guiding educational principle the proposition that, insofar as available resources permit, instruction should be adapted to student needs. This principle requires both flexibility in instructional strategies and maintenance of high academic standards. Strong programs of assessment and accountability complement this educational principle. VC accepts the charge of providing a college atmosphere free of bias, in which students can exercise initiative and personal judgment, leading to a greater awareness of personal self-worth. It strives to provide every student with opportunities to develop the tools necessary to become a contributing, productive member of society. Vision VERNON COLLEGE VISION: Vernon College will promote a culture of success for our students and communities through learner-centered quality instructional programs and exemplary services. Values VERNON COLLEGE VALUES: Vernon College promotes a culture of success through our shared values and commitment to: Accessibility Accountability Building Relationships Diversity Inclusion Innovation Leadership Quality Student Success Teamwork Our values define who we are and guide us in conducting our business every day. Our values are our morals – what is important to us at our college. Mission VERNON COLLEGE MISSION The mission of Vernon College is teaching, learning, and leading. Vernon College is a comprehensive community college that integrates education with opportunity through our instructional programs and student support services by means of traditional and distance learning modes. Therefore, to fulfill its mission, the College will provide access, within its available resources, to: Career technical/workforce programs up to two years in length leading to associate degrees or certificates; Career technical/workforce programs leading directly to employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations; Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences, including the curricula leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees; Ongoing adult education programs for occupational upgrading or personal enrichment; Compensatory education programs designed to fulfill the commitment of an admissions policy allowing the enrollment of disadvantaged students; ; A continuing program of counseling and guidance designed to assist students in achieving their individual educational goals; Career technical/workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs; Support services for educational programs and college-related activities; Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults; and Other To help prospective and current students, faculty, and staff locate important information about Vernon College, this webpage provides links to helpful information on a variety of government mandated and consumer information. Examples are academic programs, cost of attendance, financial aid, safety and security, and institutional financial reports. Vernon College’s presentation of this information complies with the Higher Education Act, as amended, and implementing regulations.