Best Start - Student Success Course

What is the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?

Best Start logo

The QEP is an important and required component of the SACS accreditation process. The plan represents a college commitment to enhance student learning and/ or the learning environment through a specific set of instructional activities. Here is the complete QEP document we recently submitted to SACS.

BEST START is the name of our QEP. It is a program
created for first-time-in-college (FTIC) students. It will
initially involve FTIC students who test into developmental courses. It will eventually be required for all FTIC students.


Student perspectives from a Summer 2011 trial run of proposed Best Start lessons.

What are BEST START activities?

  1. Students in the BEST START program will participate in a career exploration and enrollment planning activity, confirm their major, and select courses to input into iStar's My Planner before the end of their first semester.
  2. Students will also identify and address a barrier to his/ her academic success.

How will students complete the activities?

  1. BEST START enhanced courses will be identified and marketed in the class schedule and will include the above two BEST START instructional activities as part of the course requirements.
  2. Help will also be available from the advising office
    and other academic support areas on campus.

Who can be involved?

Everyone! The initial pilot will involve BEST START
sections of EDUC 1300. BEST START sections of other
freshman courses will follow. All advisors, faculty, staff,
and our more experienced students can participate in
helping our new students to accomplish the two BEST
START
activities. Leaders at each college can encourage individuals and departments to get involved, based on local student needs.

How Can I Become Involved?

Leaders at each college can encourage individuals and departments to get involved, based on local student needs. Contact your local leaders to learn more.

Lone Star College QEP - Best Start
Proposed Timeline

Fall 2011

  • Preparatory steps in advance of the SACS accreditation visit scheduled for October 4-6, 2011.
  • Working model of Best Start lessons and activities within a small number of designated EDUC 1300 sections.
  • Identify faculty and advisor roles for supporting Best Start activities.
  • Develop Best Start certification training for faculty, advisors, and mentors.

Spring 2012

  • Pilot Best Start activities in selected EDUC 1300 sections.
  • Review/assess insights from Fall working model.
  • Update Best Start certification training prior to Fall semester courses.

Summer 2012

  • Preparations for full implementation.
  • Review assessment data from pilot, make program revisions as needed.

Fall 2012

  • Full implementation of Best Start activities in HUMD 0330. 
  • FTIC students who test into two or more upper-level developmental courses will be required to participate in Best Start within HUMD 0330.
  • Annual external analytics and implementation review.
  • Update Best Start certification training prior to Spring semester.

Spring 2013 & Beyond

  • Continue assessments and program revisions as needed.
  • Update Best Start certification training prior to each semester.
  • Best Start data report to college community.
  • Evaluation report for Best Start program based on prior assessments, two external reviews, focus groups.

Summer 2013 & Beyond

  • Revise instruction, implementation processes based on assessment data.
  • Review/revise training based on assessment data.

Fall 2013 & Beyond

  • Explore options to broaden participation in Best Start activities among additional FTIC student populations.
  • Annual external analytics and implementation review.
  • Best Start data report to leadership, Deans, faculty, student services, Best Start campus teams, external reviewer, etc.
  • Revise lessons, training, implementation processes based on assessment data.
  • (2016) Prepare fifth-year impact report for SACS review.

Contact Information

For questions, concerns, or more information about the LSCS Best Start program, please contact:

Karen Miner
Director, Achieving the Dream
832-813-6294

Stephanie Jones & Michel Zuch
Co-Chairs, LSC-CyFair

Darrin Rankin
Chair, LSC-Kingwood

Heidi M. Smith 
Chair, LSC-Montgomery

Dorothy Dixon & Martha Whitley
Co-Chairs, LSC-North Harris

Pam Shafer
Chair, LSC-Tomball

David Miller & Suzanne Weatherly
Co-Chairs, LSC-University Park

Grad Ahead!

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What is SACS?

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the Accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. The Commission's mission is the enhancement of educational quality throughout the region and it strives to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that institutions meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students.

SACS serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees. The Commission also accepts applications from other international institutions of higher education.

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