This year, Maryville College has initiated its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) with the title, “Maryville College Works.” The QEP is a five-year process that the school is taking on in order to connect students’ liberal arts education with their future careers. Because this year’s freshman class is the first to pilot the QEP, not every student will go through the program in its entirety; however, next year’s freshman class will be going through every aspect of the plan. According to the program directors, the goal for this process and plan is to help every graduating student from Maryville College to have goals set for their future career paths and the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue them.
“It’s going to be transformative. I think our students are going to realize the value of their liberal arts education and how that education helps prepare them for future careers. We’re not going to have just the liberal arts like we’ve always had, we’re going to have a bridge now to future careers,” said Dr. Susan Schneibel, co-chair of the QEP. “This program builds the pieces to that bridge, and they’re going to know early on that this is what we’re working at.”
“Our plan is to have all of our seniors to be ready for employment and to be at the top of the stack,” said Dr. Karen Beale, co-chair of the QEP.
In order to accomplish this, each student who takes part in the QEP at Maryville College will undergo a significant practical experience relevant to his or her career path. Students will develop goals for their practical experience and undergo preparation before applying their knowledge, according to program directors Schneibel and Beale.
Whether this experience is a senior study, internship or practicum, students will be required to complete two levels of reflection. The first level will be reflective on goals set beforehand and how the student did or did not meet them throughout the experience. The second level will be at the very end of senior year.
Students will reflect on all of their coursework, their significant practical experience and their thesis. They will complete a written assignment that reflects on how each of these aspects of their education at Maryville College has put them on the best path to get to their future career.