What is STRIDE?

Strengthening Teaching, Readiness, and Innovation in Distance Education.


During the QEP topic development process, data gathered by the QEP Development Steering committee found that online courses were an area of concern. Online courses consistently see differences in student success compared to courses which include classroom instruction. Students frequently withdraw or do not pass online courses, and rate their online courses lower in satisfaction. By focusing on improving the online course experience, STRIDE aims to improve student satisfaction with their online courses, and improving indicators regarding student progression and success such as retention and graduation rates.

What benefits does STRIDE have for Gwinnett Tech’s students?

STRIDE will be targeting 100% online courses at Gwinnett Technical College.

The goal of STRIDE is to reduce barriers to success and persistence in online courses and improve the online learning environment for students. In order to achieve this overall goal, the QEP Development Steering committee has developed the below student learning outcomes for STRIDE. These student learning outcomes evolved from the data compilation and evaluation and literature review during the topic exploration and selection process, and these outcomes serve as the foundation for understanding how STRIDE will enhance and positively impact student learning at Gwinnett Tech.

STRIDE Student  Desired Student Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to utilize provided resources for their online course success.

  2. Students will be able to successfully navigate course-related materials and tasks.

  3. Students will be able to successfully complete assignments and pass the course.


Gwinnett Tech will accomplish these desired student outcomes and the overall goal of STRIDE by employing a range of strategies that can be grouped into 2 broad categories. These strategies and their corresponding actions are centered on 1) Student Preparedness and 2) Faculty Preparedness and Online Course Design.

STRIDE will heavily focus on enhancing support and training for faculty to be able promote the student experience and improve factors affecting student persistence in an online course. Thus, the below represent the faculty learning outcomes which will be central to STRIDE accomplishing its desired student outcomes.


Faculty Learning Outcomes

As a result of STRIDE’s faculty strategies, faculty will be able to create and deliver an online course that has:

1.    A clear lesson structure that enhances student ability to navigate and understand course (QM I.1)

2.    Clear communication standards and policies (QM I.3)

3.    Engagement between instructor-to-student, content-to-student, and student-to-student (QM V.2)

4.    Course instructions that articulate or link resources for course success (QM VII.4)


Members of the QEP Development Committee:

Committee Chairs:

  • Ryan Cheek: Instructor, Veterinary Technology
  • Jessica Diedrich: Coordinator of Retention Services
  • Holly Sanders: Program Director, Allied Health Sciences

Current Development Committee Members:

  • Sylvia Bey: Instructor, English
  • Elissa Checov: Librarian
  • William Crissman: Coordinator for Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Trudy Dunson: Instructor, Business Management
  • Jeanette Faucett: Asset Management Specialist
  • Susan Goines: Coordinator, Career Services
  • Wendy Lee: Administrative Support Assistant for Veterans Affairs
  • Lloyd McArthur: Program Director, Drafting Technology
  • Dr. Carla Morelon: Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
  • Ozan Ozcan: Instructor, Biology
  • Rita Patel: Dean of Computer Sciences
  • Dr. Kohle Paul: Director of Student Affairs, Alpharetta-North Fulton campus
  • Dr. Julie Post: Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Brian Powell: Veterans Resource Advocate
  • Niquanna Robinson: Instructor, Cardiovascular Technology
  • Travis Simpson: Student Navigator, Student Affairs
  • Michael Smith: Instructional Design & Support Specialist
  • Padmaja Vedula: Program Director, English
  • Deborah Von Deutsch: Coordinator for Compliance and Accreditation
  • Dr. Jermaine Whirl: Dean of Business and Art & Design
  • Song Yang: Director of Distance Education

Additional faculty, staff, and student members coming soon!

A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an action plan to develop and implement a clear, focused project to address a topic or issue related to improving student learning at the college. It represents an opportunity to enhance overall quality and effectiveness of the institution by focusing on an issue or issues the college considers important for continuing to improve student learning.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires each of its member institutions to plan and implement a quality enhancement plan. The QEP is an essential element in the college’s reaffirmation for accreditation with SACSCOC. The SACSCOC requirements include the following for a QEP:

SACSCOC Core Requirement 2.12
The institution has developed an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that includes an institutional process identifying key issues emerging from institutional assessment and focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution.

SACSCOC Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2
The institution has developed a Quality Enhancement Plan that (1) demonstrates institutional capability for the initiation, implementation and completion of the QEP; (2) includes broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and proposed implementation of the QEP; and (3) identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievement.

Check here for announcements on progress of the QEP and campus QEP information!

October 2015:
Faculty and Student Surveys launched; faculty and students participate in sharing experiences with online courses and factors for success in online courses at Gwinnett Tech

August & Sept. 2015:
Development committee analyzes and reviews college data on areas of concern in online courses; works in data and literature review subcommittees

May - July 2015:
Development Committee explores Internship topic, data, and actions to implement for QEP; recommends change to the Strengthening Distance Education topic from campus voting

April 2015:
Campus voting results on top topics- Internships emerges as first place vote winner; QEP Development Committee formed

Feb. & March 2015:
QEP topic search launched; student, faculty, and staff submit topic proposals after QEP purpose presentations; topic submissions combined for top themes by college leadership; faculty, staff, students, and board/community members vote on the top three topics.

Below is a general timeline of the QEP development process that will occur as part of the reaffirmation for accreditation at the college:

February – April 2015 QEP Topic Search & Selection

April – May 2015                 QEP Steering Committee and initial planning/development begins

May 2015 – June 2016       QEP Development stages in progress

June – August 2016             QEP Submission Preparation

September 1, 2016             QEP Final Report Submitted to SACSCOC Committee

September 1, 2016             QEP Final Report Submitted to SACSCOC Committee