The Citadel's Quality Enhancement
Plan: An Overview
Enhancing Academic Success
The transition from high school to college is normally a challenging one for any student. At The Citadel, though, the transition is even more demanding as students must learn to adapt to the military-style education offered by this institution. The first three semesters become crucial to student success as cadets must first adjust to the unique freshman year experience and then in the third semester adjust to the expectations and routines of upperclass cadets. One aspect of these adjustments is reflected in the lower grade point averages earned by freshmen and sophomores. The Citadel's Quality Enhancement Plan is intended to enhance learning and improve the learning environment for both of these groups of students.
Responses to Date
The Citadel has taken important first steps toward addressing the transitions that shape student success. For example, in the fall term of 1999, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, recognizing an increasing need for a integrated approach to academic advising, updated and expanded the Academic Advising Handbook to assist faculty with this critical task. The following year, The Citadel began a freshmen orientation course (ORTN 101). Lasting most of the first semester and carrying one hour of academic credit, this course meets two hours per week and addresses many of the most pressing issues that affect student success (e.g., goal setting, time management, and test and note taking). Through the Quality Enhancement Plan, The Citadel intends to build on these and other initiatives aimed at acclimating freshmen to a learning environment in a military context and at easing their transition toward more difficult academic challenges as they continue their development into leaders in the Corps of Cadets at the beginning of their sophomore year.
The Next Steps: The 2004-2009 Quality Enhancement Plan
The Quality Enhancement Plan will focus on the following: evaluating the freshman orientation course and improving it; developing new ways of improving the freshman year experience in terms of intellectual and academic development; and extending the kind of attention now focused on freshmen performance to the academic performance of first-semester sophomores.
February 2003. (Edited July 2003)