The development of a redesigned advising plan for health science and nursing students is among the special initiatives currently being undertaken at Piedmont Technical College.
Called the CAREplan, it is scheduled to roll out for the Fall 2018 semester on the Greenwood Campus. Participants in the CAREplan will:
- Connect with an advisor and develop a plan that leads to program readiness
- Learn to access the necessary resources to stay on course
- Follow the degree plan to reach program readiness
- Engage with a career in health care
“Students in the pre-program phase of health science and nursing programs will be able to follow an individually tailored, guided pathway,” said Carol Paguntalan, director of academic advising at PTC.
Those students will have required advising and their advisors will receive additional training. Advising will be centralized at the CARE Planning Center, adding convenience and making additional advisement resources more accessible for students who need it.
To help foster a sense of community, there will be special group activities for CAREplan students. Students will take pre-program classes together, with some of those classes being taught by faculty who also serve as their advisors.
“Being engaged on campus leads to better outcomes,” Paguntalan said.
Keeping Students on Track
To better understand the field, students will take a health care careers course early on. They will also continually validate their choices with their advisors to make sure their career goals remain compatible.
It’s all designed to improve retention for health and nursing students, whose path to a degree involves specific prerequisite courses, grade-point average and testing requirements, and a program application process.
“It’s a little bit more complicated for them,” Paguntalan said. “We don’t want students inadvertently delaying their progress.”
Going forward, professional advisors will begin working with faculty advisors at the county campuses to enact the CAREplan in subsequent academic years.
The CAREplan is a Quality Enhancement Plan, which is a requirement for Piedmont Tech’s reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. QEPs are five-year plans focused on improving student learning or the environment surrounding student learning.
“It also has a consultative component,” said Dr. Jack Bagwell, PTC’s vice president for academic affairs. “When SACSCOC visits us, they will give us suggestions on how to improve the plan.”
The CAREplan also fits PTC’s mission goals, which include providing responsive services to ensure that students are positioned for success.
“The mission drives everything we do,” Bagwell said. “This is an example of connecting the dots between the mission, vision and values and what we do every day.”