Winthrop University: QEP: Flight Ready
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Dr. Meg Webber
115 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA

QEP: Flight Ready

Preparing students for a career is at the core of higher education’s mission. Winthrop University’s alumni
were critical in identifying that among our data-informed institutional areas for improvement, enhancing
career readiness should be the priority opportunity, one that also aligns with our substantial Pell-eligible
and first-generation student populations. Prior to the rollout of this Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP),
Flight Ready, structured career readiness opportunities exist, but vary greatly throughout the institution.
The purpose of this QEP is to ensure a proficiency across colleges and majors at the foundational level of
career readiness, from which individual faculty, programs, and/or colleges within Winthrop University
will continue to build and/or evolve.


Making use of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) definition, Winthrop’s QEP
will define career readiness as, “a foundation from which to demonstrate requisite core competencies that
broadly prepare the college educated for success in the workplace and lifelong career management.”
NACE’s eight career readiness competencies begin with “Career and Self Development,” which is the
focus of Flight Ready. This competency includes “proactive development of oneself and one’s career
through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses,
navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s
organization.” Simply, Winthrop graduates will understand both that they need to, and how to, manage
their careers.

Flight Ready enhances career readiness through (1) the First-Year Experience (FYE), (2) faculty
training, and (3) alumni mentorship. In Part One, a dedicated unit within the FYE “Principles of the
Academy” course will provide instruction on the concept of career competencies and the principles of
career and self-development; furthermore, all incoming students will complete The Strong Interest
Inventory® in their first semester. In Part Two, Winthrop faculty will complete the Association of
College and University Educators’ (ACUE) Career Concentration training which informs both teaching
strategies and faculty advising conversations. Finally, in Part Three, the Alumni Office and the Center for
Career Development and Internships will lead the establishment of a university-wide alumni mentorship
network open to all Winthrop students.

Flight Ready’s student learning outcomes assure that students will be able to (1) connect relevant careers
with identified personal strengths and interests and (2) develop themselves through continual learning and
the navigation of career opportunities. The planned assessment of these student learning outcomes, along
with assessing program outcomes, will support the institution’s ability to gauge student learning and
increase program effectiveness yearly, as well as beyond the five-year initiative. Assessment of student
learning includes, but is not limited to, the following: a signature writing assessment within the FYE
program (First Year), NSSE’s Career & Workforce Preparation Topical Module (First Year and Senior
Year), and alumni mentorship focus groups. Moreover, in addition to providing directly for student career
and self-development, implementing Flight Ready strengthens the connections the institution has among
its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and employers,

Last Updated: 1/9/23