New ‘Quality Enhancement’ Director Promises to Continue Building Freshman Experience

Florida A&M’s Quality Enhancement Program has a new director. This change follows former director Maurice Edington’s recent appointment as interim dean of the College of Science and Technology.

Genyne Boston, an associate English professor, will take over the three-year-old program that aims to improve the freshman experience at FAMU.

Boston said she plans to continue programs that help first-year students build their thinking skills and transition more smoothly to college such as the summer-reading program and

First-Year Experience program that provides peer mentors to help new students. She also wants to continue efforts to train staff and faculty.

“The QEP has introduced various initiatives, both student and faculty centered, that have enhanced the quality of the FAMU academic experience,” Boston said.
QEP began in the fall of 2009 with the stated purpose to “improve freshman level student learning in the area of critical thinking.”

“As part of the FAMU QEP, course curricula will be redesigned to include explicit critical thinking instructional and learning objectives with corresponding assessment instruments,” according to FAMU’s QEP website.

She said not only will she continue to continue those initiatives, but concentrate on the new initiative, the new Teaching and Learning Center, which will offer “development opportunities to faculty.”

Desmond Stevens, an associate mathematics professor, was also named the QEP faculty development coordinator. He said he plans to work with FAMU instructors to include technology in their classrooms for enhanced learning at the university.

Faculty members who join QEP participate in workshops and training where they develop “active learning techniques” to make class sessions more interactive and to reduce lecture time and “scale up training” that gives students more control of their learning and faculty members facilitate.

“In a scale up classroom, professors work collaboratively sitting at round tables with about nine students. They have computers and white boards and what we call a ‘flip’ classroom,” Stevens said. “They’re many faculty members, like myself, who have been involved with that and it has completely changed the way I teach my courses.”

The new Teaching and Learning Center will offer faculty workshops and trainings to improve the learning experiences of FAMU students, Stevens said. He said he has gone through these faculty developments’ workshops and believes in them.

College of Science and Technology, which will host FAMU’s science, math and computer programs, is one of two new colleges sired in from the recent split of the College of Arts and Sciences. The other is the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

In the fall, the QEP office will relocate to the School of Business and Industry in the South Wing, Room 416.