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QEP Cohort Program

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Application Information for QEP Cohort Program

What is the QEP Cohort Program?

This program provides staff with the opportunity to support Northeast State’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Northeast State Bear Strong: 
A Culture of Service Excellence

What are the goals of the program?

The program aims to prepare employees to:

  • Serve the needs of students
  • Empower students to make appropriate academic decisions

Employees will:

  • Expand personal knowledge of select Northeast State offices
  • Learn about best practices in customer service
  • Leverage their marketability for future positions

Who is invited to apply for the cohort program?

Full-time administrative and support staff.

How does an employee apply? 

  • Read, complete, and sign the application.
  • Obtain supervisory approval (through vice-president level or equivalent).  Supervisor(s) must read and sign the application. 
  • Submit application to Cindy Perry by September 2, 2022, as a priority deadline. Applications may be accepted after that date depending upon space availability.  You should route your application through the HelloSign system for the appropriate signatures.  (Check with your division office for any assistance needed.)

What are the selection processes/criteria for cohort members?

  • Competitive selection process, seeking broad-based participation of staff
  • Maximum of 16 cohort members selected annually
  • Support of employee’s supervisor(s) through vice-president level
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service excellence
  • Well-articulated desire to participate in the cohort program

What are the expectations for cohort members?

Participation in the cohort requires both time and effort, specifically: 

  • Completion of the Generalist Certification using Northeast State-specific training modules:
    • Admissions & Records
    • Advising
    • Financial Aid
    • Student-Focused Skills

Supervisors are encouraged to allow cohort members to work on modules during work hours, as time permits.

  • Participation in focus group meetings/discussions about applying customer service best practices at Northeast State. 
    • 5-7 sessions during the academic year
    • 1½ hours per session, approximately

Cohort members are expected to attend and participate, except in cases of emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflicts.

  • Professional development service requirements
    • 2 hours per week (average) in Bear Den service
    • On-ground Bear Den service preferred (Blountville, Kingsport, Johnson City, or Elizabethton).  Virtual Bear Den service may be an option at a later time.

Are cohort members compensated for participation in the program?

Cohort members are provided a nominal stipend of $200 upon successful completion of the year of service and program activities.  (Individuals who fail to meet service or program expectations will earn neither the certificate nor the stipend, but may reapply in subsequent years.)  Cohort members may elect (but are not required) to complete two credit-bearing courses toward the Sales and Customer Service Certificate.  Completion of both courses would make the employee eligible for an additional $100 stipend.

If I have questions about the cohort program, who can I ask?

If you need additional information, please contact Cindy Perry at or 423.354.5112.

Download the application:

QEP Cohort Application

Connect with Northeast State

Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.