What is the QEP?
The QEP, or the Quality Enhancement Plan, is a focused plan that engages the entire SUNO community on addressing a well-defined topic that contributes to institutional improvement through strengthening student learning. The five-year plan must be based on the scholarship and research around best educational practices, with clear outcomes for student learning and assessment. The plan will include resources for implementation; implementation of our QEP will begin fall 2011.
What is SUNO’s QEP topic and how was it selected?
Southern University at New Orleans’ topic is E-Focused! Enhancing Student Learning in Online Courses by Improving Institutional Readiness. The topic was chosen to enhance online learning for students early in the freshman and sophomore years.
Why does SUNO need a QEP?
SUNO is preparing for our 2011 reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In order to maintain the University’s accreditation, we must document that SUNO meets compliance standards. Part of that is developing a Quality Enhancement Plan, a five-year plan for enhancing student learning.
What steps are involved in the development of the QEP?
- Step 1: Select a topic
- Step 2: Define the student learning outcomes
- Step 3: Research the topic
- Step 4: Identify the actions
- Step 5: Establish the timeline
- Step 6: Organize
- Step 7: Identify resources
- Step 8: Evaluate success
- Step 9: Prepare for submission
- Step 10: Prepare the Impact Report
What will peer reviewers be looking for?
The criteria that SACS peer reviewers will be looking for when they visit our campus are:
- A clear focus on key issues related to student learning;
- Demonstrated institutional capacity to achieve our goals and succeed;
- A well-designed assessment plan;
- Evidence of broad-based involvement in the topic selection (emerging from institutional assessment, development, and implementation of the QEP)
How can you share your ideas?
Share your ideas for how best to foster a culture of scholarship and creative activity among students and faculty at SUNO, email Dr. Pamela Wanga at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What topics have been approved by SACS in the past?
Acceptable topics that have been approved by SACS in the past include curricular, pedagogical, faculty, and student services initiatives. Some examples:
- Course redesign for large classes
- Critical thinking across the curriculum
- Enhancing the first year experience
- Enhancing student engagement
- Information fluency
- Strengthening global competence
- Capstone seminars
- Campus conversation on ethics
- Ecology and community involvement
- Enhancing undergraduate scholarly inquiry
- Educating student leaders to make a difference
I’m a student who is interested in doing independent or faculty-mentored scholarly work! What should I do?
Most departments have a way to enroll students for credit for research projects, and some have paid positions as part of grant-funded research or funded projects.
The first thing to do is to talk to a professor whose work interests you. Then, make an appointment with him or her to express your interest in the work you would like to pursue. The faculty member may be able to arrange something with you directly, or may point you to a departmental program which offers opportunities for undergraduate scholarship.
Many departments also offer courses that are focused on allowing students to participate in scholarly activities, including research methods and group approaches to answering questions about the field. Ask your departmental advisor about these courses.