2022 Quality Enhancement Plan
What is the QEP?The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a component of the accreditation process that reflects and affirms the commitment of an accredited institution of higher education to the enhancement of student learning. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires member institutions seeking reaffirmation of accreditation to develop a QEP. This requirement launches a process that facilitates the development and/or modification of creative, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences for students. SACSCOC defines a QEP as follows: The QEP describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses an identified element from within the institution's comprehensive planning process that focuses on continuous improvement regarding student learning outcomes and/or student success. (Resource Manual for the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, 2018).
- QEP Progress Report - August 10, 2020
- QEP Development Committee Orientation - September 3, 2020
- QEP Program Logic Model
The QEP describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses an identified element from within the institution's comprehensive planning process that focuses on continuous improvement regarding student learning outcomes and/or student success. The QEP should not be considered as something to be "bolted on" the planning process, but instead, something that arises from that process.
Broad-based support of institutional constituencies
Generally, this element of the QEP can be established by demonstrating that the comprehensive planning and evaluation process itself has this element. In any event, the chosen QEP topic should have this characteristic. Since most comprehensive planning and evaluation processes will have multiple potential QEP topics embedded within the strategic plan, the decision to "pick one" should have the broad support of appropriate constituencies. Similarly, the institution should demonstrate that this broad involvement also is being carried over into the implementation strategies as the QEP proceeds.
Focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success
Student learning is defined broadly in the context of the QEP as enhancing student knowledge, skills, behaviors, and/or values. Student success is also defined broadly as improvements in crucial student outcomes such as student retention, completion, or time-to-degree. While the potential topics cover a comprehensive range of options, the chosen QEP should be specific as to what its goals are, and why those goals are essential to the institutional mission.
Commits resources to initiate, implement and complete the QEP
Resources should be interpreted more broadly than just direct monetary expenditures. There is no obligation for a specific advance monetary commitment for the QEP. Instead, the QEP should identify the realistic resources, including personnel, needed for successful implementation and should explain how the institution will marshal these resources. Depending on whether the QEP project is a new initiative, this may be both forward and backward-looking, and the case for a commitment of resources may build upon previous successful implementation of similar activities. Because the QEP is a demonstration of continuous improvement at the institution, however, there should be clarity as to future plans related to the chosen topic. In most cases, QEP efforts are not formally "completed." If successful, the QEP becomes an ingrained part of the institution's activities and culture.
Includes a plan to assess achievement
The institution may well have process outcomes for past and present initiation phases of the QEP, and that information would be a helpful part of the plan. However, this part of the standard refers specifically to the assessment of specific student learning and/or student success measures that the institution is addressing within the QEP topic. As mentioned above, if the QEP is seen as a continuous improvement activity of the institution, there is an expectation that there will be meaningful data regarding the achievements of the QEP available when the institution submits its Fifth-Year Interim Report.
Questions to Consider
- Has the institution identified and provided a clear and concise description of an important topic directly related to student learning and/or student success?
- What are the specific goals of the QEP for the institution and its students?
- How does the QEP support the mission of the institution?
- What was the research-based process that led to this issue being within the institution's comprehensive planning and evaluation processes?
- What resources (personnel, financial, physical, academic, etc.) are necessary for the successful implementation of the QEP? Look both backward and forward, depending on where the institution is in its implementation.
- What assessment instruments or data are being/will be used to measure the achievement of the QEP's goals?
- How is/will the progress of the QEP be monitored (timelines, administration, and oversight of its implementation by qualified individuals, etc.)?
- How will the institution ensure adequate resources and sufficient expertise and experience to guide the implementation and continuation or completion of the project?
- Who are the affected constituencies, and how have they been involved in developing the QEP?
- The QEP topic grew from a five-month comprehensive and systematic planning process in which the College's broad constituency—faculty, staff, students, and administrators – engaged in focus groups, listening sessions, and surveys.
- Identification of the topic started with the QEP Topic Selection Committee, which solicited ideas and proposed topics, narrowing the topic to an overall QEP objective and a framework of student learning outcomes that focuses on integrated academic advising and career development as a strategy to improve student success.
- A review of existing practices, empirical data from campus assessments, and best practices served as a foundation for the development of the plan.
The TSC recommends that the College proceed with the development and implementation of a QEP anchored in the proposal entitled, COMPASS: Integrated Career and Academic Planning.
- The topic is at core of the College's mission to create an environment that supports student learning by engaging students in developing a plan for the successful completion of their academic and career goals.
- The topic intends to improve student retention and graduation rates while creating an environment that supports student growth and development through integrated academic advising and career development, helping our students succeed academically and aligning their goals with a career path.
|Jennifer Hatchel, Chair||Camden Center|
|Scott Argo||Student Affairs & Enrollment Management|
|Lily Heidger||Student Government Association|
|Yi Hua||Institutional Effectiveness|
|Andrea Kwasny||Arts & Sciences|
|Patricia Morris||Academic Advising|
|Matthew Mosley||Business & Public Affairs|
|Lorraine Moyer||Business Affairs|
|Maryanne Sandberg||Nursing & Health Sciences|
|Brian Weese||Career Services|
|Jim Lynch, ex officio||SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison|
With the QEP topic selected, the QEP Development Committee, representing a cross-section of constituent groups related to the selected QEP topic, are charged with developing the Quality Enhancement Plan. The Committee has the following responsibilities:
- Ensure the QEP topic is grounded in relevant research and best practices
- Oversee development of instructional/support services infrastructure to bring about the desired student learning outcomes and operationalize the QEP
- Review integrated career development and academic advising approaches from which to base action strategies
- Develop an assessment plan related to QEP implementation
- Examine existing and projected College financial, physical, and human resources to determine how to develop, implement, and sustain the QEP
- Identify an administrative structure for the ongoing operation of the QEP over a five-year period
- Ensure that all campus stakeholders on the Brunswick campus and Camden Center know and understand the purpose of the QEP
- Prepare QEP for submission in September 2021
The work of the QEP Development Committee will be supported by subcommittees to include external Committee participants with appropriate expertise, focusing on particular aspects of the planning and development process; for example, one group will conduct the literature review, another will flesh out the strategies for marketing the QEP, a third will develop the assessment plan, a fourth will detail the budget, a fifth will work on researching and recommending programs that will support the plan. The last will focus on preparing and drafting the final document.
An outside, subject matter QEP Lead Evaluator will need to be identified and approved by SACSCOC.
This subcommittee will research the selected topic and review best practices to provide evidence of careful analysis of the context in which the goals will be implemented. This is an opportunity to build a broad base of support for the QEP by engaging a wide range of colleagues in the development of executive summaries of the items on the bibliography.
- Identify critical concepts and best practices to inform the development and implementation plan for the QEP topic
- Keep meeting minutes, procedural notes, etc. of subcommittee actions
- Assemble/summarize research articles, data summaries, accounts of best practices, and other sources of information related to the chosen QEP topic
- Contact experts in the chosen QEP topic to discuss emerging trends or other subjects that may not be available in archived sources
- Write a complete literature review of the QEP topic and submit to the QEP core development committee for review and approval;
- Undertake revision work as requested by the Committee
- Make a recommendation for the QEP Lead Evaluator.
Curricular & Co-Curricular
This subcommittee will focus on researching and identifying activities to be implemented both on- and off-campus to bring about the desired enhancement of student learning/success.
- Establish need and program potential from which to base planned activities
- Develop training for faculty and staff as part of the implementation process
- Recommend appropriate strategies, evaluation and identification of related student learning outcomes, resource needs, and other related career development and academic advising support services strategies/interventions to operationalize the QEP.
Budget & Resources
This subcommittee will develop estimation for the financial, physical, and human resources necessary for developing, implementing, and sustaining the QEP.
- Developing a plan outlining the estimated financial, physical, and human resources necessary for developing, implementing, and sustaining the plan is critical.
- Identify and articulate resource needs (staffing, space, equipment, etc.) associated with QEP implementation
- Identify and articulate an administrative structure for the implementation and ongoing operation of the QEP
- Submit a complete implementation plan to QEP Development Committee for review and approval
- Develop an implementation timeline that describes how the QEP will be rolled out in an orderly and manageable sequence
- Identify and articulate all possible ramifications of QEP, including modifications to policies and procedures, adjustments to faculty loads, reallocations of funds, development of a support infrastructure, etc.
Marketing & Communication
This subcommittee will make sure that all campus stakeholders on the Brunswick campus and Camden Center knows and understands the purpose of the QEP.
- Develop strategies for promoting and advertising the selected QEP topic to the Mariner community
- Maintain QEP awareness on the Brunswick campus and Camden Center throughout the decennial review process;
- Create an informative College web page to share updates and information on the selected QEP topic
This subcommittee will be responsible for the development of the assessment tools, benchmarks and student learning outcomes of QEP. They will also assist with planning the assessment mechanism for reporting learning opportunities data each year, as well as the Annual Year-End Review and SACSCOC Impact Report.
- Revisit student learning goals outcomes
- Follow best practices in identifying, writing, and selecting learning outcomes that are appropriate to the QEP topic;
- Ensure that student learning outcomes are appropriately grounded in relevant scholarship and/or best practices
- Identify and articulate clear evaluation strategies designed to provide feedback to those with primary responsibility for implementing and sustaining the QEP
- Identify and articulate mechanisms for providing feedback to all relevant constituencies on the success of the QEP
- Identify methods and mechanisms for assessing student learning outcomes related to the QEP
- Submit a complete assessment plan to the QEP Development Committee for review and approval
- Submit to the Development Committee for review and approval a final set of learning outcomes to be included in the QEP
|Action Steps||Proposed Date|
|Approve QEP Topic Selection||August 2020|
|Establish QEP Development Committee||August 2020|
|Host Virtual Orientation Meeting||Fall 2020|
|Conduct Literature Review||Fall 2020|
|Revisit Student Learning Outcomes||Fall 2020|
|Identify Actions to be Implemented||Spring 2021|
|Establish Timeline for Implementation||Spring 2021|
|Identify Necessary Resources/Budget||Spring 2021|
|Develop Evaluation Plan||Spring 2021|
|Draft First Iteration||June 2021|
|Draft Second Iteration||July 2021|
|Seek QEP Final Draft Approval||August 2021|
|Submit the QEP to SACSCOC||September 2021|