What is the QEP?
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a major, well-defined, evidence-based, five-year initiative focused on enhancing the student experience. The University submits a QEP Proposal in conjunction with its reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). UT Austin is in the reaffirmation class of 2018.
What are the QEP goals?
- Design and implement a process and structure that offers students engaging, creative, and meaningful learning experiences around a particular topic.
- Define intended or desired learning outcomes, i.e., changes in knowledge, skills, or behaviors.
- Craft a plan to assess relevant student achievement and institutional attainment of goals.
What are the QEP requirements?
The QEP should:
- emerge from an institutional assessment that solicits ideas from all constituents;
- stem from evidence of a demonstrated need or opportunity to improve learning;
- link to the University mission and strategic planning; and
- demonstrate inclusion in ongoing, integrated, institution-wide planning and evaluation.
How is the QEP developed?
The institution charges one or more QEP committees with developing the initiative. Typically, the process includes:
- conducting a thorough assessment of institutional goals and curricular and co-curricular programs;
- reviewing the literature and best practices;
- identifying a focused topic, including desired outcomes;
- clarifying potential structures;
- determining needed resources; and
- creating a rigorous assessment and evaluation plan.
What does the QEP Proposal include?
The proposal includes:
- executive summary;
- description of the process used to develop the QEP;
- explanation of the topic;
- desired outcomes;
- literature review;
- implementation plan, including timeline, organizational structure, and resources; and
- assessment plan.
How do SACSCOC reviewers evaluate the QEP?
- Process: Initiative is directly related to institutional planning efforts. Topic selection involves a process that generates information and specific ideas from a wide range of constituents. Selection of topic determined by representative and evidence-based process that considers institutional needs and viability of plan.
- Focus: Proposal has detailed student outcomes tied directly to institutional needs and distinguishes a clear relationship between QEP activities and improvement of the student experience.
- Capability: A proposed organizational structure shows clear reporting responsibilities and oversight. A detailed timetable outlines year by year activities, expenditures, and evaluation.
- Involvement: The selection process ensures input from all relevant constituencies in developing the plan. All relevant constituencies have direct involvement in QEP implementation.
- Assessment: The initiative’s goals are clearly stated and lead to specific, measurable learning outcomes. Assessment is based on clear outcomes; methods relate to outcomes and are direct measures.
What related reports does SACSCOC require?
The institution submits a brief annual report with results of QEP assessment. A comprehensive impact report is due at the end of the five-year project.