Quality Enhancement Plan Primer

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 contributing to the improvement or even transformation of student learning.

What are the QEP goals?

  • Design a process and structure that offers students engaging, creative, and meaningful learning experiences around a particular topic and advances the institution
  • Define intended or desired learning outcomes, i.e., changes in knowledge, skills, or behaviors
  • Craft a plan to assess relevant student achievement & institutional attainment

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 plan
  • Demonstrate inclusion in ongoing, integrated, institution-wide planning and evaluation

What are some examples of QEPs?

UT’s last QEP focused on Signature Courses. Other institutions have tackled areas like the following:

  • Improving students’ information literacy skills
  • Enhancing communication skills for a global society
  • Building research skills among undergraduate students

How is the QEP developed?  

The institution charges a QEP Committee with writing the plan, which is much like a research proposal. Typically, the process includes:

  • Conducting an institutional assessment
  • Conducting a literature review
  • Conducting a needs assessment for professional development
  • Developing a detailed budget
  • Creating a rigorous assessment plan
  • Creating a marketing plan, including a Web presence

What does the QEP include?

The proposal is limited to 75 pages, plus an additional 25 pages of appendices. Its sections include:

  • Executive Summary (one page)
  • Process used to develop the QEP
  • Identification of the topic
  • Desired student learning outcomes
  • Literature review
  • Actions to be implemented
  • Timeline: a logical calendaring of all actions to be implemented
  • Organizational structure to support implementation
  • Resources required
  • Assessment plan
  • Appendices (optional)

How do SACSCOC reviewers evaluate the QEP?

  • Process:  plan 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:  detailed student learning outcomes tied directly to institutional needs. Clear relationship between QEP activities and improvement of student learning.
  • Capability:  detailed budget information; detailed job descriptions. Organizational structure shows clear reporting responsibilities and oversight. Detailed timetable with year by year activities, expenditures, and assessment.
  • Involvement:  selection process ensures input from all relevant constituencies in developing the plan. All relevant constituencies have direct involvement in implementation.
  • Assessment:  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 reports does SACSCOC require?

The institution submits a brief annual report with results of the QEP assessment. A comprehensive impact report is due at the end of the five-year project.