Quality Enhancement Plan –
A Plan For Our Future
Developing a QEP as a part reaffirmation with COC/SACS is an opportunity for the institution to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue or issues the institution considers important to improving student learning. Responding to this requirement may also provide an incentive for focusing critical and creative energy.
Exploration of the institution’s culture, strategic planning, goals, mission, and assessment results is a good place to begin the search for an appropriate topic. Tapping into issues centered on student learning where shared interests, concerns, and aspirations have already surfaced or where data have already been collected and analyzed did prove fruitful.
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?
The Quality Enhancement Plan is the component of the accreditation process that reflects and affirms the commitment of the Commission on Colleges of SACS to the enhancement of the quality of higher education and to the proposition that student learning is at the heart of the mission of all institutions of higher learning.
While the Compliance Certification component of the accreditation process focuses on the past and the present, the QEP looks to the future. Core Requirement 2.12 requires an institution to develop a plan for increasing the effectiveness of some aspect of its educational program relating to student learning. The Commission on Colleges broadly defines student learning as changes in:
• knowledge • behaviors
• skills • values
Who is involved?
The development of a QEP that successfully addresses the quality of student learning requires a significant commitment from the institutional community. NGTC’s support of the Quality Enhancement Plan should be evident through:
- Consensus among key constituency groups that the QEP can result in significant, even transforming, improvements in the quality of student learning
- Broad-based institutional participation of all appropriate campus constituencies in the identification of the topic or issue to be addressed by the QEP
- Careful review of research and best practices related to the topic or issue
- Allocation of adequate human and financial resources to develop, implement, and sustain the QEP
- Implementation strategies that include a clear timeline and assignment of responsibilities
- A structure established for evaluating the extent to which the goals set for the plan are attained
What should the QEP include?
The QEP should be clear and succinct. The document should demonstrate how NGTC will initiate, implement, and complete the QEP. The document will include:
- Five year plan
- Topic linked to student learning
- Evidence of involvement from all stakeholders
- Well defined and measurable goals
- Literature review/documentation of research of best practices
- Timelines, budgets, personnel
- Evaluation plan
Steps in Developing the QEP:
- Selecting the Topic
- Defining the Student Learning Outcomes
- Researching the Topic
- Identifying the Actions to be Implemented
- Establishing the Timeline for Implementation
- Organizing for Success
- Identifying Necessary Resources
- Assessing the Success of the QEP
- Preparing the QEP for Submission to the COC
- Preparing the Impact Report
How is the topic for QEP chosen?
The QEP does not have to be a brand new idea. An institution may develop a plan that extends, modifies, redirects, or strengthens an improvement that is already underway. Another option would be to develop a QEP that has been in the planning stages prior to the beginning of preparations for reaffirmation.
Choosing the topic for QEP involves:
- Strategic Plan, Goals, Mission, Assessment
- Emerging / Critical Issues
- Data and research on best practices
- Participation of faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and the community at large
The chosen topic should impact as many students as possible but should also be focused, manageable, realistic, and measurable.