The purpose of the Mississippi University for Women (MUW) QEP is to nurture intellectual curiosity in MUW students. The MUW QEP defines the intellectually-curious learner as one with a genuine desire for knowledge that leads to independent exploration. Intellectually-curious students find satisfaction in producing knowledge through active problem solving. Additionally, they understand the need for thorough analyses that result in distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information and that generate clearly-communicated solutions. In order to enhance the intellectual curiosity of MUW students, Think Outside the Books: Cultivating Intellectual Curiosity will implement Active Learning, Problem-Based Learning, and Inquiry-Based Learning (APIL) pedagogies to teach and reinforce the multiple learning skills needed to become an active learner.
The goals, objectives, student learning outcomes (SLOs), and benchmarks of the MUW QEP were developed as a result of baseline CLA+, NSSE, and Need for Cognition Scale (NCS) data on MUW students as well as information gathered from the MUW faculty during multiple listening sessions as the QEP was developed. Based on the information gathered, the following QEP overarching goals were established:
Goal 1: Increase student intellectual curiosity to improve student success.
Goal 2: Incorporate effective APIL strategies in MUW academic and co-curricular programs.
Goal 1 of the QEP includes three objectives and five SLOs. Goal 2 includes three objectives and five benchmarks (click here to view the goals and SLOs). The SLOs and benchmarks will be assessed at the university and program levels using direct and indirect assessment methods. The CLA+ Analysis and Problem Solving and Writing Effectiveness results, specific NSSE items, and the NCS results will be used as national standardized measures. Student Focus Groups and instruments developed at the program level will provide program-specific assessment information.
Implementation of the MUW QEP will occur by focusing on two colleges in year one of the QEP and two colleges in year two. APIL Specialists will be designated in each college and will serve to help identify and promote active learning strategies in the programs of their colleges. The QEP Team, which includes representatives from all campus constituencies, will be responsible for oversight of the QEP implementation. The QEP Team, along with the newly-established Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), will provide faculty development initiatives to enhance student engagement across campus.
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Basics
What is the QEP?
The QEP is a SACSCOC core requirement that aims to transform student learning on campus. Ultimately, selected project ideas will require fuller proposals, but in the initial stage the MUW QEP committee seeks a simple summary of your best ideas as to how to improve student learning. All QEP topics should be broad-based in that they engage the full university community and should be focused on student learning, and/or the student environment, and/or the university mission.
In other words, the QEP is an opportunity for every individual, student group, faculty teaching circle, etc., to voice their thoughts and ideas about how to improve learning on campus. The QEP committee takes a very broad view of student learning, and topics can include all manner of issues or ideas that relate to the student experience. From the orthodox to “outside the box,” all ideas are welcome. And all members of the campus community are encouraged to submit topics.
Core Requirement 2.12
"The institution has developed an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that includes an institutional process for identifying key issues emerging from institutional assessment and focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution."
Comprehensive Requirment 3.3.2
"The institution has developed a Quality Enhancement Plan that (1) demonstrates institutional capability for the initiation, implementation, and completion of the QEP; (2) includes broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and proposed implementation of the QEP; and (3) identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievement."
How SACSCOC defines QEP:
"The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) describes a course of action for enhancing educational quality. Core Requirement 2.12 requires that an institution develop an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan that focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning.
Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2 requires that the institution ensure that it has the capacity to implement and sustain the QEP, that a broad base of stakeholders was involved in the process, and that the QEP identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievements. Part IV of this handbook addresses the development of the QEP, which is forwarded to the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee prior to its campus visit and to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees prior to action on the institution’s reaffirmation."