It stands for Quality Enhancement Plan.  This is now a required component of the SACS reaffirmation process, reflecting the commitment of the Commission on Colleges to reinforce the proposition that student learning be at the heart of the mission of all institutions of higher learning.  SACS has emphasized that

developing a QEP as a part of the reaffirmation process gives the institution a chance to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue or issues the institution considers important to improving student learning.  SACS has further stated that “responding to this reaffirmation requirement may also provide an impetus for focusing critical and creative energy.”

One point addressed in the QEP Handbook is that the development of a QEP is a major undertaking requiring a significant commitment from the whole institutional community. Some reaffirmed institutions have reported to SACS that they wish that they had realized earlier just how many people need to be involved in the development and implementation of the QEP plan.

To that end, we have established a clear timeline for the development of UMW’s QEP.  Additional details about the QEP process are located where you’ll fine the timeline.

It’s also clear from the experiences of other institutions that the amount of time required to develop the QEP can be easily underestimated, a mistake we will be careful to avoid making here.  Speaking of other institutions, examples of some recent QEPs at other SACS institutions may be seen here.

At this point, no decisions have been made other than the general timeline, and that a QEP Committee (with a Director) will be announced in May of this year.  That will start the process of reflection, examination, and decision-making leading us to the selection of a Quality Enhancement Plan that we want to see developed and implemented.

SACS reminds institutions that an effectively developed QEP should have consensus among key constituency groups that the plan, if implemented, can result in significant improvements in the quality of student learning. Furthermore, the plan should be clear, realistic, well organized, and supported with the resources needed to implement and sustain it.

That’s the general outline of the QEP task before us.  You’ll be hearing more details once our committee is named and the specific steps of our process are developed and announced.

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