Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

By requiring accredited institutions to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) the SACS Commission on Colleges (COC) emphasizes its commitment to advancing the quality of higher education. The QEP affirms the COC belief that student learning is central to the mission of all higher education institutions. According to the COC, “the QEP describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning. The QEP should be embedded within the institution’s ongoing integrated institution-wide planning and evaluation process.”

Delta State University has identified improving cultural competence as the QEP topic. While several themes received praise and attention, cultural competence distinguished itself as a timely and relevant topic. Improving cultural competency at Delta State will assist students in discovering and learning about other cultures; understanding cultural biases and differences; improving intercultural communication skills; developing empathic skills; and moving effectively within a globalized society. As the literature suggests, working in an increasingly multicultural society and global economy takes more than just simple interaction. Cultural competence is not innate and cannot be assumed; by taking full advantage of its location, rich history, and bountiful cultural resources, DSU plans to be proactive in improving its students’ worldview.

To achieve these goals, DSU’s QEP Team created three primary student learning outcomes:

1. Describe various aspects of cultural diversity.

2. Articulate a shared understanding and support of cross-cultural experiences.

3. Evaluate cultural perspectives with openness and respect.

 

 

Quality Enhancement Plan Leadership Team

Name Department Office/Unit
Edwin Craft (S) Finance & Administration Technology Services
Robin Boyles (S) Institutional Grants
Teresa Houston (S) Student Business Services
Ann Margaret Mullins (S) Student Affairs Student Financial Assistance
Richard Houston (S) Counseling Center And Student Health Services
Paul Hankins (F) Provost & Academic Affairs College of Arts & Sciences
Marilyn Shultz (F) Languages And Literature
Douglas Mark (F) Music
Leslie Fadiga-Stewart (F) Social Sciences/History
Scott Drury (F) Counselor Education and Psychology
Vicki Webster (F) Acc, Cis, Finance
Julie Speakes (F) Commercial Aviation
Rebecca Hochradel (F) Mgt/Mkt/Bus Adm
Jamye Long (F) Mgt/Mkt/Bus Adm
Temika Simmons (F) Counselor Education And Psychology
Vicki Hartley (F) Teacher Education, Leadership, And Research
Vicki Bingham (F) Robert E. Smith School Of Nursing
David Salinero (F) Library Services
Joi Phillips (F) Library Services
Beverly Moon (S) Institutional Research And Planning
Staff University Relations Communications And Marketing
Gary Bouse (S) Development Alumni-Foundation
John Cassibry (Stu) Student Body Student Body
Charles Barber (Stu) Student Body
(F, Faculty); (S, Staff); (Stu, Student)

Whereas the Compliance Certification Report provides a snapshot of past and present practices at the University, the Quality Enhancement Plan points to the future. SACS spells out the following expectations for an acceptable QEP:

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 Standard 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.

Frequently Asked Questions about the QEP

What is SACS?

SACS stands for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is the primary accrediting body for educational institutions in the southern United States and Latin America. Every ten years, educational institutions must reaffirm their accreditation status.

Accreditation ensures that DSU:

  • Has a mission appropriate to higher education
  • Has resources and programs that adhere to the stated mission
  • Maintains educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers
  • Adheres to standards of quality, effectiveness, and integrity

Part of the reaffirmation process includes the creation of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

What is the QEP?

The QEP is essentially a five-year action plan that:

  • Focuses on some aspect of enhancing student learning
  • Addresses a well-defined and focused topic
  • Creates an environment that supports the mission of the university
  • Becomes embedded in the institution’s long-term planning and evaluation

What are the steps to creating a successful QEP?

SACS has identified eight steps to creating a QEP:

1.       Select a Topic
2.       Research the Topic
3.       Define Student Learning Outcomes
4.       Identify Actions to be Implemented
5.       Establish a Timeline for Implementation
6.       Organize for Success
7.       Identify All Necessary Resources
8.       Create an Assessment Plan

 

What is DSU’s new QEP?

Delta State has selected improving cultural competency as the next QEP. The official title for the project is A World Class Experience: Improving Cultural Competency at Delta State. Being culturally competent will allow students to discover and learn about other cultures; understand cultural biases and differences; improve intercultural communication skills; and work effectively in today’s globalized society.

How will the QEP be implemented?

Over a five-year period beginning in fall 2014, several strategies will be used to incorporate cultural competence into 1) GST 100, 2) the general education curriculum, 3) many upper-level major courses in all degree programs, and 4) various extracurricular campus-wide events; this plan ensures that students will be exposed to the topic throughout their entire academic experience.

How will this plan be assessed?

Assessment is a necessary component of the QEP. To ensure that all goals and objectives are met, the QEP Team created three student learning outcomes that will be regularly assessed:

  • Describe various aspects of cultural diversity.
  • Articulate a shared understanding and support of cross-cultural experiences.
  • Evaluate cultural perspectives with openness and respect.

In addition to measuring these student learning outcomes, a number of other additional reports and surveys will be completed. They include the Freshmen Cultural Competence Survey, chairs’ Departmental QEP Reports, an annual QEP Survey for freshmen and seniors, and various other annual reviews.

How can you help?

Over the past two years, the entire campus has played a vital role in the development of A World Class Experience. Although the planning stages may be nearly complete, the QEP Advisory Group, in tandem with academic departments, will serve as the university’s mechanism for making any future changes to the plan. If you would like to serve on this group or simply provide advice or feedback, please contact Beverly Moon (bmoon@deltastate.edu) at 662-846-4700.

Where can I access more information?

Here are some useful links for more information on the QEP and SACS.

QEP Funding Request Form

This form is for Faculty/Staff/seeking sponsorship/co-sponsorship for campus events related to cultural topics.  Funding Request Form

 

QEP Course Documents

Outcome Tables

qep-upper-level-outcomes-table-fall-2016

qep-general-education-outcomes-table-fall-2016

Intercultural Rubric

aacus-intercultural-knowledge-and-competence-value-rubric-originalaacus-

intercultural-competence-and-knowledge-value-rubric-adapted

 

Recorded Webinars and Materials

Available Webinars:

·         Move Beyond Civility: How to Facilitate Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom
·         Working with Your Student Activists: Ways to Establish Inclusive Dialogue, Positive Relationships                      and a Safe Campus When Activism Arises
·         Racial Tensions on Campus: How to Overcome Resistance and Encourage Inclusivity on Your Campus
·         Racial Climate Programs: Campus Strategies
·         Microaggressions: Strategies to Improve Your Campus Climate and Community
·         Beyond LGBTQ: Supporting the Spectrum of Sexual and Gender Identities of Your Students                      
Classroom Resources

informeddiscussions-faculty-sample

informeddiscussions-studentguide-sample