UNT's QEP has been chosen!
Welcome to UNT’s Quality Enhancement Plan website.
On Nov. 3, 2014 President Neal Smatresk announced to the UNT community that Soar Beyond the Classroom has been chosen as the university's QEP. The QEP will engage students through action-based experiential learning in the context of communities - public or private sector - in order to develop communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. The plan strengthens UNT's commitment to educational excellence by allowing students to gain valuable career experience while learning. This is already being done in a number of ways at the university - including both curricular and co-curricular activities - but this plan will expand it to ensure that every student has the opportunity to connect their valuable learning experiences. The plan gives students more opportunities to interact with the surrounding community, solve problems and strengthen their critical thinking and communication skills. Our QEP will collect, assess and connect a student’s curricular AND co-curricular real-world experiences that build the skills.
In 2015, working groups of faculty, staff and students have been updating, improving and revising the initial proposal based on feedback and organizational information. The QEP is coming into sharper focus each week as more input is collected. For the fall of 2015, UNT will work with a number of pilot projects across the university to explore the basics aspects of the QEP (student participation, faculty participation, course redesign, co-curricular activities, assessment, community partnerships and e-portfolios). The pilot projects will guide the final development of the QEP plan, which will be complete by Thanksgiving.
Another important element of the process is the naming of the QEP. The evolving nature of the proposal and increased input from the campus community means that we need a strong identifying name for the project. To accomplish this we have worked with over 15 student focus groups, plus a number of faculty and staff groups in order to provide ideas and recommendations to UNT leadership.
Faculty, staff and students have been working together in 2015 to develop the implementation plan for the QEP, which will launch in 2016. To successfully launch the plan, UNT will need your continued input and participation, too!
If this is your first time here, you can find out more about the plan and the QEP Leadership Team on the About the QEP page.
For information on the QEP selection process and a look ahead and what's to come, visit the QEP Timeline page. A brief overview is also below.
What is the QEP and why is it important?
The Quality Enhancement Plan is an important part of UNT’s ten-year reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The QEP Leadership Team asked the UNT community for general topic ideas in fall 2013 and received 300 responses! These responses were formed into topic clusters by the QEP team. You can find the topic clusters here.
Next, the team made a Call for Short Proposals, as the university moves from brainstorming ways to enhance student learning toward finding a specific plan to implement. The QEP team reviewed 38 short proposals. Those that best adhered to accreditation requirements (see Other details about the QEP, below) advanced to the longer proposals stage.
From those longer proposals, four were chosen as finalists for what will become UNT's QEP. The writers of these proposals refined and expanded their proposals during summer 2014. These proposals include:
- Engaging the Global Generations: Bridging the Gap Between Preparedness and Global Citizenship.
- Soar Beyond the Classroom.
- FlightPath Career Success.
- Magnify UNT: Establishing a Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities.
Preliminary summaries and the full presentations of these proposals can be found on the QEP Tools and Resources page. The full QEP finalist proposals are open to viewing by UNT community members with valid user names and passwords. The full proposals can be found at the QEP finalist proposals link on the menu bar on the left. The presentations were part of university-wide discussions in September 2014.
UNT's QEP was chosen based on input from the UNT community (students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners), the projections for how it will enhance student learning at UNT based on documented needs at the university and its adherence to the accrediting body's requirements.
Other details about the QEP
The Quality Enhancement Plan (known as QEP) is a requirement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) reaffirmation of accreditation.
SACS COC mandates that the QEP demonstrate the following:
- Be based on a well demonstrated institutional need, derived from data.
- Focus on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning. The QEP topic(s) also must relate to and promote the institutional mission.
- Demonstrate that the institution has the resources (financial, instructional or other) needed for the initiation, implementation and completion of the QEP.
- Include broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and implementation of the QEP.
- Have well defined goals and a plan to assess their achievement.
What does that mean?
OK, let’s start with the basics.
SACS COC is the group that accredits UNT. In doing so, UNT is eligible to receive federal financial aid for tuition payment. The reaccreditation also proves that we continue to hold our university to the highest standards.
As part of the reaccreditation process, SACS COC requires the university to present a QEP - a forward looking proposal to innovate and enhance student learning.
What else is required?
Other requirements for the QEP include a plan that enhances student learning throughout the entire university. When UNT presents the QEP to the reaccreditation committee, we must be specific about how it will enhance student learning.
Also, the QEP has to be realistic. We will have to be able to afford to implement the plan, and it needs a clear topic and goals.
Can your input really make a difference?
SACS COC is very clear - every voice matters in this process. UNT views the QEP as a university-wide conversation that will include everyone because this plan, while focused on student learning, will have an impact across the university. The process has been slow and deliberate to make sure that interested voices could be heard.
You can help us spread the word about the QEP.
Now that the plan has been chosen, you can help us celebrate because we’ll not only be one step closer to reaccreditation, but we’ll have a plan that augments the high-quality education that UNT already offers.