QEP – Quality Enhancement Plan
QEP Topic Selection Update
The Reaffirmation Leadership Team (RLT) is postponing a decision on Mason’s QEP topic until August 2020. Since the very start of the QEP Topic Proposal Selection, the Reaffirmation Leadership Team (RLT) has promoted engagement from and transparency with faculty and staff at each and every phase of this process. Our announced timeline for topic selection was early May. As you might imagine, the current COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected our academic landscape and university operations, now requiring us to spend additional time and effort assessing its effect on Mason’s strategic goals. In addition, with our incoming President -- Dr. Gregory Washington -- reporting on July 1, the RLT would like to provide additional time for the president to provide input on and support for the topic once chosen, all in keeping with the process we’ve adhered to thus far. The postponement will permit us to take all of the above mentioned into account. We are very grateful to those who proposed project topics, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we endeavor to complete this important phase of the process.
Click here to view the March 26, 2020 QEP Topic Presentations.
Top Proposals Selected
Click on the links below to view proposals presentations.
- “Undergraduate Learning Assistants as Leaders for Active Learning”
- “Strategic Skill Building: A Necessity for Graduate Student Professional Development and Career Readiness”
- “From Campus to Community: Cultivating Civically-Engaged Leaders”
- “Closing the Gap” [between learning outcomes and career readiness]
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?
Required in order to remain accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the QEP is five-year initiative that focuses on improving student learning and/or success. SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body of degree-granting higher education institutions in 11 southern states, from Texas to Florida and north to Kentucky and Virginia.
Why Do We Need a QEP?
- Developing and successfully executing a QEP is a required component of our reaffirmation of accreditation with SACSCOC, which occurs once every 10 years.
- For those who have participated in QEPs in the past (including Mason’s successful Students as Scholars QEP in 2011), it is important to know there have been some recent changes in SACSCOC’s expectations regarding the expectations and scope of the QEP.
- The QEP may outline a new initiative, or it may focus on something else that is already underway.
- The plan must be connected to the University’s mission and/or strategic plan.
- There must be measurable baseline data that informs the development of our plan, in other words, it must be “research-based process.”
What are the requirements of a QEP?
The QEP must be a project that:
- enhances student learning and/or student success;
- is related to the mission of the university;
- has broad-based institutional support;
- includes a commitment of appropriate resources; and
- has a plan for assessment
QEP Topic Selection Timeline
- Proposals were due December 16, 2019.
- Topic proposals were selected and the champions of the topics were notified in January 2020.
- Presentations of all four topics will be presented twice:
- Tuesday, March 17, 2020: 3:00 p.m., Merten Hall 1201
- Thursday, March 26, 2020: 12:00 p.m., Research Hall 163 (WebEx viewing will be available and a recording will be placed on this website afterward)
- Anticipated window for campus community input and ranking of topics: March 30 – April 17, 2020
- Anticipated announcement of selected QEP topic: late April-early May
- Following selection of the QEP topic, the University will establish a QEP Steering Committee to lead the preparation of the QEP for completion by the end of the Fall 2021 semester.
QEP Topic Selection Process
What should be included in topic proposals?
- A proposal should be fairly brief (no more than two pages, excluding cover page and references) and should address the key points/items/questions identified below.
- When developing ideas for a QEP topic proposal, it may be useful to think about Mason’s strengths and characteristics as an institution. Think about interdisciplinary/cross-curricular initiatives, the diversity of Mason’s student body, our reputation and status as a university for the world, our rapid growth and location in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, etc.
- Please note that at this point, we do not need a full proposal, but any viable topic should provide some basic information relating to each of the following:
Components of a QEP Topic Proposal
- Topic: Describe your Quality Enhancement Plan topic.
- Give your proposed topic a descriptive title, something that stands out and generates excitement.
- What is the single, overarching goal of this QEP topic? How does it connect to Mason’s strategic plan and/or mission?
- Champions of the Proposal: What faculty, staff, or students are supportive of this proposal? (We expect a team of at least three champions for any viable topic)
- Please give your name and MasonID, identifying yourself as the topic proposal’s “Lead Champion”
- Please list the names and MasonIDs for at least two other champions of your proposal.
- Who? What constituencies does this QEP intend to reach? Who will be impacted by this QEP?
- How? A successful QEP must “improve specific learning outcomes and/or student success.” In what way will this proposed project improve student learning or student success?
- Relevance: What existing institutional data supports your proposal? Is any additional data needed in order to make a case for this project to be considered viable?
- The website for Mason’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning may provide some useful and relevant data, depending on your topic.
SACSCOC Leadership Team
- Dr. Matthew Smith, Director of Accreditation
- Dr. Oscar Barton, SACSCOC Faculty Fellow
- Dr. Gesele Durham, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
- Dr. Kim Eby, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development
- Doug McKenna, University Registrar
- Dr. Janette Muir, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives and Services
- Dr. Bethany Usher, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
QEP Resources from SACSCOC
- Standard 7.2 “Quality Enhancement Plan” of the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation (see page 21)
- Resource Manual for the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation (see page 64)
- Provides key points to consider for an institution’s preparation of a QEP
- “QEP 101” Presentation by SACSCOC
- SACSCOC QEP Evaluation Rubric