George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

QEP – Quality Enhancement Plan

Submit Your Quality Enhancement Proposal

Upload your proposal and the required information in a Microsoft Word or PDF document to the secure portal.
Proposal submissions are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 16, 2019.

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.

Guidance and Details on the Process

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.

What if I have an idea for a topic? What’s the process and timeline?

  • If you have an idea, prepare a topic proposal. Mason encourages all members of the campus community to propose topics for the QEP.
  • Proposals were due Monday, December 16, 2019.
  • The SACSCOC Leadership Team will review all proposals in early January and will invite selected teams to provide greater detail for campus-wide conversation and review during the spring semester
    • The SACSCOC Leadership Team includes:
      • 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
  • Please note that we may combine teams that present related topics.
  • The final topic will be chosen by the end of the spring semester.
  • 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.

What should be included in my topic proposal?

  • 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

  1. 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?
  1. 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.
  1. Who?: What constituencies does this QEP intend to reach? Who will be impacted by this QEP?
  1. 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?
  2. 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?
Visual description of the process is fully detailed in the included text on this page

Click the diagram for a larger view

QEP Resources from SACSCOC


  • Resource Manual for the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation (see page 64)
    • Provides key points to consider for an institution’s preparation of a QEP