QEP Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we developing a QEP?
There are two reasons. The most important reason is that it is an opportunity to enhance the quality and effectiveness of NTCC’s programs, by focusing on an issue or issues that we consider important to Student Success. The focus is on improving student learning. The second reason is that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), our regional accreditor, requires us to do so as part of the NTCC reaffirmation of accreditation (Core Requirement 7.2).
What is a QEP?
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes. It reflects and affirms a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the institution considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success.
A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue emerging from institutional assessment and evaluation. It focuses on enhancing student learning or student success, which is defined broadly in the context of the QEP and may address a wide range of topics or issues. In all cases, the goals and evaluation strategies must be clearly and directly linked to improving the quality of student learning or success and be consistent with our mission and Strategic Plan.
The QEP is a course of action that is specific to an institution and its mission. It is intended to be part of self-identified needs at a particular institution. It is an opportunity for an institution to be creative in an area related to compliance with the Principles. Therefore, although an institution may want to study QEPs completed by other institutions, an institution’s QEP should reflect the needs of the institution and be specific to its own comprehensive planning process.
Must the QEP affect every student?
What are the principal components of a QEP?
There are five principal components of a QEP according to the SACSCOC Standards of Accreditation, Core Requirement 7.2:
- Has a topic identified through it’s ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes
- Has broad-based support of institutional constituencies
- Focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success
- Commits resources to initiate, implement and complete the QEP
- Includes a plan to assess achievement
Additionally, we must develop goals/outcomes (at least some related to student learning/student success), measures of those outcomes, a literature review, and a budget.
What happens if the QEP does not meet the stated goals?
To be acceptable, we do not have to guarantee success at the time of submission. However, we do have to make the case that the QEP has a reasonable chance of succeeding in meeting the goals. We must demonstrate to the evaluators that NTCC has and is willing to commit sufficient resources (financial, human, and physical) to ensure a reasonable chance of meeting the goals. Pilot projects before full implementation is one way we can determine the potential success of the QEP.
Who will choose the topic?
There has been an appointed QEP Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has developed a detailed plan for choosing a topic that includes input from as wide an array of institutional stakeholders as possible. The campus will select one of the five topics proposed by the Steering Committee.
What are the five topics and how are the selected?
A survey will be sent to a broad base of constituents including students, faculty, staff, community members, administrators, board members, workforce representatives, etc. The top three themes will be selected based on the survey data. A call for topic proposals will then be sent out. The submitted proposals will be vetted based on a QEP rubric and five will be selected for further presentation. Based on review of the five presentations, a final QEP topic will be selected.
Who will be impacted by the QEP when it is implemented?
The student cohorts that are selected to participate in the QEP. Additionally, potential faculty teaching the course content and other academic/service support units will be directly impacted.
Who will implement the QEP?
The short answer is anyone involved in the academic/service mission.
A more nuanced answer is that the Steering Committee will develop a detailed plan for implementation, including (as needed) forming other committees or sub-committees to address specific tasks. The QEP will require that those involved in the academic/service programs be closely involved in development, implementation and assessment of the QEP.
What is the timeline for the QEP?
In early summer of 2022, we will submit our QEP to SACSCOC. During the fall 2022 On Site visit by the SACSCOC evaluators, the QEP will be reviewed by the entire committee led by the QEP Lead Evaluator. In late fall 2022, the SACSCOC Board will take final action on our reaffirmation of accreditation, including the acceptability of our QEP. The Steering Committee has developed a more detailed timeline of activities related to planning and implementing our QEP.
What are the steps taken to develop the QEP?
- Selecting a Topic
- Defining the Student Learning Outcomes
- Researching the Topic
- Identifying the Actions to be Implemented
- Establishing the Timeline for Implementation
- Organizing for Success
- Identifying Necessary Resources
- Assessing the Success of the QEP
- Preparing the QEP for submission