Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan?
The concept of quality enhancement is at the heart of the Commission's philosophy of accreditation. Each institution seeking reaffirmation of Accreditation is required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Engaging the wider academic community and addressing one or more issues that contribute to institutional improvement, the plan should be focused, succinct, and limited in length. The QEP describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning.
At the culmination of the QEP, the Commission on Colleges sends an on-site committee of professional peers to the campus to assess the educational strengths and weaknesses of the institution. The written report of the committee helps the institution improve its programs, refine its QEP, and also provides the basis on which the Commission decides to grant, continue, reaffirm, or withdraw accreditation. (http://www.sacscoc.org/genaccproc.asp)
Quality Enhancement Plan. The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) describes a course of action for enhancing educational quality. Core Requirement 2.12 requires that an institution develop an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan that focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning.
Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2 requires that the institution ensure that it has the capacity to implement and sustain the QEP, that a broad base of stakeholders was involved in the process, and that the QEP identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievements. Part IV of this handbook addresses the development of the QEP,
which is forwarded to the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee prior to its campus visit and to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees prior to action on the institution’s reaffirmation. (Handbook for Institutions Seeking SACS Reaffirmation, 2011).
While a “focus on student learning” is the broad expectation for the QEP, SACSCOC has also provided several specific expectations. Used appropriately, these expectations can certainly help narrow the focus in the selection of a QEP topic. Therefore, as the UHV community continues the process of selecting a topic, we keep in mind that SACSCOC evaluators will expect the QEP to:
a. Be directly related to institutional needs; that is, directly improve institutional/student performance (accomplishment of mission);
b. Be directly related to institutional strategic planning efforts;
c. Include detailed student learning outcomes tied directly to institutional needs;
d. Demonstrate a clear relationship between the activities of the QEP and the improvement of student learning, all tied to established institutional needs;
e. Include detailed budget/personal data that clearly defines the institution’s financial/human resource commitment to the success of the QEP;
f. Include a detailed timetable of year-to-year activities, expenditures, and assessments that clearly indicates the viability of the five-year plan;
g. Include documentation of broad-based input during development stage;
h. Directly involve all relevant constituencies in the plan’s implementation;
i. Include clearly stated goals that lead to specific measurable outcomes; and
j. Assess those outcomes through direct measures. (Carter, C. (2010). Focusing in on a QEP Topic. Angelo State University.)