Quality Enhancement Plan
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
Shaping Resilient Stingrays
Many adult learners are faced with pressures, struggles, and unique challenges as they navigate their educational pathway. Research and experience tell us that students are successful when they understand the depth and breadth of resources available to them. South University is committed to our students’ wellness as they navigate and shape their overall self-efficacy, thus fostering a healthy University.
The QEP goal is to Shape Resilient Stingrays and promote success by fostering the development of both educational resiliency and overall resilience. Where resilience is the process and outcome of successful adaptation to difficulty challenges, educational resilience is the heightened likelihood of success in school (and other life accomplishments), despite environmental adversities (Wang, et al., 1993).
The five components of resiliency include 1) Self-Care, 2) Purpose, 3) Mindfulness, 4) Positive Relationships, and 5) Self-Awareness. Webinars designed to promote the five components of resiliency will be introduced within UVC1000 and PSY1001 as an initial pilot. Students will be assessed on their perceived levels of resiliency in both courses. As students engage in these webinars, their resiliency will lead to greater persistence. Equally, as students realize higher levels of perceived resiliency they will also realize an increase in self-efficacy.
South University is committed to shaping resilient students beginning with first-year students through resilience webinars, laying the foundation for long-term impact of overall wellness available to all students.
M. Wang, G. Haertel, H. Walberg. (1994). Vie pédagogique. Formapex.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. This is the accreditation body for South University.
To gain or maintain accreditation with SACSCOC, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. The SACSCOC accreditation process helps institutions of higher learning set and maintain high academic standards, foster public confidence in the institution’s academic value, and establish eligibility for certain grants and federal aid programs.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation is a quality assurance program to inform students, the public, and other stakeholders that South University has met thresholds of performance on established criteria. Accreditation is affirmed through periodic review by peer evaluator teams and is important to affirm academic excellence and high standards of an institution to the public.
What is reaffirmation of accreditation?
Every ten years, colleges and universities accredited by SACSCOC must demonstrate that they comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation and with the policies and procedures. This process is called reaffirmation of accreditation.
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires each university to have a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) that was selected after a close examination of data about the institution and the student experience.
Developing a QEP as part of South University’s reaffirmation process is an opportunity for our institution to enhance our overall institutional quality by proposing a project that we believe will improve student learning and/or the learning environment and accomplish the mission of South University.
What are the criteria SACSCOC has provided that guides our QEP process?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges expect that in developing South University’s QEP, we are engaging the entire University community and addressing one or more issues that contribute to institutional improvement focused on student learning outcomes and/or student success.
There is an expectation that the plan is focused, concise, and limited in scope in order to allow the institution to implement, assess and complete an Impact Report on the project within 5 years. SACSCOC expects the University to create a project that will enhance learning for a meaningful number of students and to explain why the size of our chosen QEP population is “meaningful” or significant, given the context of our institution and our topic
How was the topic selected?
The topic of the QEP is determined through a multi-step process that involves a broad cross-section of the University’s faculty, staff, and students. The process began in the Fall of 2022 with the establishment of the QEP Discovery Team, and is being refined through a rigorous democratic process designed to ensure that the community within South University is supportive of the plan. The timeline for this process can be found below:
How will we know if the QEP is successful?
South University plans to use both indirect and direct measures, both qualitative and quantitative data, to assess the learning outcomes and benchmarks related to the overall plan and its goals where student learning and/or the learning environment improvement are concerned. Our approach will include scheduled formative assessment, allowing us to adjust implementation activities, timelines and assessment instruments, as necessary. In doing so, the University will employ a QEP Assessment Committee whose responsibility will be to regularly collect and evaluate information to determine the effectiveness of the final plan.
How will our institution pay for the cost of implementing this QEP?SACSCOC expects that South University will designate appropriate financial, physical, and human resources to implement, maintain, and evaluate the chosen QEP topic. South University will create a specific QEP budget that comes from a realistic assessment of what is possible and necessary. An itemized budget for our new QEP will be created as part of the full proposal to SACSCOC and a University QEP Budget Committee will be seated to manage the budgetary process.
QEP Discovery Team
Exploration of possible QEP topics
QEP topic survey sent to students, faculty and staff
QEP topic finalized and reviewed for assessment
QEP submitted and approved by University Executive Leadership Team
Sub-Committee work launched
Assessment committee launched
Summer – Fall 2023
Development of QEP
Implementation plans established
Winter 2024Pilot QEP rollout
Leadership & Committees
In the Fall of 2022, South University began the work on the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) by identifying the necessary committees for topic identification, development and implementation. To allow for continuity between the committees, representatives from the Discovery Team serve on each committee, with membership overlapping each group.
In the Fall of 2022, South University began the work on the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) by establishing the initial committee to begin the exploration of possible topics for consideration by the faculty, students and staff. This committee, call the Discovery Team, met throughout the Fall of 2023 to find topics that would support student success that also aligned with the University mission. This committee will remain with the project from Fall 2022 through the SACSCOC visit in March 2024. The Discovery Team includes:
Literature Review Committee
Once the final QEP topic was identified, the Literature Review team began researching related articles and measures of assessment. The articles will be turned over to the Assessment and Development teams for use in the QEP. The Literature Review Committee includes:
The Assessment Committee will work in collaboration with the Literature Review and Development and Implementation Committees to establish means of measuring the effectiveness of the QEP. This work will also include methods to attain needed data leading up to the 5-year report. The Assessment Committee includes:
Development and Implementation Committee
This committee is responsible for coming up with a plan for the QEP. It will establish a timeline and all the steps required to carry out the QEP. This committee will also establish the implementation plan along with means to measure and report on the results of the QEP that lead to the 5-year report. The Development and Implementation Committee includes:
Public Relations/Communications Committee
This committee is responsible for all communications to university constituents. The committee will also be responsible for socializing the QEP topic throughout the campus communities in various educational and engaging ways. The Communications Committee will work with the Campus Champions in distributing information as the QEP unfolds. The Communications Committee includes:
Topic Selection Considerations
The Discovery Team, composed of representatives of faculty, staff and administrators, identified three potential topics for the South University QEP. These topics were based on principles that contribute to student success and the University mission. After the topics were presented to University leadership, they were provided to all faculty, staff, students and alumni for ranking. The presented topics were:
- SAIL: Navigating the Student Academic Journey
- A Self-Directed Approach to Student Success
- Building a Culture of Wellness through Awareness & Advocacy
The Discovery Team reviewed the ranked choices and the survey comments, resulting with the final topic “Shaping Resilient Stingrays.” The survey rankings were very close and, therefore, provided an opportunity to integrate elements of each into the final QEP.