UT Tyler's Quality Enhancement Plan aims to improve "student success"

Liz Romo • Staff Writer

graph of QEP topic survey overall results
PowerPoint slide courtesy of Katie Stone and Dr. Lou Ann Berman.

The Quality Enhancement Plan, or the QEP, is part of university accreditation under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The goal is for the university, in this case UT Tyler, to be focused on continuous quality improvement at the institutional level.

The QEP is largely focused on a selected topic. Here at UT Tyler, the topic is real-world problem solving. Topic selection was a campus wide effort, where both students and faculty were actively involved in the process.

The topic selection survey was sent to students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders in October 2017.

“There was a survey sent out that included 20 possible topics and at first thought, there was the belief that there would be the need to do multiple surveys,” Assistant Vice President for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, Dr. Lou Ann Berman said.

Additionally, there were open response options to help identify other topics and gain more insight on their selections.

“However, there were three overarching responses from both faculty and students that included: internships, real-world problem solving, and the opportunity to engage and apply learning. Due to the pattern, no further surveys were needed.”

It is important to know about the QEP because every individual has the opportunity to help the decisions that are being made on campus.

“The QEP is really UT Tyler’s initiative to improve student success and student learning.” The Quality Enhancement Plan Director, Katie Stone said.

The process involves a five-year plan that is implemented after committee review.

Next March, there will be an external review committee composed of peers who are also from an accredited university visiting campus to help and review our QEP. The second day of their site visit is entirely dedicated to reviewing the QEP proposal.

If the committee approves the proposal with modifications done after the review, UT Tyler’s QEP will officially launch in the Fall of 2022.

However, the process doesn’t end there. The QEP is an ongoing improvement based on formative feedback, and Katie Stone, the QEP Director, will also be sharing annual reports on the state of the QEP.

Stone is also looking to create a QEP Steering Committee composed of students due to the QEP directly affecting the UT Tyler student population.

“Because the QEP serves undergraduate students, I am looking for broad [perspectives],” Stone said. “I would love to have every major, every college. There are ways to get involved if you are a master’s or a PhD student too.”

If you are interested in joining the QEP Steering Committee, please contact Katie Stone via email at kstone@uttyler.edu

Each college is also in the process of having their own QEP leadership team that will include students as well.

“Everything is about student learning, that is why we exist,” Berman said.

There is access to QEP Real World Problem Solving for your specific college at your fingertips. The Robert R. Muntz Library has established LibGuides that are specific to the QEP for each college.

Screenshot of the UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library LibGuides.
Screenshot of the UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library LibGuides.

The LibGuides are a place for students or faculty to post research articles specific to real world problem solving in their professions or disciplines. College specific QEP LibGuides can be accessed at libguides.uttyler.edu/QEP

These LibGuides help students find resources that are directly related to their major.

“We know students want relevance for their professional goals, [and] having a real-world problem-solving experience is a tangible way UT Tyler can provide that relevance,” Dr. Lou Ann Breman said. “The number one focus is quality. It is not that we are doing something, but how well we are doing it. For our students, our faculty, and for our whole community.”

“We want to be inclusive of all UT Tyler. We want to be inclusive of students enrolled in programs in Palestine, Longview, Houston, and students from the online program.”

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