[Status: DRAFT]

Dr. Steven Sheeley, Vice President, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Decatur, GA

ABSTRACT: This session will discuss components of an acceptable QEP as described in Core Requirement 2.12 and Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2 in the Principles of


  1. Presentation (pdf) (prezi)


This presentation was by far the most useful regarding the QEP, and you know I love a prezi.  Starting with the good news – Just about everything Dr. Sheeley advised we have done!

HOWEVER, he insisted that having some baseline measurement for your QEP outcomes is an absolute MUST! Not having baseline data may likely lead to a recommendation from your evaluators. He specifically gave an example of knowing how many QEP courses/experiences you have before you start AND knowing something about where you are on student learning before you start. This is a compelling reason to launch our inventory this spring. That way we’d be able to say to the review committee that even though we don’t have a baseline right now, we will have one by the time we implement.   I am also going to troll through the program/core assessments in Compliance Assist and see if there are any program or course-level measurements that will help us establish a baseline.

Some highlights, I took away from his talk …

  • The QEP is ACTION RESEARCH.  Propose your plan as a research question.  It is OK not to know how it will turn out.
  • Don’t use NSSE has a direct measure of learning – at best it is an affective measure of how the student feels about their experience at the moment they complete the survey.
  • The plan should demonstrate a commitment to quality AND student learning.
  • The plan should have a clear thesis early in the document
  • The plan should clearly define success
  • The plan should address what will be enhanced AND that should thread throughout the document.
  • Don’t overdo it on the literature review.  Use only literature that supports your thesis.  You do NOT have to prove your thesis is unique.
  • The goals and assessment MUST be strongly aligned with the thesis
  • You should have both baseline data and defined targets for your assessment
  • The data you gather should be authentic, appropriate.
  • The plan should include a mechanism for ensuring the data will be used formatively to adjust the plan based on what we learn.
  • The scope of the plan should be relatively narrow – resist the temptation to solve all the university’s ills with this plan.
  • The budget should demonstrate adequate human, financial and physical resources for success
  • Establish a mechanism for disseminating successes to the campus and community as the plan progresses – don’t do the work in a vacuum!
  • Look for existing aligned programs that can be enhanced (e.g, experiential transcript)
  • Think about advice you would like from the on-site team when they visit – look forward!

I’ve taken a stab at addressing some of these issues below:

ENHANCEMENT: We are enhancing student engagement in learning AND GC’s relationship with the community.

THESIS: We will improve student engagement by developing structured, assessable, community-based learning experiences in both academic and co-curricuar settings.

SUCCESS: Success of the QEP is defined by …

  • demonstrated gains in SLO’s measured by direct and indirect measures of learning.
  • demonstrated gains in outputs (numbers of C-bEL courses and c0-curricular experiences, volunteer hours connected to these experiences, increases in reported activity on the NSSE, numbers of programs and faculty engaged in C-bEL)

FORMATIVE PLAN:  Include a management plan for committee review of assessment results and recommendations to the director.



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