Friday, September 22, 2006

I'll show you my QEP, if you'll show me yours...

A QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan), for the blissfully uninitiated, is a required part of the reaccreditation process for those schools who are part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). To earn reaccreditation, colleges need to develop a program or focused course of action - preferably one that is tied to their institution's mission statement - that will enhance student learning. Some school's QEP's include - focusing more on student writing, helping students succeed in a global society, increasing student engagement in their learning, and improving faculty-student interaction.

I personally find the entire process irritating and would be overjoyed to leave the entire thing in the hands of the administration - only they would probably come up with a QEP that was so time consuming and paperwork driven that I'd be putting in 80 hours a week at the office instead of 60.

Nevertheless, I've quickly discovered that what most of my colleagues believe would really improve student learning is finding someway to make their discipline more important to the rest of the campus community. Economics Across the Curriculum, Biography Across the Curriculum, Biology Across the Curriculum - the answer to all our student's intellectual failings! I suppose that it shouldn't be surprising that most people believe that their discipline is essential to a well-rounded and informed student. But please show some restraint and be able to provide a justification that goes beyond that the student's in your upper division level classes really seem to benefit from similar endeavors.

Also, keep an open mind about my History Across the Curriculum QEP proposal.

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