Next week, MUW will host a campus visit by the Southern Association of College and School Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is the latest part of its reaccreditation process with the regional organization. Faculty and administration have been working hard for several years to submit documentation on behalf of the university, and the on-site visit is part of the process.
One new requirement in that process involves something called a QEP, which stands for Quality Enhancement Program. This is a five-year plan to improve some aspect of student learning.
MUW’s QEP has been in the planning for two-and-a-half years, and it should have a positive impact on both students and faculty.
The university’s QEP is titled “Think Outside the Books,” and it has been developed by a team consisting of faculty, staff and student representatives who will educate students on what the QEP has to offer them. This program has a certain criteria that will allow students the opportunity to understand how they learn and encourage them to discover their individual interests, whether in or out of the classroom.
Ideally, this plan will inspire students to be more self-motivated within the classroom. Some achievements that students can expect from this plan include increased undergraduate research opportunities, to increase critical thinking and communication skills and to explore other scenarios within the classroom.
“The QEP is a critical part of the W’s SACSCOC reaffirmation process,” said Dr. Mark Bean, the QEP director. “We want to help students understand how they learn, promote active learning, and support students as they pursue their intellectual interests.”
In order for the QEP to take action, some changes will have to be made on campus. A few alterations will be made to the freshman seminar course — UN101 — and a similar development will be made for transfer students. These changes will include the university’s Common Reading Initiative program, along with guest speakers and more hands-on material offered by the teachers.
“By encouraging student engagement and active leaning, we will encourage the development of self-motivated learners and students who produce knowledge rather than passively consume it,” Bean said.
For more information, you can visit www.muw.edu/curiosity.