By Austin Leonard
The QEP, or Quality Enhancement Plan, is an essential part of any university, and will lead students to a brighter future. The QEP at King specifically is focused on improving students’ writing. All QEPs at any university accredited by SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) are a requirement and must be carried out within five years of their creation. Currently our QEP is two years in and those involved, a large committee filled with a variety of people, will begin implementing the plan into classrooms and other various places. This plan will affect students only in the addition of a writing assessment at the beginning of freshman year and in various surveys. It should also be noted that various writing assistance and interventions will be available.
In a study by Penn State, 82% of employers list the ability to communicate effectively as very important. The QEP is designed to allow students to be as prepared as possible to enter the workforce with written communications skills as strong as possible. Starting next year, incoming freshman will take the ACORN which will assess their academic writing abilities. This assessment is the freshman equivalent of the OAK (Outcomes Assessment at King), which tests seniors’ knowledge prior to graduation. The results of these tests will, hopefully, show improvement in the quality of students’ academic writing over time.
“The QEP is run by a steering committee that reports directly to the President and his cabinet. All faculty participate in the QEP by implementing writing strategies in their courses,” says Dr. Alexander Brumlik, Assistant Professor of Economics and Director of the QEP, when asked who all is involved. “The steering committee is comprised of various constituents including vice presidents, students, librarians, teaching faculty, and other support staff,” adds Keri-Lynn Paulson, Interim Dean of Library Services. The steering committee is responsible for putting into motion the plan and improving it. However, almost all the faculty are involved in that they are now being required to report on writing skills and things they use to improve the writing skills of their students in their annual faculty self-evaluation. In addition, all classes will have a QEP tier (level) noted in the class’ syllabus which details how much writing will be done in those classes.
The QEP is a very important part of King and will impact students for the better. Students should be aware of the QEP so that they can make suggestions and provide feedback to those in the steering committee. If you would like to learn more about the QEP or provide feedback, please contact Dr. Alexander Brumlik (email@example.com) or Keri-Lynn Paulson (firstname.lastname@example.org).