Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
Please note: Methodist University is in the process of developing the next QEP, and the first "QEP" has been rebranded as the Culture of Reading program.
What is a QEP?
As part of our reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Methodist University has developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). QEP projects are designed to focus on an aspect of student learning, must be campus-wide in scope, and involve students, faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators.
Methodist University has successfully completed our first QEP and submitted the impact report. The most successful parts of the program will be institutionalized.
History of the MU QEP
After consultation with students, staff, and alumni, the faculty of Methodist University voted in the fall of 2007 to adopt the following as our Quality Enhancement Plan:
The Methodist University QEP document was approved by the SACSCOC On-site Committee during its March 2009 visit to campus, and the program was implemented in August 2009. However, as the QEP is an evolving campus-wide initiative, we still welcome comments and suggestions. Please contact our QEP Director, Arleen Fields, at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact committee members at email@example.com.
If you don't have time to read our entire QEP document, you might want to read our QEP at a Glance document below.
QEP at a Glance
The selection of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) at Methodist University involved a lengthy, campus-wide dialogue about academic direction and change. It began as a disparate list of desired improvements solicited from and championed by individual faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Although initially an ambitiously inclusive but vague and incompletely articulated proposal, it finally emerged as a focused, widely supported, well-researched, well-funded, and accessible initiative to improve the reading skills of students by developing a campus-wide culture of reading.
Our plan to create a culture of reading centers on the course IDS 2100: Reading Circle. Students are encouraged to take IDS 2100 (which is a graduation requirement) in their freshman or sophomore year. Between twelve and twenty sections of the class are offered each semester (both face-to-face and online), each focusing on a different genre (mysteries, science fiction, self-help, etc.) or subject (baseball, women in sports, pirates, etc.) The object of these circles is to encourage students to read self-selected material outside of their assigned coursework.
Encouraging a Culture of Reading
Davis Memorial Library has created a collection of fiction and other popular works and sponsors numerous programs throughout the year related to reading for "fun." "Reading Nooks" have been established throughout the campus to create reading-friendly environments in academic, residential, and natural settings.
QEP on Facebook
For up-to-the-moment QEP news and happenings, please visit the QEP on Facebook.
The project, which has the slogan "Get Between the Covers," will be assessed both formally and informally at many levels, including the individual Reading Circles and student reading improvement and attitudinal changes. Instruments will include NSSE, Nelson-Denny, and the College Base, rubrics for assignments in FYS 1100 and the Reading Circles, as well as internally generated attitudinal questionnaires and surveys.
Mini-grants of up to $500 are offered to members of the campus community (faculty, staff, or students) to develop activities that encourage a culture of reading. Examples of projects which have been funded or could be funded include (but are certainly not limited to)
- incorporation of fiction reading alongside traditional textbooks in classes
- creation of READ posters featuring MU faculty, staff, and students
- presenting a speaker (for faculty or students) related to recreational reading
- establishment of "for fun" reading groups on campus
The possibilities are endless!
Proposals should be submitted to Eleanor Ninestein, chair of the QEP Development subcommittee. The subcommittee reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the full QEP committee as to which ones should be funded. After completing a project, faculty members will submit a short project report.
Becoming a Reading Circle (IDS 2100) Facilitator
Reading Circle facilitators are drawn from faculty and staff across campus. The eligibility requirements are simple:
- have an existing employment relationship with Methodist University
- possess a Master's degree or higher
- love to read, and be willing to share that passion with students
The interest form is e-mailed to faculty and staff every year in November.