The Development Process of the Quality Enhancement Plan
From the beginning, UNT's QEP website detailed ways that the university community could get involved in the conversation about the plan.
The QEP Leadership Team also began to immediately connect with individuals and groups across campus. Following discussions across campus and a call for submissions in November 2013, the QEP Leadership Team received 300 responses from students, faculty and staff regarding what they would like to see as UNT's QEP. Team members sorted those into topic clusters.
Most of the responses were clustered around the following topics:
- Provide mentoring, internships, and real-world experiences
- Improve verbal and/or written communication skills
- Encourage higher order learning/critical thinking
- Enhance faculty/student collaboration (in research, creative endeavors, mentoring, etc)
- Increase service learning, community engagement projects to provide relevant, experiential opportunities for students
- Create engaged learning experiences, learner centered instruction, active learning experiences, inquiry based learning
These topics were also identified:
- Enhance online and technology enhanced learning
- Prepare global citizens – globalization/internationalization
- Provide more rigorous, holistic and relevant college preparation
- Create or reimagine physical and/or virtual collaborative learning environments
- Enhance leadership preparation
- Enhance student/student learning opportunities; Create collaborative learning environments
- Innovative and enhanced student support services
- Improve quantitative reasoning skills
- Enhance civic engagement activities of students
- Improve teaching
- Build learning communities
- Improve information literacy and/or fluency
- Enhance student learning through creativity and design
- Improve feedback and assessment related to attainment of student learning outcomes
- Improve information technology skills
- Reimagine the delivery and outcomes of the core objectives and/or the role of the UNT Core curriculum and/or discovery courses
In early spring 2014, the QEP Leadership Team again visited with student, faculty and staff groups to engage in discussions about these topic clusters to see which most interested the university community. A call for short proposal submissions was also made, with the team noting that the proposals must meet the criteria for a Quality Enhancement Plan, including:
- Be based on a well demonstrated institutional need, derived from data.
- Focus on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning. The QEP topic(s) also must relate to and promote the institutional mission.
- Demonstrate that the institution has the resources (financial, instructional or other) needed for the initiation, implementation and completion of the QEP.
- Include broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and implementation of the QEP.
- Have well defined goals and a plan to assess their achievement.
To help with the demonstration of an institutional need, derived from data, the QEP Leadership Team posted a Tool and Resources page with information (which can be seen at the bottom of this page) on Research and Information to help find appropriate data.
More than 40 short proposals were submitted. The QEP Leadership Team noticed that many of the 38 proposals that met the criteria for a university-wide QEP were similar. The team held a meeting to introduce the proposal writers to each other and allow them to work together if they so chose. Following that meeting, the QEP Leadership Team made a call for long proposals.
Five long proposals were submitted to the QEP Leadership Team by May 2014. Of these five, only four met the criteria for a Quality Enhancement Plan.
The full plans can be accessed by those who have a UNT EUID and password by clicking here.
The committees that developed these plans involved students, faculty and staff, who met throughout summer 2014 to outline, write and refine their proposals. Synopses of each of the four long proposals were also put on the QEP Tools and Resources page.
Each of the four groups also had students, faculty and staff participate in a video, which was created to help the UNT community understand their proposals. This video was shown at student, faculty and staff meetings, sent out on social media by the university and was prominently displayed on the homepage of the QEP's website.
To further ensure that the UNT community learned about the four proposals, each group participated in four presentations in September 2014. The final proposals were:
- Engaging the Global Generations: Bridging the Gap Between Preparedness and Global Citizenship
- Flight Path for Career Success
- Magnify UNT (Undergraduate Research)
- Soar Beyond the Classroom: Action-Based Learning in the Community
At these presentations, which saw several hundred audience members, students, faculty and staff were asked to rank the proposals using the following criteria:
- How well does the proposal address enhancing student learning?
- How well does the proposal address and important need at UNT?
- How well does the proposal support UNT's mission: "UNT is a major public research university deeply committed to advancing educational excellence and preparing students to be thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world."?
- How well does the proposal appear to involve all relevant organizations and individuals in the UNT community?
- How easy do you think it will be to implement the proposal?
UNT Career Connect chosen
Following the QEP Leadership Team's compilation of that feedback, as well as feedback from meetings with student, faculty and staff groups, President Neal Smatresk announced on Nov. 3, 2014, to the UNT community that UNT Career Connect was chosen as the university's QEP. The plan was previously called Soar Beyond the Classroom, but in working with more than 15 student focus groups as well as faculty and staff groups UNT Career Connect was chosen as the best representation of the ideas, concepts and practices of the QEP.