1. What is UNT Career Connect? UNT Career Connect will engage students through action-based experiential learning in the context of communities - public or private sector - in order to develop communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. The plan strengthens UNT's commitment to educational excellence by allowing students to gain valuable career experience while learning. This is already being done in a number of ways at the university - including both curricular and co-curricular activities - but this plan will expand it to ensure that every student has the opportunity to connect their valuable learning experiences. The plan gives students more opportunities to interact with the surrounding community, solve problems and strengthen their critical thinking and communication skills. An exciting component of the QEP will be the use of an e-portfolio system that allows students to collect, connect, and showcase the evidence of learning from a student’s curricular AND co-curricular real-world experiences that build the skills. 
  2. What is SACSCOC? – The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It is the regional accrediting body for degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states of the U.S. Every 10 years, SACSCOC evaluates UNT on a variety of standards to reaffirm accreditation, as it does with all its participating institutions. You can find out more about UNT's process of reaffirmation on the UNT Roadmap to Reaffirmation website, http://reaffirmation.unt.edu/.
  3. What is accreditation? – Accreditation is a way to assure that an educational institution is offering a quality education. The process includes research-based evaluation of the institutions programs. SACSCOC lists the standards they require on their website,http://www.sacscoc.org/.  SACSCOC also requires a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
  4. Why is accreditation important? – Accreditation is one way in which UNT demonstrates quality to students, parents and the community. Accreditation is what the federal government uses to ensure that UNT is abiding by high institutional standards, which allows the university to participate in federal financial aid programs. Without accreditation, UNT could not accept financial aid as tuition payments from students. Accreditation also gives the university national recognition for the work faculty and staff members perform to keep the standards of education high.
  5. What are the SACSCOC requirements for the QEP? – There are five general requirements: 1. Be based on a well demonstrated institutional need, derived from data. 2. Focus on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning. The QEP topic(s) also must relate to and promote the institutional mission. 3. Demonstrate that the institution has the resources (financial, instructional or other) needed for the initiation, implementation and completion of the QEP. 4. Include broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and implementation of the QEP. 5. Have well defined goals and a plan to assess their achievement.
  6. If UNT has to prove there is a "well demonstrated institutional need, derived from data," where does the data come from? – The data comes from the university's Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. The staff members in this office provide accurate and reliable data in support of planning, policy making, academic assessment and program reviews in accordance with UNT's mission and strategic goals. Find out more about the data offered by IR&E at http://institutionalresearch.unt.edu.
  7. What is the purpose of the QEP? – The plan helps enhance student learning at UNT by identifying a need or an area that should be explored to help students achieve their educational goals.
  8. Who is responsible for the QEP process? - The 2016 working team includes:
  • Dr. Mike Simmons (Assistant Vice President, Academic Affairs) Co-chair
  • Dr. James Conover (Professor of Finance, UNT College of Business) Co-chair
  • Dr. Brian Lain (Assistant Professor, Communications Studies, College of Arts and Sciences) Co-chair
  • Dr. Traci Cihon (Assistant Professor, Behavior Analysis, College of Public Affairs and Community Service) Co-chair
  • Mr. Patrick Smith (Community representative, Director of Serve Denton)
  • Dr. Jean Keller (Professor, Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, College of Education)
  • Dr. Karen Anderson-Lain (Lecturer, Communication Studies)
  • Dr. Celia Williamson (Vice Provost for Transfer Articulation)
  • Ms. Courtney Banatoski (Director, PACE center)
  • Mr. Dan Naegeli (Executive Director, Career and Leadership Development)
  • Ms. Margarita Venegas (University Relations, Communication and Marketing)
  • Dr. Ron Carriveau (Assessment Specialist, Ctr.for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, Redesign)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Vogt (Director of University Accreditation)
  1. Does participation in the QEP really matter? – Yes. It is part of accreditation and required by SACSCOC. But, more than that, it offers the opportunity for a community-wide conversation among UNT students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of UNT. Everyone gets to voice their input about what UNT should do to enhance student learning.
  2. Why doesn't the president or Board of Regents just create a QEP? – SACSCOC requires university wide participation – the accrediting body specifically states that in order to comply with the QEP requirement, the plan must be derived from participation among all university constituents. The President, Provost and other university leadership is intimately involved in the process - just like the rest of the UNT community. Everyone's views about the QEP topic matter. This topic will have a lasting effect throughout the entire university.
  3. What is the level of faculty involvement in choosing the QEP? – Faculty members were invited to answer the initial question and have been represented in every phase of the process, including the selection and leadership working group.  Faculty will continue to be invited to give feedback as the pilot projects progress. Faculty members have co-chaired both the selection team and the ongoing leadership team. 
  4. What is the level of staff involvement in choosing the QEP? – Staff members were invited to answer the initial question and have been represented in every phase of the process, including the selection and leadership working group.  Staff will continue to be invited to give feedback as the pilot projects progress. Staff members have co-chaired both the selection team and the ongoing leadership team. 
  5. What is the level of student and alumni involvement in choosing the QEP? – Students and alumni were also invited to answer the initial question and continue to be involved in the process through consultation with student groups, meetings with faculty and classes, plus a number of student only focus groups.  Students were represented as members on the selection committee.
  6. When will the QEP topic be announced? The QEP topic was announced in October 2014. The chosen QEP is UNT Career Connect.
  7. What will become of other QEP suggestions that aren't picked for the topic?Good suggestions will not go to waste! It's hard to say right now how UNT will be able to use all of the suggestions. Some universities have been able to implement support programs in addition to their main QEP topic, but the leadership team will not know if that is a possibility until a budget for the chosen topic is complete. However, all ideas are being documented and evaluated. The ideas that most make sense for UNT's future will be passed along to the university administration.
  8. How can I offer feedback? Contact the QEP Interim Director or one of the co-facilitators, who are listed here.