Emory prepares for QEP site visit

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | March 13, 2014

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Emory's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) "The Nature of Evidence" will be a key focus for representatives of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) during a campus site visit scheduled March 17-19.

The on-site review committee will spend the bulk of its time at Emory's main campus, meeting with students, faculty and administrators to discuss the QEP and plans for its implementation, says Center for Faculty Development and Excellence Director Pamela Scully, who chairs the QEP development committee.

Designed to improve an aspect of student learning or the environment for student success, the QEP is a mandatory component of the SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation process, which touches on all aspects of Emory's programs, services and facilities.

The QEP site visit caps nearly three years of university-wide planning and preparation, allowing "the team to look at what we've proposed and see if it fits with Emory as an institution," Scully says.

"Is it enhancing student learning in a way they'd expect at an institution of Emory's caliber? How will we assess what we're doing? Is it helping student learning? Does Emory have the capacity to implement it? What offices are involved?"

The QEP theme "The Nature of Evidence," selected following more than a year of campus-wide dialogue, "seeks to empower students as independent scholars capable of supporting arguments with different types of evidence," Scully explains.

"The Nature of Evidence" will focus on the first-year experience on Emory's main campus.

According to the site visit schedule, reviewers will:

  • Monday, March 17 — Visit Oxford College, returning to Emory's main campus to meet with campus administrators, associate deans council, and the QEP leadership team.
  • Tuesday, March 18 — Continue meetings with campus administrators, as needed; attend a presentation by QEP leadership outlining an overview of the plan; begin in-depth conversations about its major elements, including the plan's focus, assessment, institutional capacity for implementation, and campus involvement; attend a series of luncheons with Emory trustees, students, faculty, and campus personnel.
  • Wednesday, March 19 — Complete report; attend exit conference with key campus administrators.

The SACSCOC review process requires both an institutional self-study and an external peer review, which is being conducted by faculty members and top campus administrators at peer universities.

Following the site visit, the review team will submit a report to the SACSCOC; a copy will be sent to Emory a few months after the visit. The SACSCOC Board of Trustees will meet in December to take final action on Emory's reaffirmation.

 Although formal approval on the QEP will not occur until December, Emory officials should have a sense of the level of reviewer support for "The Nature of Evidence" before the team leaves campus, Scully says.

"If all goes well, our plan is to slowly set up a QEP office and begin doing some pilot programs in the 2014/2015 academic year," she adds, with full implementation scheduled to roll out over the next five years.

Visit to learn more about about Emory's QEP "The Nature of Evidence."