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QEP team leaders welcome input

April 9, 2015

Dear UNT Community,

Thanks to your input and help, the university has begun to lay the groundwork for a plan that will enhance and expand our students' successes in the classroom and throughout their careers.

By now you have heard about this plan, the Quality Enhancement Plan, which is a requirement of UNT's reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. UNT will submit its QEP next year.

UNT's QEP is about engagement, which places students, faculty and communities in reciprocal partnerships that promote specific learning outcomes. This approach is interdisciplinary and integrates teaching, learning, research and service. Our QEP is based on the realistic assumption that UNT has hundreds of high-impact activities underway, but without cohesive organization, shared objectives and meaningful assessment, they lack the impact we seek.

The QEP chosen for UNT concentrates on problem-solving skills, communication and collaboration. UNT students participate in high-impact experiences every day – in classes and through their extra-curricular activities. For example, students learn teamwork skills in class projects as well as clubs or organizations. They build communication skills in research projects, study abroad and class projects. They solve problems using critical thinking in their classes, in their internships and with service learning. These are just a few examples of the experiences that build important skills. This comprehensive plan aims to enhance, assess and tie together these experiences so that students can know and demonstrate these important skills. This QEP will boost their academic experience and ensure our graduates remain highly sought after by employers.

Although UNT's SACSCOC review process for the QEP begins officially in March 2016, it is expected that we will have already begun our QEP efforts in pilot projects and small steps, and that by next year we will have a solid idea of our structure and budget going forward. Even though these "year zero" activities won't happen until fall 2015, there is much to be done now in setting the foundation for the campus-wide involvement and the eventual permanent structure of the QEP.

More than 40 UNT community members have been actively working to move the QEP process forward and will continue to be involved. As the QEP evolves, more permanent assignments will be needed, but for this phase we will continue to have volunteer faculty and staff team leaders to accomplish specific tasks. They are:

  • Mike Simmons, senior associate director of CLEAR, will lead a team responsible for outlining the infrastructure of the QEP and developing a way to assess the success of the plan. This team also will further explore the portfolio system that students will use to track their successes. Dr. Simmons also will continue to lead the QEP reaffirmation process until permanent structure and personnel are in place.
  • Dan Naegeli, executive director of career and leadership services, and Dr. Jean Keller, interim vice president for institutional equity and diversity, will lead a team responsible for understanding the current co-curricular activities that will be further developed or new activities that will be needed to ensure the success of the QEP and UNT students.
  • James Conover, professor of finance, insurance, real estate and law, will help coordinate and encourage faculty involvement. More than 30 UNT faculty members have actively collaborated in the creation of the QEP proposal and development and many have expressed interest in helping to further develop the curriculum supporting the QEP. For this phase, 10 faculty members will be active in the work of each team, and they will bring additional faculty into the process.
  • Margarita Venegas, interim news manager, will lead a team that will keep the university informed of the progress and work to ensure UNT community participation in the process of developing the QEP. The first goal of this team will be to identify an inclusive name for UNT's QEP – one that conveys the importance of the plan and reflects the commitment the university is making to enhancing student success.
  • Pat Smith, executive director of Serve Denton, and Dr. Celia Williamson, vice provost for transfer articulation, will lead a team that will collaborate with the university on the external partnerships that can be further developed or created to ensure the success of the QEP and UNT students.
  • A number of students have been active in the QEP development and selection process and the development of the proposals. Students will continue to serve on the various task teams to provide important feedback and guidance.

The team leaders welcome feedback and participation by students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. If you would like to participate in one of the teams listed, please contact Simmons at mike.simmons@unt.edu.

Together, we continue to make UNT strong!

Dr. Finley Graves
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Elizabeth With
Vice President for Student Affairs

Posted on: Thu 09 April 2015

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