What is a QEP, and Why Has SMU Developed One?

What is a QEP, and Why Has SMU Developed One?
A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a strategic plan that SMU will develop to address, on a university-wide basis, a central theme (chosen by SMU) that will enhance SMUís educational mission in some area of student learning outcomes.

The immediate impetus for this QEP planning is that a QEP is a new requirement of the SACS reaccreditation process. But the QEP is not just a requirement for a plan that will look good on paper and then gather dust on a shelf. Rather, the QEP is a great opportunity for SMU to coalesce around a strategic plan for improving student learning. SMU will pick a topic that is the subject for our QEP; SMU will prepare a plan for implementing this; and SMU will support the plan with the resources and the infrastructure entailed by the plan.
Timing and Process
Other parts of this website will describe the QEP preparation process in more detail. Briefly, though, some key points are:
  • The QEP will need to be prepared by December 2010.

  • The process for selecting the topic of the QEP will take place roughly during the period from March of this year (2009) through the summer of 2009.

  • A Call for Topic Concept Papers will invite all faculty, students, and staff involved with learning outcomes to submit short papers describing possible topics. These Topic Concept Papers will then form the basis of a call for more detailed proposals.

  • After the topic is chosen, the planning and drafting process will take place from roughly the Fall of 2009 through the Fall of 2010, including planning for the resources and organization necessary for the QEPís success.

  • As prepared in December 2010, the QEP will include its topic, a plan of action, and full details about how the QEP will be supported and implemented. The actual implementation of the QEP takes place after December 2010, and will be assessed regularly, including 5 years later.
Who Picks the Subject of the QEP?
The topic for SMUís QEP should reflect the insights and input of the broad university community. The topic selection process will start with the Call for Topic Concept Papers, described elsewhere on this website. A QEP Steering Group will then issue a call for more formal proposals. The submission processes will be open to faculty, students, and staff engaged in student support and student services.