The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

QEP committee works towards developing the ideal plan

Did you know that there is a committee, consisting of students, faculty and staff, that spend two years developing a plan to make your life better?

The time has come. Guilford College is part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Every 10 years, the schools overseen by SACS are due for reaffirmation of accreditation. A vital part of a school’s application for continued accreditation is the Quality Enhancement Plan. The development process of a new QEP has begun.

The QEP is the component of the accreditation process that reflects and affirms the commitment of SACS to the enhancement of quality and the proposition that student learning is at the heart of the mission of higher education.

Faculty and staff have been invited to submit possible ideas for what the new QEP will be. On Sept. 17, a forum was held in which community members met to discuss the 29 ideas that have been submitted.

Professor of Physics Steven Shapiro leads the QEP committee, which has begun developing a plan. Shapiro gave insight on the general criteria regarding what lies ahead for the QEP committee.

“This will be a plan that’s doable,” said Shapiro. “It will lead to enhanced student learning and line up with the mission of the college. It will be assessable and sustainable.”

Reaffirmation takes a long time and is a difficult process.

“The idea is that SACS cares that you are taking steps to improve,” said Shapiro. “They care that the educational experience is always being improved.”

Shapiro is not the only one who expresses passion for the development of a new QEP.

“It is important to me because it could be an opportunity to coordinate and strengthen the educational experiences of our students,” said Professor of Political Science and QEP committee member George Guo.

One of the most important aspects of the plan is that it needs to have data to assess it. In other words, the improvement must be measurable.

The committee has decided that the QEP will be something that is beneficial to not only students and faculty, but also expand to include Greensboro. Guilford College prides itself as being active in the greater community in terms of internships and community service.

“Whatever plan we come up with, we need to make sure we have been in contact with all of these constituencies,” said Shapiro.

There are six categories of proposed topics in which the QEP might qualify. These categories are literacy, learning/teaching modalities, thinking and communication skills, principled problem solving, wellness and entrepreneurship.

The categories were developed around the 29 proposed ideas that were submitted. Such ideas include implementing universal design for learning, developing information literacy as a state of mind and creating real world work opportunities for students.

Associate Professor of Business Betty Kane expressed her support for combining the QEP plan with the coming revision of the academic curriculum.

“I’m sort of a big dreamer, a big picture kind of person,” said Kane. “So I was thinking, what better way to bring unity to our community around this vision of what a practical liberal arts curriculum looks like.”

Junior Will Whealdon expressed his anticipation for the new QEP.

“I’m excited to see which of the proposed ideas gets picked and what kind of tangible affect we are going to see,” said Whealdon.

What the school is going through at this juncture is unique in that it occurs once every 10 years. According to Shapiro, disaccreditation, while a possibility, is highly unlikely. Last time, with a QEP focused on writing through the disciplines, Guilford distinguished itself with high marks, and reaccreditation.

This process moves forward with continued feedback and more community discussion. A proposal for consideration should be ready by December 2014. It should take a year to then flesh out the idea and make it presentable to the faculty, who, it is hoped, will then approve it by May 2016.

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