UT Dallas - Quality Enhancement Plan 2016

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

In the fall semester of 2015, The University of Texas at Dallas began soliciting ideas for our next Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as part of our reaffirmation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Through a robust selection process which included open-submission and focused-proposal periods, broad-based vetting of proposals to multiple campus constituency groups, and analysis of assessment data from both the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the UT Dallas Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis (OSPA), it became clear that increasing levels of students’ engagement in their first year at UT Dallas, as an evidence-based practice, would serve the purpose of improving retention rates and ultimately student success. With the expansive growth of the UT Dallas student population since 2005, there exists a recognized need to concentrate a focused effort on engagement initiatives and to ensure all new students are recipients of these efforts. Our campus has a number of ongoing and new initiatives focused on student engagement and success. UT System also shows a dedication to student success in Chancellor McRaven’s Quantum Leap 9, of which student engagement and students’ sense of belonging are crucial components. The expectation that all UT System campuses will commit to improving student engagement speaks to the abilities of UT Dallas to implement and sustain this QEP.

Phase III: QEP Development and Implementation Phase

In February 2017, President Richard C. Benson approved our plan to move forward with a Quality Enhancement Plan that focuses on all students in their first year at UT Dallas. Our draft plan is ambitious in that it hopes to improve student learning for specific target populations: new undergraduate first-time-in-college (FTIC) students, new undergraduate transfer students, new international students, and new graduate students. Through the work of the committees involved in phases one and two, we have identified a number of high-impact practices that specifically address the needs of these target populations. Our next step will be to develop and implement the interventions.

Some highlights from the new plan include:

  • New Student Engagement Board (NSEB)
  • New Student Web Portal
  • Service Learning and Intercultural Competence Faculty Development
  • First-Time-In-College (FTIC) Student Engagement
  • New Transfer Student Engagement
  • New Graduate Student Engagement
  • New International Student Engagement

Phase II: Topic Development

The QEP Topic Selection Committee determined the topic “First Year at UT Dallas” to be an appropriate fit for UT Dallas’ QEP based on the submitted proposals and the university data reviewed. In this next phase, the QEP Development Committee (comprised of individuals from across campus with specialties that align with the selected QEP topic), will determine the potential details of such a QEP and will develop a coherent and affordable plan for implementation.

Phase I: The Selection Process

We reached out to the UT Dallas community for ideas about how to improve student learning or the environment that supports student learning on campus. Our QEP Topic Selection Committee, which is comprised of faculty, students, and staff from across campus, identified the top five topics that emerged from the over two hundred submissions we received. The QEP Topic Selection Committee then reviewed detailed proposals related to the top five topics and university data to identify Students’ First Year at UT Dallas as the topic the QEP Development Committee should explore.

We have been reaching out to people across campus to discuss the QEP. Here you will find a running log of the meetings we have attended so far.

Name Date
Academic Council November 4, 2015
Student Government November 17, 2015
Faculty Senate November 18, 2015
Staff Council December 9, 2015
Student Government Academic Affairs Chair December 10, 2015
Wellness Program December 22, 2015
Academic Affairs Committee of Student Government January 26, 2016
UT PACT class officers January 27, 2016
Council on Undergraduate Education February 2, 2016
McDermott Scholars February 5, 2016
Lunch & Learn: SACSCOC Q&A February 5, 2016
Library February 12, 2016
Neuroscience Student Association February 17, 2016
Offices of Research and Undergraduate Education February 18, 2016
International Center February 19, 2016
Rainbow Guard February 19, 2016
Lunch & Learn: SACSCOC Q&A February 24, 2016
NSM, ECS, and BBS QEP Brainstorming Session February 25, 2016
EPPS, IS, and AH QEP Brainstorming Session February 26, 2016
JSOM and ATEC QEP Brainstorming Session March 2, 2016
QEP Topic Selection Committee March 21, 2016
QEP Topic Selection Committee April 6, 2016
Student Government April 19, 2016
Faculty Senate April 20, 2016
Committee on Educational Policy May 3, 2016
Staff Council May 11, 2016
Student Media May 26, 2016
QEP Topic Selection Committee June 7, 2016
QEP Topic Selection Committee July 26, 2016
Faculty Senate September 21, 2016
QEP Development and Implementation Committee September 27, 2016
Student Government October 4, 2016
QEP Development and Implementation Committee Task Two Group October 11, 2016
QEP Development and Implementation Committee Task Two Group October 25, 2016
QEP Development and Implementation Committee Task Three Group December 1, 2016
QEP Development and Implementation Committee Task Three Group December 8, 2016
QEP Development and Implementation Committee Task Three Group December 15, 2016

Questions about the QEP?

QEP Timeline

  • Fall 2015-early Spring 2016: Idea collection phase.
    During this time, we will be gathering your suggestions and identifying trends.
  • Spring 2016-early Fall 2016: Topic selection phase
    We will establish the QEP Topic Selection Committee, which will comprise a broad-based membership from across campus and the community. The QEP Topic Selection Committee will choose the QEP topic based on input from each member's constituency.
  • Fall 2016: Proposal phase.
    We will establish the QEP Development Committee to explore the programming associated with the selected topic.
  • Spring 2017-Fall 2017: Pilot phase
  • Spring 2018: Submission of plan to SACSCOC and reviewer visit.

Who is involved?

  • Jessica C. Murphy, Associate Professor of Literary Studies and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Co-Director
  • Amanda Smith, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students, QEP Co-Director
  • Ryan Dorman, Research Assistant
  • Serenity King, Assistant Provost for Policy and Program Coordination and SACSCOC Liaison
  • QEP Topic Selection Committee, made up of student, faculty, staff, and community representatives
  • QEP Development Committee, made up of student, faculty, staff, and community representatives
  • Everyone with an interest in improving student learning or the environment that supports student learning at The University of Texas at Dallas.

UT Dallas’ GEMS QEP (2008)

The University of Texas at Dallas: Gateways to Excellence in Math and Science (GEMS), 2008
GEMS was designed to improve the learning experiences of students taking “gateway” math and science courses, specifically chemistry and calculus, in and out of the classroom. To accomplish this, GEMS implemented curriculum redesign in math and science to ensure students were achieving learning outcomes, and established new methods of learning enhancement, which use peer and electronic instruction outside of classes (this is now the Student Success Center).