UT Dallas - Quality Enhancement Plan Development 2015-2018

Orbit: Keeping New Comets on Course

UT Dallas' 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 that 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 Electronic Resource
  • First-Time-In-College (FTIC) Student Engagement
  • New Transfer Student Engagement
  • New Graduate Student Engagement
  • New International Student Engagement

Earlier QEP Phases

QEP Meetings

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.

  • Full list of QEP Meetings

QEP Timeline

QEP Timeline
  • Fall 2015-early Spring 2016: Idea collection phase.
    We collected ideas from the UT Dallas campus community.
  • Spring 2016-early Fall 2016: Topic selection phase.
    The QEP Topic Selection Committee, comprised of a broad-based membership from across campus and the community, chose the QEP topic based on input from each member’s constituency, analysis of university data, and detailed proposal submissions.
  • Fall 2016: Internal proposal prepared by QEP Development & Implementation Committee for review by President Benson.
  • March 2017: Internal proposal approved by President Benson.
  • Spring 2017-Fall 2017: Pilot phase.
  • Spring 2018: Submission of plan to SACSCOC and reviewer visit.
  • Fall 2018: Year One of “Orbit: Keeping New Comets on Course” begins!

Who is involved?

  • Jessica C. Murphy, Dean of Undergraduate Education, 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).

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