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Quality Enhancement Plan

Development Process


The QEP Planning Committee was appointed on March 9, 2017, by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA), followed by an initial meeting on March 17, 2017. 

Committee membership was composed of faculty, staff, and students from those three colleges; representatives from the University Library and the Student Success Center (SSC); and a community representative. 

The AVPAA charged the committee with creating a proposal aligned with the university’s mission and vision statements and to determine ways ULM could cultivate and improve student learning. He suggested examining ULM’s practices and institutional data and using ULM’s Strategic Plan’s Guiding Principles of commitment, accountability, innovation, efficiency, collaboration, and achievement to develop a framework for the planning process. 

With this challenge in mind, the committee initiated a three-part approach toward selecting a topic: listening to constituents, examining institutional data, and creating sample proposals.

In order to listen to the concerns and ideas of constituents, the committee created a websiteThe site featured a “Give Us Your Ideas” button which directed visitors to a submission form. Visitors were able to select their constituent group (e.g., faculty, staff, student, alumni, or community) and then provide ideas and input. Providing one’s name and email was optional, thereby allowing constituents to make anonymous suggestions. The committee also organized and facilitated listening sessions for faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers, and community leaders. The purpose of the listening sessions was to offer stakeholders a venue for sharing and discussing ideas. The decision to use this approach was motivated by a desire to ensure that all constituent groups were afforded an opportunity to offer feedback and input in a process that would significantly impact them.  

To examine institutional data, a variety of data sets were requested from University Planning and Analysis (UPA) and the Office of Assessment and Evaluation for review by the committee. The information included student majors and success data, supplemental instruction data, and data related to ULM’s ongoing co-curricular initiatives that were relevant to the eventual choice of ULM’s QEP topic. 

The QEP Planning Committee then formed four subcommittees that were charged with creating highly detailed sample QEPs with the objective of developing the selected sample into ULM’s QEP. After lengthy brainstorming and planning sessions, the four sample proposals were developed and presented to the whole committee for discussion. 

After selecting a proposal, the committee began to analyze and re-evaluate to determine what should be discarded, what should be retained, and what needed to be adapted for a more effective, narrow, and manageable proposal. To guide this re-evaluation, the committee again reviewed the university’s mission and vision statements. Since the vision statement articulates the university’s focus on health sciences, this suggested that the first step in narrowing the proposal would be to concentrate on pre-health sciences majors. The committee also considered the concerns of the university’s constituents (e.g. employers and community leaders), who had argued for a proposal rich in essential skills, particularly critical thinking, which is essential across disciplines. This led to a generalized focus on critical thinking and metacognition in the sciences and pre-health sciences.