Development Steps

The SACSCOC Handbook for Institutions Seeking Reaffirmation suggests nine critical steps in the development of a QEP:

Step One: Selecting a Topic

(must involve widespread participation by all pertinent institutional constituent groups; should connect to key issues emerging from institutional assessment; relates to enhancing student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution)

Step Two: Defining the Student Learning Outcomes

(must be specific, focused, and measurable; SACSCOC defines student learning as changes in (1) knowledge, (2) skills, (3) behaviors, or (4) values.)

Step Three: Researching the Topic

(evidence of considering best practices related to the topic)

Step Four: Identifying the Actions to be Implemented

(evidence of careful analysis of institutional context in designing actions capable of generating the desired student learning outcomes)

Step Five: Establishing the Timeline for Implementation

(a logical calendar of all actions to be implemented)

Step Six: Organizing for Success

(clear lines of responsibility for implementation and sustainability)

Step Seven: Identifying Necessary Resources

(human, financial, and physical resources; including costs for any necessary faculty development, learning resources; needs to be sufficiently detailed; should identify the source of the funds)

Step Eight: Assessing the Success of the QEP

(need details: names of assessment instruments, timelines for their administration, processes for the review of the assessment results; multiple strategies, quantitative and qualitative, internal and external measures; valid and reliable; primary emphasis given to the impact of the QEP on the quality of student learning; comprehensive assessment plan should include a system for monitoring progress throughout the implementation and a process for using the results to improve student learning)

Step Nine:Preparing the QEP for Submission

(due four-six weeks prior to the on-site visit)