Quality Enhancement: Not What You Might Think

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The Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) is an initiative that many of the students on the Jacksonville University campus need to know about, but few do.

Karen Jackson, Professor of Biology and Marine Science and the chair of the QEP board, explained the plan in a post on the Facebook page designed to spread the word.

“What is a Quality Enhancement Plan? The QEP is a required component of our reaccreditation process. Every 10 years we have to demonstrate to other colleges and universities that we meet the high standards required to produce quality graduates. The QEP is a plan designed to improve student learning. Our QEP is called ECHO.”

The theme, ECHO, was chosen to give the students the idea behind the campaign, which is to add a graduation requirement that will better prepare students for entering the workforce after receiving their degree.

“The idea is that you are doing something with your education,” said Jackson. “It’s about applying what you learned, finding answers that aren’t in the back of the textbook.”

During the reaccreditation process, there will be a few representatives who will make a site visit from March 5 through March 7, to determine the effectiveness of the program. The committee has been known to stop random students to ask them questions. Because of this, Jackson has plans to raise awareness and excitement of the program among the student body.

“The goal is to increase awareness and educate,” Jackson said at a meeting with several Deans of JU’s colleges.

The goal is to have students be knowledgeable about the program by knowing the core elements of the QEP.

Most importantly, the QEP establishes a three credit hour graduation requirement in experiential learning. This could be undergraduate research, independent study, departmental honors, a research-intensive course, internships, study abroad or student learning. This will be added as a graduation requirement for the 2013-2014 class catalog.

More information will be posted on the Facebook page in the coming weeks.

At the very least, students should be able to quote back the tagline for the program:

“Echo: Everything you do comes back to you.”

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