The selection committee for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is pleased to present the 7 pre-proposal finalists. Members of the UMHB family, including faculty, staff and students, submitted a total of 36 pre-proposals. All 6 QEP themes were represented in the submissions. Using the pre-proposal scoring rubric, the committee selected 7 pre-proposal finalists. Each of the finalists was invited to submit a full proposal. Final proposals are due June 1, 2012, and a final selection for UMHB’s QEP will be announced in August 2012.
The QEP is a SACS requirement meant to encourage campuses to focus on improving the student learning environment. It must address measurable student learning outcomes. Selecting the UMHB7 was a difficult task and each represents a QEP that has the potential to:
- Address measurable student learning outcomes
- Implement a new endeavor or a significant extension of an ongoing effort
- Affect a generally large group of students
Abstracts of each are included below. Please visit the QEP webpage for more information!
Enhance Students’ Ability to Succeed Academically and Vocationally through an Information Literacy Course
One of the seven themes created from the results of the QEP survey was “Communication Effectiveness” with the learning outcome of enabling the UMHB student to “communicate effectively with written and oral skills.” I propose that the best way achieve that learning outcome and improve student learning here at UMHB would be through the offering of an information literacy (IL) course. While many students today have the skills to access multitudes of information, a majority lack the skills with which to organize and evaluate that information. An IL course would be the vital bridge between gathering that information, critically assessing it, and effectively communicating the purpose intended. Just as students need to learn proper reading, writing and speaking skills, they also need to learn proper research skills. An IL course would allow UMHB to offer a high quality education experience and allow students to succeed both academically and professionally.
Writing Intensive Program
Dr. Jacky Dumas
In order to meet the goals of our mission as well as address a lack of student preparedness, I propose that the Quality Enhancement Plan institute writing-intensive curricula supported by university-wide writing center. In this program, each student will take four writing intensive courses as a requirement to graduate. At least one of the courses must be at a 3000-level or above (preferably in their major). As a support, a Writing Center will not only provide equipment and resources to improve writing but also personnel who have expertise in various fields/disciplines. In conjunction with training faculty in best practices concerning writing and critical thinking, a Writing Center would also help design the Writing Intensive Program as well as spearhead a university-wide assessment in order to measure the effectiveness of the program. In conclusion, a University-wide writing curriculum supported by a Writing Center is imperative for improving student learning.
Kirk Fischer and Mindy Welch
Mastery exercises are assignments requiring students to demonstrate significant competence as defined by course-level student learning outcomes (SLOs). Mastery exercises address four objectives: (a) Some skills or knowledge are sufficiently important to require mastery – merely “passing” is insufficient and a disservice to the student. (b) Student performance on SLOs must be verified. (c) QEP implementation requires a bright-line mechanism to connect student work directly to course, department, and college objectives which are, in turn, driven by the university mission. (d) Students need unambiguous performance expectations communicated in a consistent manner across courses in their UMHB education. Departments are responsible for mastery exercise structure and measurement. Implementation is a natural extension of curriculum mapping and provides high-level course-content consistency across instructors without infringing on the academic freedom to deliver content using the instructor’s preferred tools and methods. The consistency benefit is particularly important when using adjunct instructors.
Communication for a Lifetime
Dr. Sharon Souter and Cody Henley
Communicating effectively is an essential skill for any person who wants to be successful in the professional world. This skill can be enhanced though education, practice, and critique. In the new core, UMHB students will take a public speaking course that will serve as the foundation for the development of communication skills. This proposal seeks to provide focus on the development of communication skills for students throughout their college experience. Courses focused on speaking would be a component of each student’s academic progress. In each course students would participate in oral presentations that will be recorded on video. Student’s performance files would be maintained to track the progress of their speaking ability. Other forums such as student life, ministry, and competitions would also be involved in broadening a student’s speaking opportunities. It will be encouraging for students to view their “first” speaking presentation compared to that in the final senior level capstone course.
Apple Carts for All
Dr. Judy Trotti
Mastery of technology is no longer an option for college graduates. In acknowledgement, UMHB professors should embed technology in instruction and promote its use in and outside the classroom. This pre-proposal suggests a two-prong approach for making technological tools available for students. Students can be allowed to check-out laptops through a system similar to a library book check-out. Second, while in class, students and professors can have access to iPads and laptops through a rolling Apple cart. Apple carts work as charging, storing, and work stations for iPads. Class sets of laptops should also be available for checkout by professors. Student technicians should be employed to maintain the iPads and laptops. A traveling technician is recommended for professors who work in field-based classes. Continued professional development should be provided, so that professors can be competent in the use and sharing of the most current technology applications.
Crusaders Can Write: Implementation of a Campus Writing Lab
Dr. Judy Trotti
Students enrolling at Mary Hardin-Baylor are required to submit a writing sample or score from college entry exams, but the scores are not used for remediation purposes. A writing lab could provide a proactive support for students who enter UMHB with a need for writing development. Weekly appointments should be mandatory for new students with a deficient score. The writing lab could assist other students who need assistance in writing as suggested by a professor or as deemed a need/desire by the student. This may include graduate students who need assistance with thesis and dissertation writing. The lab should be directed by an expert who supervises hiring of part-time staff. An expert should supervise the writing lab and be responsible for hiring part-time tutors who work one-on-one with students. Appropriate tools including technology applications should be available for tutors and students.
Successful Planning = Successful Students: Equipping Students with the Knowledge to Succeed
Elizabeth Webb and Debbie Beatty
Imagine a place on campus where a student could go and speak with someone about the pros and cons of a potential major, look into credits that may transfer into their potential new degree plan, and make their own unique plan for success. This same place on campus, another student could enter needing encouragement as they continue on a certain degree path and are having difficulties. Unfortunately today at UMHB, this place is not a reality. Students wishing to have guidance on a new major are required to see their current advisor for advice. This advisor may be knowledgeable yet cannot offer the expertise to someone interested in another major. The mission of an advising center will allow students to progress successfully from admissions to graduation, while experiencing the excitement and challenge of pursuing a college career at UMHB.