Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: This site is currently under construction.  

What is a QEP?

A QEP, or Quality Enhancement Plan, is a Core Requirement for reaffirmation of accreditation by SACSCOC to develop an action plan to improve an area of student learning or the student learning environment in a significant way.

What areas of student learning or the student learning environment have other institutions focused on in their QEPs?

Academic Advising/Planning
Citizenship
Core Curriculum
Critical Thinking
Ethics 
Experiential Learning 
Faculty-Student Interaction 
First Year Experience 
Global Learning 
Health
Learning Communities
Mathematics/Statistics
Oral Communication
Reading
Student Scholarship
Student Success
Sophomore Year
Written Communication 

What was the first QEP at Southern Miss?

The first QEP at Southern Miss was Finding a Voice: Improving Oral and Written Competencies and included creation of a Speaking Center, expansion of the Writing Center, strengthening faculty pedagogies, and improved assessment of oral and written learning.  Given USM's large transfer student population, the initial emphasis and point of assessment was on senior capstone courses; however, the QEP also included support and enhancement of first-year composition and of writing and speaking in the disciplines in lower-division and upper-division courses.  (Click here to learn more about the first QEP.)

Can the topic be the same as the first QEP?

"SACSCOC Executive Council considered the question about whether an institution can use facets of its previous QEP for its next reaffirmation review.  The Council determined that an institution could do so under the following conditions: The new QEP

  • should be derived from an assessment of its previous QEP,
  • have distinct goals and institutional outcomes from its first QEP, and
  • continue to focus on student learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning and quality enhancement."

How often does an institution identify a new QEP topic?

A new QEP is required with each decennial (ten-year) reaffirmation process.  (The report showing the impact of the QEP is due six years after the reaffirmation.)