Call for Topics

Overview and Questions

The QEP Topic Selection Task Force designed a multi-phase process for selection of the University's new QEP.  The first phase, the Call for Topics, invited all members of the university community (students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents, employers, and community members) to share topic suggestions through completion of a brief online form with the following questions:

  1. What student learning or student success topic do you think Southern Miss should focus on for its next QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan)?
  2. Please mark your classification or affiliation with Southern Miss.  You may mark more than one as applicable.  If faculty, please indicate your college.
  3. Please indicate your primary site/campus.
  4. If you are interested in submitting a brief proposal or collaborating with others regarding the same topic, please list your name and e-mail address below.  (Note: There is no obligation.  This will only be used to invite you to submit a proposal and/or work with others interested in the same topic.)

The Call for Topics was widely advertised through announcements by President Bennett, presentations by Task Force members to constituent groups, communication by the SGA President to student organization leaders, posters throughout the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses, the student newspaper, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Linked In), and direct email communication to alumni.  A complete list including dates is provided below.  
  1. Presentation to Faculty Senate - November 1, 2013
  2. Presentation to Academic Council - November 11, 2013
  3. Letter from President Bennett to University community - November 19, 2013
  4. Napkin Holders in Student Cafeteria (with QR code link to survey) - November 11 - December 13, 2013
  5. Posters in buildings on Hattiesburg and Gulf Park Campus - Throughout
  6. Presentation to College of Arts and Letters - November 19, 2013
  7. Presentation to College of Business - November 22, 2013
  8. Presentation to College of Education and Psychology - November 21, 2013
  9. Presentation to College of Health - November 21, 2013
  10. Presentation to College of Nursing - November 20, 2013
  11. Presentation to College of Science and Technology - November 14, 2013
  12. Presentation to University Libraries - November 2013
  13. Presentation to Division of Student Affairs - November 20, 2013
  14. Presentation to Enrollment Management Team - December 6, 2013
  15. Article in Student Printz (student newspaper) - November 25, 2013
  16. Advertisement in Student Printz - December 2, 2013
  17. Direct e-mail to Alumni Association members - November 25, 2013
  18. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Linked In - Throughout
  19. Letter from Student Government Association President Ann Marie Chilcutt to officers of all student organizations - November 25, 2013
  20. Weekly announcements in USM Mailout - throughout
  21. Direct e-mail to Gulf Coast Faculty
  22. Blackboard Announcement - December 3, 2013
  23. Eagle Vision - Throughout
  24. Link on main USM home page - Throughout
An example of the communication sent out during this phase is provided below:


Members of the Southern Miss Community,


Total Number of Topic Submissions

There were 636 topic submissions.
Top Categories from Call for Topics

The top ten categories from the Call for Topics were:
  1. Retention, graduation, and student success
  2. Experiential learning (student research, service learning, internships)
  3. Critical thinking and problem solving 
  4. Career preparation and professionalism
  5. Student health and well-being
  6. Advising and academic planning
  7. Tutoring, test-taking and time management
  8. Math, quantitative reasoning, and statistics
  9. Sustainability education
  10. Financial literacy and success; Global connections
Relationship to the University

Respondents were asked to identify their relationship(s) with the University as follows: undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty, staff, alumni, parent of USM student, community member, and/or employer of USM graduates.  Respondents could mark more than one and thus the totals add up to more than the total number of submissions.  The breakdown of respondents is listed below:
  • Undergraduate students - 160
  • Graduate students - 78
  • Alumni - 198
  • Faculty - 185
  • Staff - 106
  • Parent - 26
  • Employer - 11
  • Community member (and not one of the above) - 5
Faculty by College/Area

Faculty were asked to indicate their college.  A breakdown of the faculty respondents is provided below by college/area.  The percentage indicates the percentage of faculty survey respondents from each college.  For example, of the faculty responding to the survey, 29% were from the College of Arts and Letters.  
  • Arts and Letters (29%)
  • Business (7%)
  • Education and Psychology (14%)
  • Health (11%)
  • Nursing (7%)
  • Science and Technology 18%)
  • University Libraries (14%)
Names/Email Addresses

Of those responding, 299 included their names/email addresses as wanting to receive an invitation to submit a proposal and/or collaborate with others on a similar topic. An example of the communication sent out during this phase is provided below: