Office of SACS-Quality Enhancement Programs
As part of the Office of the Provost, the Office of SACS-Quality Enhancement Programs oversees the planning, implementation, and reporting of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan according to accreditation guidelines and requirements established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) and in collaboration with university governing bodies, faculty, staff, and students. The department serves as the administrative umbrella for the initiatives of the SACS-designated Quality Enhancement Plan. In addition, the department works with the Office of the Provost and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to ensure the University is in compliance with SACSCOC accreditation requirements.
Every ten years, as part of reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), The University of Southern Mississippi develops a new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an action plan to improve an area of student learning or the student learning environment in a significant way. The University of Southern Mississippi selected and designed Eagles Engaged: Enhancing Gateway and Pathway Experiences as its current Quality Enhancement Plan based on an institutional process drawing from broad-based involvement and evicence of need. In keeping with the University vision "to be a model student-centered public research university that prepares students to thrive in a global society," the mission of Eagles Engaged is to improve student success at two critical stages: gateways and pathways. Specifically, gateways are defined as historically difficult, high-enrollment courses foundational to the general education curriculum or to a major. Pathways, for the purposes of this QEP, are significant experiences connected to a student's post-graduation goals, such as internships, research, service-learning, or other fieldwork. More information is available in the QEP document.
The Impact Report for the University's first QEP, Finding a Voice: Improving Oral and Written Competencies, was submitted to SACSCOC in March 2012 as part of the Fifth-Year Interim Report. SACSCOC accepted the report, noting the University’s use of best practices in enhancing and assessing oral and written communications. More information about Finding a Voice is available via the links below, including the planning document and Impact Report.
To contact this office with questions or suggestions, please contact the director using the e-mail links and other information provided. We look forward to hearing from you!
Julie Howdeshell, Ph.D.
Director of Quality Enhancement
"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives." - Willa Foster
Documents and Presentation Slides from the 2006-2012 QEP, Finding a Voice: Improving Oral and Written Competencies
Concurrent Session Presented at the 2010 SACS Annual Meeting:
Assessing Faculty Development in Writing and Speaking (PDF of PowerPoint, 34 slides)
Concurrent Session Presented at the 2012 SACS Annual Meeting:
A QEP on Speaking and Writing: One Institution's Experience (PDF of PowerPoint, 36 slides)