Quality Enhancement Plan

FGCUScholars' Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) advanced the skills of writing, critical thinking, and information literacy within majors and thus created a culture of inquiry that begins in the first year with Composition and concluded in the senior year with the Capstone course.


"FGCU’s QEP, which ran from 2015-2020, has been an unmitigated success. We showed significant progress in every one of the program objectives. Students received instructions that developed their critical thinking, information literacy, and written communication skills throughout their college career. In addition, the QEP helped change the culture of the school in a fundamental way by continually increasing the number of students engaged in meaningful undergraduate research both within and beyond the classroom. In addition, we came to realize that research was not the end product or something that could only be undertaken by Honors students in their senior year. Instead, student research became a tool that we used to promote both skill and professional development for all students as well as the research agendas of the faculty. We also learned how important assessments can be when used to develop programming and guide curricular revisions. We now use the assessment for both reporting and instructional improvements. This was a small (and somewhat obvious) consideration, but this approach to assessments has increased ownership and participation."

-FGCU QEP Impact Report



  • Original QEP Proposal

Quality Enhancement Plan Archive 


This website and its associated pages document the creation of Florida Gulf Coast University's second Quality Enhancement Plan.


As part of the QEP, we have designated courses within the curriculum that explicitly teach writing, critical thinking, and information literacy. While most college courses reinforce the importance of writing, critical thinking and information literacy, courses that include this logo in the syllabus are committed explicitly to engaging these skills.

Scholar Courses

FGCUScholars Courses are designated in each degree program and the General Education Program.  The two types of designated courses in the majors are Scholarly-Enriched Courses and Scholarly-Focused Courses.  

  • Scholarly-Enriched Courses are designed to enhance student-learning of specific course content through the production of scholarly work that uses writing, critical thinking, and information literacy.  
  • Scholarly-Focused Courses are designed to teach students the skills that are fundamental to the production of scholarly work in the discipline, with specific emphasis on writing, critical thinking, and information literacy.

You can also search for these courses using FGCU's Course Schedule search tool.


Critical Thinking

At a time when society is bombarded with information from Internet sources like Wikipedia, from Twitter and Facebook, and from various blogs and media outlets, students must develop the ability to critically assess and differentiate mere opinion and belief from sound, evidence-based knowledge and reasoning. Critical thinking is a skill that not only allows students to develop well-informed opinions, make intelligent decisions, and identify the best course of action in various situations in life, but it also enables students to recognize faulty or manipulative reasoning in others. Moreover, it is a skill that is common to all academic disciplines—from mathematics, business, and philosophy, to physics, history, and literature—insofar as the core concern is to identify and question various uncritical assumptions and recognize how knowledge in that particular discipline is understood and interpreted as being legitimate (Maki, 2004; Brookfield, 2012).

  • Why Think?

  • Critical Thinking in Composition

  • Business Critical Thinking

  • Engineering Critical Thinking

  • Education Critical Thinking

  • Health Profession and Social Work Critical Thinking

  • Humanities Critical Thinking

  • Science Critical Thinking

  • Social Science Critical Thinking

  • Visual and Performing Arts Critical Thinking

Written Communication

Writing is crucial to learning, not just in the writing classroom, but in all classrooms. Ideally, writing must be sustained throughout the curriculum for students to sufficiently develop their skills. According to Tim N. Taylor and Greg Peterson, “Writing stimulates thought and challenges students to communicate their ideas, so writing represents a valuable learning tool for any classroom. Writing is simply one of the best ways to provoke, evaluate, and assess student learning. Incorporating writing . . . promote[s] deeper discussion and understanding of course concepts” (p. 6). Thus, writing is a catalyst for synthesis and understanding of course content.

  • Why Write?

  • Writing in Composition

  • Business Writing

  • Engineering Writing

  • Education Writing

  • Health Profession and Social Work Writing

  • Humanities Writing

  • Science Writing

  • Social Science Writing

  • Visual and Performing Arts Writing

Information Literacy

Welcome to the Information Age, where everyone is under a constant barrage of information from a plethora of sources. This explosion of information makes it nearly impossible for a person to learn everything needed for a lifetime of success during their years of formal schooling. To overcome this challenge, students must learn to become information seekers and managers if they expect to navigate the ever-changing world. The ability to find, analyze, and use information is essential in a democratic society and global culture since information literacy skills equip one for a lifetime of independent learning and personal empowerment. For more on the importance of information literacy and its role in undergraduate studies, see Todd Wiebe's article, "The Information Literacy Imperative in Higher Education." (PDF available through FGCU Library).

  • Why Discover?

  • Finding Information

  • Understanding Information

  • Using Information