QEP Updates

December 17 Deans and Chairs Meeting

 The QEP was discussed with Deans and Chairs on Wednesday, December 17, outlining the way in which the QEP will be implemented and assessed. Good discussion occurred in relation to definitions of undergraduate scholarship, the benefits of the QEP, the role of Faculty Scholars, and the development of an awareness campaign. The PowerPoint that accompanied this presentation can be found here. Notes from this meeting can be found here.

December 2014 Update

The QEP Steering Committee has worked diligently over the last two and a half years through an inclusive and transparent process to develop our plan for enhancing the writing, critical thinking, and information literacy of our undergraduate students as they become scholars in their disciplines. The end result is our next QEP:

FGCU Scholars 

Think. Write. Discover.

Enhancing the culture of inquiry from Composition to Capstone.

 We have now completed our QEP document (attached). In the spring semester, we will be meeting with chairs and program leaders regarding the plan for implementing the QEP and holding open forums. We will also be providing more information about the QEP around campus in preparation for our SACS visit March 31-April 2.

Spring 2014 Update

Over the last two years, the QEP Steering Committee, with the support and input of the university community, has been working diligently to research best practices and to draft a Quality Enhancement Plan that will meet the requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and, more importantly, that will enhance student learning.

 We have received a wealth of feedback from faculty, staff, and students during this process which has enabled the Steering Committee to revise and refine the QEP as it has unfolded. We have held four open forums with over 150 faculty, staff, and students participating, and we have received many emails with suggestions and support. All of this feedback has led to changes that have enhanced the QEP.

 As a result of this inclusive and collaborative effort, we have now completed a draft of FGCU’s next Quality Enhancement Plan, which is attached. The first several sections were sent out to the university community over the last year (in September and November of 2013 and again in February of 2014). The latest version now includes the Implementation Plan and the Program Goals, Learning Outcomes, and Assessment Plan. We are also providing the QEP Assessment Rubric, which is a compilation of the AAC&U VALUE rubrics for writing, critical thinking, and information literacy; using this rubric, we intend to have one assessment in Composition and one assessment in the capstone courses that will cover all three learning outcomes. This was a suggestion made by the faculty in our last set of forums. All of this is explained in the document.

 The Steering Committee has greatly benefited from the university’s support and feedback and are eager to share this next draft. As time allows, please read through these documents and consider how your undergraduate programs will fit within the QEP. We will gather feedback in the summer and fall, during which time we will also be creating a timeline and finalizing the budget.

Faculty Senate Presentation (March 28, 2014)

The Chair of the QEP Steering Committee presented an update on the Quality Enhancement Plan process and focus and the draft implementation and assessment plans to the Faculty Senate. Information from the last Faculty Forums had been incorporated into the draft implementation and assessment plans, and the committee was still receiving feedback. The PowerPoint for this presentation is included here. The QEP Steering Committee will finalize a draft of the full QEP document by the middle of April and send it out university-wide for feedback and input.

Draft Implementation Plan and QEP Qualitative Survey Results (February 2014)

 The open forums at the end of February to discuss the draft QEP Implementation Plan provided wonderful support for the ideas presented and some outstanding feedback on resources and ways that we could implement the plan. The PowerPoint that was presented at these forums is included here, as is the QEP document that reflects the work we’ve completed to date with the focus of the plan and the background information (QEP Faculty Forums PowerPoint; QEP Draft Document).

 As noted in both forums, we recognize that the implementation of the QEP will have to include some flexibility, both in terms of the courses that will become a part of the QEP in each major and our methods of assessment. Also we are not expecting programs to add any new courses or to double up on their assessments; the assessment completed for the QEP would satisfy the assessment for writing and critical thinking included on everyone’s ALC (this would not be an additional assessment). We do expect to create, as much as possible, a streamlined (but meaningful) assessment of writing, critical thinking, and information literacy rather than three completely separate assessments, and we expect to accommodate the current and ongoing successful assessment of these skills within programs.

 In addition, with a team of faculty we completed a qualitative analysis of the QEP Survey results. Those results yielded useful information on program definitions of high quality writing, critical thinking, and information literacy. We did see a great deal of agreement across the 33 undergraduate programs that completed the survey on their definition of these skills. The results can be found here: QEP Survey Qualitative Analysis.

 If you have any further feedback, please send an email to anyone on the QEP committee before February 28. The Committee will be meeting sometime in March to draft the final implementation plan and to create a budget.

 Quality Enhancement Plan Survey Results (November 2013)

 Earlier in October, the Associate Deans in each College sent out the QEP Survey to all program leaders. From October 11 to 21, we collected responses to the survey, with 33 of 51 undergraduate programs responding (65%). We have collected both quantitative data (click here) and qualitative data. We are currently forming a group of faculty with representatives from each college interested in assisting the QEP Steering Committee with analyzing the qualitative data. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Jim Wohlpart (wohlpart@fgcu.edu).

 The QEP Steering Committee will be meeting on Friday, November 22 from 9:00 to 1:00 to begin drafting the Implementation Plan. We will be meeting in Reed Hall 236 if you would like to stop by and participate. Once the draft plan is developed, we will host a forum to get feedback and input; this will likely not occur until early in Spring semester.

SACS Update and QEP Survey (September and October 2013)

On September 24, the SACS Vice President and liaison for our reaffirmation process visited campus and met with the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee. We shared with her our most recent draft of the document, which includes the current focus of the QEP; she stated that we were moving in the right direction with our plan. The ideas in the current draft originate from the research and faculty forums completed last spring. (Click here to get the draft document.)

 We also completed a survey of all program leaders providing the QEP Steering Committee with information on the teaching and learning of writing, critical thinking, and information literacy in all of our undergraduate programs. (Click here to get the survey instrument .) Over the next month (end of October and beginning of November) the data from the survey will be analyzed, and the Committee will begin drafting an implementation plan and budget, which will then be shared with the university community for feedback and input. We hope that these forums will happen in late November.

August 30, 2013 Steering Committee Update

The QEP Steering Committee discussed and reaffirmed the narrowed focus of our QEP: concentrating on writing, critical thinking, and information literacy in the scholarship completed by our undergraduate students in their majors—and focusing on 2 or 3 courses within the majors that lead up to the senior capstone. We will also include Composition I and II courses and Gordon Rule courses in the General Education Program as a foundation for what occurs in the majors. This focus was developed in response to the feedback provided by faculty in the spring semester.

The next step of the Steering Committee is to survey the undergraduate program leaders to discover what type of work is currently being completed within the majors (in relation to this QEP topic). The feedback from this survey will provide us with information we need to develop a draft implementation plan and budget, which the Committee will work on in October.

The Steering Committee will then hold open forums in early November for faculty, staff, and students to provide feedback on the draft implementation plan and budget.

In addition, the Steering Committee is completing a draft of the first part of the QEP document, which includes: an Executive Summary, an Introduction (which provides the institutional background, the process for identifying the QEP topic, and the relation between the topic and the mission of the institution), the Rationale (which includes a discussion of the national context, internal assessments of student learning, and NSSE results), and the Literature Review. Once this draft is complete, it will be posted on the QEP Updates website for feedback and input.

Spring 2013 Faculty Forums (April 2013)

In early April, the Quality Enhancement Plan Steering Committee held two forums to share their research from the working groups. Over 50 faculty and staff attended the two open forums. In addition, an Angel page was launched with information from the PowerPoint to allow faculty to provide additional feedback. (Click here for the PDF of the PowerPoint from this presentation.)

The faculty response to the information presented was for strong support of the definitions of writing, critical thinking, and information literacy that were proposed by the Steering Committee. The attendees suggested that the Steering Committee was moving in the right direction as it began to focus on improving skills of writing, critical thinking, and information literacy in our graduatess, with a particular eye toward developing these skills in specific courses in the major, especially as evidenced in the capstone projects. There was also an agreement that we needed to begin developing these skills in the General Education program and then build on this work in the majors. (Click here for faculty feedback relating to particular slides in the PowerPoint.)

The Steering Committee met after the faculty forums to discuss the feedback and the focus that was developing for the plan. As a result of the research conducted and the feedback, the Steering Committee discussed narrowing the topic of the Quality Enhancement Plan to the development of writing, critical thinking, and information literacy within the majors as students became scholars in their disciplines. A next step that was proposed during the forums was to survey the programs to gather information on what was occurring within each major in relation to this topic. This survey would be conducted early in the fall semester.

February 25, 2013 Steering Committee Update

The Steering Committee continues to work to develop ideas, based on best practice, research, and other, model QEPs, for FGCU’s Quality Enhancement Plan which will focus on Writing, Critical Thinking, and Information Literacy.

The Steering Committee is very excited to share their work and get faculty feedback. Our QEP is one that will touch all undergraduate programs and work towards assisting our students in becoming scholars in their field. Faculty input into specific elements of the QEP will assist the committee in focusing the plan.

Quality Enhancement Plan Faculty Forums will be held as follows (please join us for one; light refreshments will be served):

  • Tuesday, April 2, from 1:00-3:00 pm in Cohen 214
  • Friday, April 5, from 9:00-11:00 am in AB7 114

In addition to gathering feedback during these forums, we will gather feedback on our Angel Webpage, which will open shortly after these forums conclude.

The next major step in the development of the QEP is to write the focus of the plan, the process for implementing the plan, and the budget for the plan. Because a QEP is a major institutional initiative that seeks to improve student learning of all undergraduate students, significant resources are allocated to this effort. The writing of the focus, the implementation plan, and the budget will occur in the Fall 2013 semester; at that time, we will reach out again for further feedback and input.

February 2013 Steering Committee Update

The Steering Committee met on January 28, 2013, to discuss the proposals that had been developed by the faculty working groups that had been convened in the Fall semester. In addition to proposals generated by the working groups, two other proposals had been generated, one by a faculty group that considered a curricular design approach and one as a result of discussions during the faculty meetings in the fall semester.

Each of the following proposals and models comes from a different perspective and offers brainstorming and synthesizing of the research and best practices that the faculty reviewed. Nevertheless, the proposals and models are not mutually exclusive; indeed, there is a great deal of overlap.

As a result of this meeting, a subcommittee was formed to create a synthesis document that would be shared with the faculty at large in March.


Fall 2012 Steering Committee Update

The Quality Enhancement Plan Committee held an initial meeting at the start of the Fall 2012 semester to get oriented and to discuss a process for completing our work over the next two academic years. The QEP process has moved forward with the creation of three working groups, one for each area of the QEP: Writing, Critical Thinking, and Information Literacy. These groups have been tasked with reviewing best practices and prominent literature in these fields.

Leadership for these groups is as follows:

  • Critical Thinking -- Kevin Aho
  • Writing -- Carol Bledsoe and Linda Rowland
  • Information Literacy -- Jackie Greene and Anna Carlin

For each of these areas, the working groups are completing the following tasks:

  • Reading and summarizing best practices/research
  • Selecting possible models/definitions/assessments for use at FGCU
  • Sharing these models with the QEP Steering Committee.

In early spring 2013, once the working groups have completed their tasks, we will set up a process to share our work to date with the university community; this sharing will lead to a selection of models for writing, critical thinking, and information literacy and provide the basis for focusing FGCU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. At this point, we will also engage in a review of assessment practices and literature; this working group will be led by Tom Bevins.

At the end of the Fall semester, the working groups completed their task and shared the following documents with the Steering Committee:

These documents were shared with the Steering Committee and the next step was formulated: to create models and proposals which would be shared early in the spring semester.