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QEP Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we developing a QEP?

What is a QEP?

Must the QEP affect every student?

What are the principal components of a QEP?

What happens if the QEP does not meet the stated goals?

Who will choose the topic?

What are the five topics?

When is voting open?

Why should I vote if the QEP won’t directly impact me?

Who will be impacted by the QEP when it is implemented?

Who will implement the QEP?

What is the timeline for the QEP?

How does the QEP impact me?

Answers


Why are we developing a QEP?

There are two reasons. The most important reason is that it is an opportunity to enhance the quality and effectiveness of UTHS’s academic programs by focusing on an issue or issues that we consider important to the future of health care. The focus is on improving student learning. The second reason is that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), our regional accreditor, requires us to do so as part of the UTHSC reaffirmation of accreditation (Core Requirement 2.12).

What is a QEP?

A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue emerging from institutional assessment and evaluation. It focuses on enhancing student learning, which is defined broadly in the context of the QEP and may address a wide range of topics or issues. In all cases, the goals and evaluation strategies must be clearly and directly linked to improving the quality of student learning and be consistent with our mission and Strategic Plan.

Must the QEP affect every student?

The plan is not necessarily required to affect every student. However, it should be extensive enough to affect a large percentage of our students over the course of the project.

What are the principal components of a QEP?

There are four principal components of a QEP according to the SACSCOC Standards of Accreditation, Core Requirement 2.12:

  1. an institutional process for identifying
  2. key issues emerging from institutional assessment, that
  3. focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning and
  4. accomplishing the mission of the institution.

Additionally, we must develop goals/outcomes (at least some related to student learning), measures of those outcomes, a literature review, and a budget.

What happens if the QEP does not meet the stated goals?

To be acceptable, we do not have to guarantee success at the time of submission. However, we do have to make the case that the QEP has a reasonable chance of succeeding in meeting the goals. We must demonstrate to the evaluators that UTHSC has and is willing to commit sufficient resources (financial, human, and physical) to ensure a reasonable chance of meeting the goals. Pilot projects before full implementation is one way we can determine the potential success of the QEP.

Who will choose the topic?

The Chancellor has appointed a QEP Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has developed a detailed plan for choosing a topic that includes input from as wide an array of institutional stakeholders as possible. The campus will select one of the five topics proposed by the Steering Committee.

What are the five topics?

  • Cultural Competence
  • Leadership in Healthcare
  • Professionalism
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Wellness & Resilience

When is voting open?

The campus can provide feedback on the topic selection in August and September with the last day to vote on September 30.

Why should I vote if the QEP won’t directly impact me?

The learning that occurs in our academic programs ultimately impacts all of us since so many of our graduates remain in Tennessee as healthcare providers. For students, it is an opportunity to “pay it forward” for in the incoming students. Teaching will be the mechanism to improve student learning and our faculty members are well-versed in what strategies are needed for learning. Our staff impact the mission of the campus every day and each will have insight into what skills a future healthcare professional should possess.

Who will be impacted by the QEP when it is implemented?

The student cohorts that are selected to participate in the QEP. Additionally, faculty teaching the course content and academic support units will be directly impacted.

Who will implement the QEP?

The short answer is anyone involved in the academic mission.

A more nuanced answer is that the Steering Committee will develop a detailed plan for implementation, including (as needed) forming other committees or sub-committees to address specific tasks. The QEP will require that those involved in the academic programs be closely involved in development, implementation and assessment of the QEP.

What is the timeline for the QEP?

In late fall of 2019, we will submit our QEP to SACSCOC. During the April 2020 On Site visit by the SACSCOC evaluators, the QEP will be reviewed by the entire committee led by the QEP Lead Evaluator. In December 2020, the SACSCOC Board will take final action on our reaffirmation of accreditation, including the acceptability of our QEP. The Steering Committee will develop a more detailed timeline of activities related to planning and implementing our QEP.

How does the QEP impact me?

My area: Impact of the QEP
Students Student learning will be impacted by instructional approaches and innovative integration developed through a collaborative campus approach including academic, technology and topic experts on the selected QEP.
Faculty Faculty members with responsibility in the didactic portions of the program curricula will be directly involved in offering course content related to the QEP. The program faculty will decide what content will be delivered to meet the QEP student learning outcomes. Not every faculty in the program will be directly involved.
 Staff Staff in the academic support units (AFSA, etc.) will be involved by supporting the colleges as they offer the content.
Campus Police

Because our campus police and safety officers interact directly with the community around the campus, they will provide important contacts for the activities of the QEP.

Some of the QEP activities may focus on community-based education. Our campus police can educate students on safety measures when working directly with the communities in Memphis and Shelby County.

Clinic or Hospital Faculty who provide direct care in our partner hospitals and local clinics will have a role in extending learning gained during implementation of the QEP. The QEP will include application activities beyond lectures given in the classroom. Clinical faculty can reinforce the knowledge gained and can demonstrate how to apply learning to the clinical settings. Faculty development will focus on teaching content related to the QEP. Additionally, some sessions will be devoted to continuous engagement of students on the topic beyond the QEP.
Communication & Marketing This office is responsible for creating digital and print media to inform the campus about the QEP. They created the videos depicting the topics and assisted with the development of the website.
Development The QEP will open the door to donors, including corporations and foundations, interested in the topic and its impact on healthcare. There will be substantial role for development staff in seeking financial resources to enhance the QEP activities.
Equity & Diversity Development and implementation of the QEP will rely on expertise in the Office of Equity and Diversity. The staff will assist in development of content and in identifying, along with the faculty, appropriate student learning outcomes.
Facilities Our staff in facilities will continue their extraordinary efforts to make the campus an inviting place for all employees. Depending on the topic selected, there may be a need to renovate spaces on campus for a specific purpose.
Finance The Steering Committee will work closely with Finance and Operations to determine the funding needed to implement the QEP.
Human Resources

The QEP will provide important successes that can be used to recruit excellent employees.

Training of staff would be an important, although not required, benefit of the QEP activities. Because the topic selected will have an overarching goal of improving healthcare, employees should be exposed to successful initiatives to educate them about their own healthcare.

ITS Use of technology to enhance learning is a foundational value in the academy. ITS can listen to end users about their academic technology needs and work with them to identify the best resources to meet the needs of those delivering the QEP.
Knoxville, Chattanooga or Nashville campuses Depending on the cohort of students selected, some students in Knoxville and Nashville may be included in the QEP. Clinical faculty on these campuses will be engaged as described above.
Library Librarians will be called upon to provide resources to those developing the QEP. After the plan is developed, they will assist faculty members by providing related resources.
Research

The QEP will afford the campus opportunities to seek extramural funding to support the activities planned.

Faculty and students will engage in research around the QEP topic with the goal of publications in discipline-specific and peer-reviewed journals. The focus on interprofessional education could have positive impact on the goal to increase interdisciplinary research on campus.

Simulation Center Staff in the Sim Center will assist in the development of interprofessional simulations for use by faculty who are engaged in teaching related ot the QEP.
Student Academic Support Services & Inclusion The QEP will provide support to create and provide quality services, resources and connections to positively impact student learning, adjustment and successful transition into healthcare professions. Staff will evelop programming to promote and communicate an accessible, open environment on campus that values diversity and equity.
Student Affairs & Enrollment Services SAES will have a significant support function. The staff will develop cocurricular offerings that support the student learning outcomes of the QEP.

Last Published: Aug 11, 2017