Each of the campuses of the UA System has recently engaged the SACSCOC reaffirmation process. Part of the process includes the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan. A panel discussion of those plans was facilitated by Dee Childs of UAH.


UA represented by Heather Pleasants
The University of Alabama's Quality Enhancement Plan, Learning in Action, uses high-quality experiential learning opportunities (ELOs) to improve students' real-world problem-solving skills and ability to connect academic knowledge to diverse contexts and situations. Learning in Action engages faculty and staff in intensive professional development opportunities that identify the practices of exemplary ELOs and demonstrate how to effectively use these practices to support student learning. Formative and summative assessments of ELOs are built into Learning in Action in order to support outstanding teaching and distinctive curricular and co-curricular programs. See: UA QEP summary document.


UAB represented by Scott Phillips
The topic of the UAB's QEP is Learning in a Team Environment. With the implementation of this QEP, students and faculty at UAB will be exposed to team mechanics and team dynamics. Exposure to these elements of learning will prove beneficial in all stages of the students' academic experiences and throughout their careers. Without doubt, the skills our students develop through this process will allow them to enhance their learning while at UAB, enhance their engagement throughout all academic and nonacademic activities, and leave them better prepared to succeed in the workforce upon graduation. See the UAH accreditation document.


UAH represented by Dan Rochowiak
Our Quality Enhancement Plan aims to transform the educational and cultural landscape of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) by placing Collaborative Learning at the center of instruction. This change will increase student engagement in the classroom; provide valuable enhancements in creativity, cooperation, and inquiry-based learning; and meet the needs of future employers. Equally important, Collaborative Learning will connect students to each other and to UAH by means of academics, replacing isolated students with collaborative learners, a change that we firmly believe will increase the chance of success for all UAH students. The Collaborative Learning Center, created by the QEP, is beginning operations. In May, we will have our first training workshop for FYE teachers. During the summer we will continue to produce new materials for the website and establish procedures for the first round of faculty grants. We will also consolidate the assessment tools and procedure. Ideally, we will be ready for the Fall Semester! See: UAH QEP report.

Each of the representatives responded to a core set of questions.

  1. Please describe the applications of the QEP on your campus regarding improvements in pedagogy, learning, technology integration in the classroom, research, and/or other areas e.g. retention?
  2. How do you see the QEP initiative on your campus changing the campus' culture and improving student learning outcomes over the next 1, 5, and 10 year periods?
  3. Intra-campus communication will likely be a critical aspect of achieving success of the QEP to impact campus culture and student learning outcomes. If not, why not? If so, how will your campus communicate with students, faculty, and staff the progress and success of the QEP? Also, how will your campus utilize technology resources to achieve successful intra-campus communication?
  4. Are the campus technology resources you will need extant or will they have to be developed? If developed, who will and how will this deployment be achieved?
  5. What teaching and learning opportunities do you plan to provide to faculty as you work to implement the QEP and Learning Strategies?

There were additional questions from the participants in the Scholars Institute.