QEO 2010

QEP Accreditation topics selected

Accreditation for the HSC is necessary to award degrees, ensure a level of quality education and that degrees will be recognized as true achievements. It is the stamp of approval that an institution of higher education is viable and secure.

Preparations for our health science center accreditation have begun, and the entire HSC-community can play a vital role toward continued accreditation. A new opportunity to enhance education through accreditation has been presented by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). And, that opportunity is known as the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

How it works

The goal of the plan is to improve some aspect of education at the HSC. It involves broad-based participation from the HSC community in selecting and focusing on a project that will enhance student learning throughout the institution. During the accreditation site visit in 2012, the QEP will be a major focus of discussion. Dr. Eric Solomon, executive director of the HSC Office of Institutional Research, describes how the process is working.

“At the beginning of the QEP process in early February, HSC-faculty were asked to submit ideas to improve student learning,” he says. “QEP defines student learning as meaningful changes in knowledge, skills, behaviors, or values.  All faculty were invited to submit their ideas on how we might accomplish this task.”

How topics were selected

QEP topics were chosen based upon a formal review of the proposals and the results of the QEP topic survey.  A QEP Topic Evaluation Committee was formed to evaluate each of the QEP Topic proposals and consider the results of the QEP Survey (see sidebar).  This Committee was charged with selecting the 3 proposals that most closely met the QEP criteria and received a substantial number of votes in the QEP Survey.

The QEP proposal criteria included the following:

  • Topic must address an area of student learning that warrants improvement
  • Topic must have broad application across the educational components of the HSC
  • Topic must be capable of producing measurable improvements in student learning
  • Topic must be feasible for implementation at the HSC


The top ten vote getters

These are the top ten QEP topic vote recipients:

  1. A Model for Inter-Professional Education – A Pilot Study, COP
  2. Academic and Professional Writing Skills Development Seminar, SRPH
  3. Educational Outcomes: An Assessment Tool to Improve Student Learning and Effective Teaching, COP
  4. Engaging Students Through Service-Learning, BCD
  5. Ethics and Professional Conduct in the Health Professions, CON
  6. Improving Critical Thinking, Scientific Reasoning Skills, and Evidence-Based Decision-Making, BCD
  7. Improving Students’ Communication, Critical Thinking, Decision-Making, and Patient-Management Skills, COM
  8. Introducing Innovative Teaching and Learning Strategies Via Inter-Professional Education, SRPH
  9. Interdisciplinary Education That Fosters Translation of Science for the Improvement of Patient and Community Health, SRPH
  10. Universal HSC Training Program to Develop Preceptor Health Care Educators, COP

Who voted in the survey

With all HSC locations participating, the entire HSC was involved in the voting process.

Dr. Solomon comments on voting results.

“Students made their voice heard with 38 percent of the votes. Staff offered 36 percent, while faculty votes account for 26 percent,” he says.

The top three proposals

“After gathering the votes, the QEP Topic Evaluation Committee reviewed the results of the Survey and the topic proposal submissions, then chose the top three topics.

The selected topics were as follows:

  • Academic and Professional Writing Skills Development Seminar
    Dr. Jennifer M. Griffith; School of Rural Public Health
  • A Model for Inter-Professional Education (IPE) – A Pilot Study
    Dr. Rajat Sethi, Dr. Robert Stanberry & Dr. Kris Virga; College of Pharmacy
  • Improving Critical Thinking, Scientific Reasoning Skills and Evidence Based Decision Making
    Dr. Bob Hutchins and Dr. Beverly York; Baylor College of Dentistry

“Congratulations to these winners,” Dr. Solomon says. “These faculty members who submitted the top three topics will each receive a $5,000 planning grant upon completion of a more detailed summary of their proposal.

“With the wealth of QEP topics we received, the HSC faculty is responding with its expertise, strengths and resources; answering a call of action to improve HSC learning. All faculty who took the time to submit proposals are also to be congratulated for their efforts. There were many great ideas in the topic submissions.  We may follow-up on some of these topics – even if they are not chosen for the QEP”

Dr. Solomon says out of the top three proposals, one will be selected for full development of the QEP.

“When the top topic has been developed, the QEP will be submitted to SACS for review,” he says. “Once the final topic is selected, the entire HSC community will have a chance to participate in accreditation efforts.

QEP Topic Evaluation Committee

  • Charles Berry, SACS Leadership Team
  • Nathan Bertoldo, Student Government Association
  • Linda S. Brannon, SACS Leadership Team
  • Pat Campbell, Faculty Senate
  • Alicia Dorsey, SACS Leadership Team
  • Roderick E. McCallum, SACS Leadership Team
  • Thomas Miller, Faculty Senate
  • Kaye S. Olsson, SACS Leadership Team
  • Eric S. Solomon, SACS Leadership Team
  • Emily Wilson, SACS Leadership Team
  • Rosemarie Zartman, Faculty Senate

“From the physical plant to offices to classrooms, all staff, students and faculty will have an opportunity to become familiar with and proudly share what they know about the top QEP topic with SACS site visitors,” Dr. Solomon says.

Dr. Solomon says that the site visit team could call upon faculty, staff and students at any time to respond to questions about their awareness of the QEP and the project selected to enhance education at the HSC. He says the SAC team considers input from all the HSC community in evaluating the institution.

“The way our HSC community responds to questions from SACS about our QEP could either show a deficiency in the process or a unified commitment to enhance education.”

Dr. Roderick E. McCallum, vice president for academic affairs says participation of the HSC community is powerful.

“It doesn’t stop when the votes are in,” he says. We win when we all work as a team, inviting collegial discourse in cross disciplines, making this a part of doing business and supporting each other. We win when we continue to become the best we can be.

— Marketing & Communications