QEP Key Components
There are three key components of our QEP, which are described and defined by a series of elements. The three elements of our QEP include liaisons, projects, and professional development and resources.
|Liaisons (who are)||Projects (that are)||Professional Development and Resources (such as)|
|Mentors to faculty and staff participants||High-impact in nature||Workshops|
|Champions for the QEP, its goals, and participants||Focused on professional communication skill development||Tools and teaching tips|
|Evaluators of projects and performance||Evaluated and improved as needed||Funding and support|
There are three key roles which Liaisons fulfill:
1. They are mentors
to UWF faculty and staff who are participating in the QEP. Participation can take several forms. Faculty might be interested in developing a course or experience, and can utilize the Liaison’s expertise during the development process. Participants are also those faculty and staff who were awarded funding grants for their courses or experiences. In that regard, the Liaison might become a valuable coach during the implementation process.
2. They are champions
for the QEP, its goals and its participants. The Liaison is selected by their respective college Dean, and therefore has a matter of influence. As a champion, they serve as a cheerleader for professional communication skill development and high-impact practices. The Liaison is responsible for communicating changes in the program to faculty, important deadlines, and upcoming professional development. They also see that faculty are recognized for their participation in the QEP, and consider ways to showcase project success.
3. They are evaluators
of the projects and the performance of the QEP within their respective area. When projects are proposed, the Liaisons collectively form the review team that determines if projects are high-impact practice focused on professional communication skill development. After making such determination, they select which projects will receive funding grants. As data are compiled and analyzed, the Liaisons become a key bridge to the administrative decision-makers as changes and suggestions for improvement arise.
A Liaison is selected from each academic college and the co-curriculum. Each Liaison receives a stipend for their time, and a 12-month appointment by their respective college dean or VP of student affairs. This appointment is renewable each year.
The projects (courses and out-of-class experiences) that comprise the QEP consist of three critical elements:
1. They are high-impact in nature
George Kuh and others have written a considerable deal of scholarship around “high-impact practices.” UWF sees these transformational experiences as being active learning opportunities that can be categorized into one or several types and consist of most-if-not-all of the following elements of pedagogical practice. Research has consistently demonstrated these practices lead to deeper, more integrated learning from a real-world context.
2. They are focused on professional communication skill development
Because we know that high-impact practices produce deeper learning, it is important to focus that learning on key area of learning. For UWF, that area is professional communication skill development. Faculty and staff who seek to participate in the QEP are challenged to consider the “intervention” they will use to improve student’s professional communication. This may take many forms, but might include seminars, guest speakers, small writing assignments each class period, online videos and tutorials, collaboration with the Writing Center, or peer-evaluation. To put it simply, participation in the QEP requires that faculty and staff consider where or how the student will learn and practice these skills.
3. They are evaluated and improved as needed
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change the minds cannot change anything” – George Bernard Shaw
We recognize that no plan or project is perfect, and that change in the spirit of continuous improvement will ultimately lead to the best outcomes for UWF and our students. In addition to collecting student learning data, all projects are expected to document the changes made during implementation and the rationale.
Professional Development and Resources
The QEP also provides a mechanism to support professional development of faculty and staff. We also recognize the provision of adequate resources is essential to an expectation of improvement in students’ professional communication skills. Such professional development and resources include:
George Kuh and others have written a considerable deal of scholarship around “high-impact practices.” UWF sees these transformational experiences as being active learning opportunities that can be categorized into one or several typesand consist of most-if-not-all of the following elementsof pedagogical practice. Research has consistently demonstrated these practices lead to deeper, more integrated learning from a real-world context.
2. Tools and teaching tips
We recognize the needs of our faculty, staff, and students are different when it comes to professional communication. Faculty and staff may seek tools and tips to help them improve their teaching, enhance student learning, whereas students may be trying to locate resources that help them become a better communicator.
- On-Campus Support Offices
- External Resources
3. Funding and Resources
UWF is committed to ensuring the QEP has the capacity and resources necessary to pursue success. This means making sure there are human, financial, physical, and professional resources available to students, faculty, and staff. Over the QEP’s five-year lifespan, UWF has pledged to commit at least $1.5 million.