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Quality Enhancement Plan (2007)

Every member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP describes the University's approach to addressing -- through a systematic, sustained, institution-wide effort -- a key student learning issue fundamental to the University's mission.

During the 2007 reaffirmation, the University selected "Enhancing Student-Faculty Engagement" as the topic of its QEP. One of the hallmarks of the University is its community of discovery, in which students are made partners in the learning process. At the core of this experience are meaningful student-faculty interactions that take place in a variety of settings. The goal of the University's QEP was to build on this foundation by creating new opportunities for student-faculty engagement to enhance student learning. The University specifically sought to affect student learning through two objectives: (1) making research a fundamental part of the student experience, and (2) incorporating thoughtful public service into the curriculum.

This plan provided the University the opportunity to build upon recent and important long-range strategic planning on the part of the Board of Visitors, faculty, and senior administration. Past U.Va. data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and from institutional surveys of alumni grounded the QEP topic selection in the student learning experience. Furthermore, the data provided strong evidence that the level and quality of student interaction with faculty members could be improved.

The two primary objectives were supported by two major initiatives and five supporting initiatives:

Major Initiatives
  • Increase opportunities for student-faculty research
  • Incorporate thoughtful public service into the curriculum
Supporting Initiatives
  • Offer more small classes
  • Formalize and expand student-faculty lunch and dinner programs
  • Foster engagement through academic advising
  • Expand services of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence
  • Develop and improve mechanisms to communicate opportunities

For each learning-related initiative, the University identified multiple learning outcomes, along with specific measures for assessing them. Incorporating thoughtful advice from the SACSCOC visiting committee strengthened the University's approach to its QEP initiatives.

As part of its Fifth-Year Interim Report (2013), the University submitted a QEP Impact Report. The review committee found that the University "adequately documented the implementation of its QEP, including changes made to the plan throughout its implementation, summarized the level of success in achieving the desired impact on student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning, and reflected upon the implementation of the QEP as a learning experience for the institution."