Choosing a Quality Enhancement Plan
The James Madison University community participated in a year-long effort to develop and identify ideas that would enhance student learning and that potentially could become the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) required as part of reaffirming our accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Literally hundreds of faculty, staff and students worked together last school year to assemble proposals — 76 in all — a staggeringly large number given how busy we all are. Such an outpouring of effort was aimed ultimately at enhancing student learning and reflects our dedication to constantly improving student development and the student learning environment.
The selection phase of the process is now over, and we have news for the campus. Five QEP proposals were selected for the last round of development over the summer and all were presented to senior academic and administrative leadership in September. Each was worthy of becoming our formal QEP, but we selected two that will be combined and moved forward together as the major university initiative.
The JMU QEP: Enlightened Citizens, Ethical Lives
Fundamental to everything we do at James Madison University is our mission to prepare students to become educated and enlightened citizens who will lead productive and meaningful lives. Enlightened Citizens, Ethical Lives is a bold new initiative that will enhance student learning by intentionally guiding students to integrate ideas and experiences and apply them to new learning situations on and beyond campus. Closely aligned with our mission, Enlightened Citizens, Ethical Lives will result in a measurable increase in student learning related to the following outcomes:
• Civic knowledge and engagement, both local and global;
• Environmental stewardship;
• Ethical reasoning and responsible decision making;
• Multicultural competencies; and
• Personal, fiscal, professional, and social responsibility.
A task force is assembled to develop a detailed 5-year implementation plan for Enlightened Citizens, Ethical Lives. Tactics will evolve as new thinking develops, but new activities to address defined student learning outcomes may include academic curriculum and student affairs co-curriculum integration and innovation, faculty and staff development, and identification of assessment strategies. Enlightened Citizens, Ethical Lives will enable us to answer local, state and national calls for higher education to increase its commitment to producing graduates with personal and social responsibility.