The Undergraduate Assembly met in regular session on Tuesday, September 20, 2005, at 2:15 p.m. in the UC Rio Grande B. Provost Dana Dunn presided.
Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the regular meeting on April 12, 2005, were approved as published.
Report of the Academic Standards Committee. David Gray presented the following policy recommendation approved by the Academic Standards Committee.
1. Undergraduate students must declare a major before they have accumulated 75 semester credit hours. An enrollment hold will be placed on a student who has completed 75 semester credit hours and has not declared a major. Students who have reached 60 hours and have not declared a major will be notified of this policy.
2. Students transferring to UTA with 75 or more hours must be admitted directly into a major. A transfer student with 75 or more hours will not be permitted to enroll for courses until a major is declared.
After discussion about exceptions, an appeal process, and pre-major designations, a motion was passed to table the policy and return it to the Academic Standards Committee for further consideration.
Provost Dunn introduced Victoria Farrar-Myers, a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, who joined the Office of the Provost as a faculty administrative intern to spearhead the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) initiative. Dr. Farrar-Myers gave a presentation explaining what the QEP is and what the faculty’s role will be in the QEP.
The QEP is a new part of the accreditation process required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The plan must be aligned with the university’s mission statement, strategic initiative’s goals and statements, and must be centered around a theme designed to enhance student learning across the university. SACS has indicated that this theme must come from the faculty.
Dr. Farrar-Myers distributed the following flyer explaining the QEP.
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?
Required as part of the reaffirmation process by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a QEP is a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined issue or issues directly related to improving student learning.
What is meant by "student learning" in the QEP?
SACS defines student learning broadly in the context of the QEP. As a result, the QEP may address a wide range of topics, such as changes in students' knowledge, skills, behaviors, and/or values that may be attributable to the collegiate experience. Examples include:
• Developing experiential learning • Increasing student engagement in learning
• Enhancing critical thinking skills • Exploring technology in the curriculum
The QEP’s goals and evaluation strategies must be linked to improving student learning.
What is the scope of the QEP?
The QEP may focus on a current institutional weakness; however, it can also focus on a strength that we would like to enhance. Although it can also focus on a limited population of students, it should be broad-based enough so that all academic units can participate in the plan.
How will the QEP be evaluated?
At the time of our reaffirmation, the QEP will be evaluated based on its focus, our institutional capability and commitment to implement the plan, our assessment plan and the level of campus involvement in developing the plan. After five years, the university is required to provide a progress report to SACS.
What is the faculty’s role in the QEP?
The development of the QEP must involve significant participation by our academic community. Most importantly, faculty are needed to help identify potential QEP topics. To facilitate input, we will use:
• Surveys • Open Meetings
• Focus Groups • Web and email solicitations
Other Business. Provost Dunn reminded the Assembly that at the end of last year, a report from a special task force on Plus Minus Grading was circulated to be discussed this fall. The report will be circulated again and placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:47 p.m.
Michael K. Moore