This year, UTSA prepares for its Reaffirmation of Accreditation by the Southern Association of College and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC). As required in the accreditation process, UTSA has developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
According to the QEP Handbook, “By definition, the QEP describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined an focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning.”
UTSA’s QEP: “Quantitative Scholarship: From Literacy to Mastery” was selected from 14 pre-proposals and is designed to improve students’ quantitative reasoning skills.
“It is not another math course or a complex equation; rather, it is a way to understand complex materials such as mathematics and science,”
Dr. Nancy Martin, associate vice president at the office of undergraduate studies, said.
Professor of Statistics and member of the Executive Committee of the Quantitative Scholarship QEP Nandini Kannan said that the QEP committee is tackling the quantitative illiteracy problem.
“It is is not about using complex math to solve a unrealistically simple problem, but about using simple math to solve real problems that are often complex,” she said.
Kannan helped draft the current QEP proposal.
“We would take the existing courses and embed quantitative content that is appropriate to each discipline,” Kannan said.
Each student will be taught quantitative skills that relate to his or her area of study.
The QEP lists eight student learning outcomes that are expected to advance students’ quantitative skills.
“We want to make students comfortable with numbers and data and then take them through the mastery level in disciplines in which quantitative methods are essential,” Nandini said.
Constantly faced with important decisions, students must know how to deduce information to determine what is best for their personal and professional lives.
“Data tells a story that must be interpreted well in order to fully understand it,” Martin said.
In an effort to educate students about the QEP, the university requires students to answer three questions about QEP when they log into ASAP.
“The test was used to assess the need and current levelstudents are at,” Martin said.
In order for UTSA to be reaccredited it must design and implement a QEP. The accrediting process occurs every 10 years. On March 23, 24 and 25 a site team from SACS/COC will appear on campus to inspect the university.
During the review, the representatives will survey the school to see what is working and what is not.
“Every school will have things to work on,” Martin said.
The QEP committee is promoting student awareness by holding a video contest which requires students to submit a video conveying the theme of the QEP.
First place prizes includes ultra high definition flip video camera, $20 fast pass for parking in a garage and four free meals at the Roadrunner Café.
For more information on UTSA’s QEP, visit http://www.utsa.edu/sacs/qep/qepTopic.html.