Finalists to present projects to meet new accreditation standard

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    With the reaccreditation process quickly approaching, TCU is working to meet one of the new standards.

    Quality Enhancement Plan or QEP is a new standard set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SACS. It requires universities to develop a plan that ensures it is focused on developing and implementing an environment that encourages learning and success.

    Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness Catherine Wehlburg said the QEP requires the university to take action toward improving TCU’s future by analyzing the university mission statement and identifying key issues to resolve.

    “The QEP has to be an original idea to fit specifically with TCU, so we knew from the beginning we had to get proposals and ideas from people who knew TCU best and no one knows this university’s needs and strengths like its dedicated faculty, staff and students,” Wehlburg said. “The university decided to allow QEP proposals and from those proposals due last semester, four have been selected as finalists to present their plans on May 4.”

    She said the four proposals on the table today are focused on a wide range of aspects, such as improving TCU community relationships to improving the quality of the TCU Core Curriculum.

    Wehlburg said teams of students and faculty from every corner of campus, including fine arts, the Neeley School of Business and the Physical Plant, came together in support of one of the four finalists to help carefully draft the in-depth proposals to be presented.

    Andrew Schoolmaster, dean of the AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences said he had been working on one of the proposals, Creativity Across Disciplines and Cultures: Inquiry, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, which was aimed at promoting student creativity.

    “Creativity is something that can be developed, and TCU must help its students develop their creativity so they can be resilient, adaptable and responsive,” Schoolmaster said.

    He said creativity and original ideas would be promoted in new and existing courses and programs in every major across campus, and if TCU provided the resources for both developing creative minds and an outlet for original ideas, the next Mark Zuckerberg or Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, could very well be from TCU.

    Rosangela Boyd is the Director of Community Involvement and Service-Learning and a member of the proposal team Transforming Campus and Community Through Community Engaged Scholarship. Boyd said the proposal was centered on community based research and engagement to promote ethical citizens.

    “The world functions in communities and the world is becoming more interconnected. We must prepare students for jobs aimed at bettering the community by giving them hands-on experiences within our community,” Boyd said.

    She said the proposal shined light on the idea that all disciplines of academia need students to understand civil dialogue and the larger impact of actions and motives so they can be successful employees after graduation.

    Boyd said the proposal outlined ways to combine community engagement and academics with potential internships for class credit, fellowships, research opportunities and teaching assistant options for students.

    “I have been working for a year on the proposal and I believe in its ability to improve TCU but I know the other three proposal teams feel the same way about their ideas. It is going to be a difficult job for the committee to decide between the four wonderful proposals,” Boyd said.

    Wehlburg said after the presentations, the committee would give themselves a month to deliberate and decide which proposal would fit best with TCU, but students could be reassured any of the four QEP proposals would meet the accreditation requirements.

    To read the four finalists’ summaries, click here.

    The “Final Four” projects presentation:
    When:
    Today, 2-4 p.m.
    Where: Palko Hall, rm. 130
    Reception to follow