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Focus on Student Learning

Quality Enhancement at EKU
As part of the 2007 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation process, EKU developed a carefully designed and focused university-wide initiative to improve student learning, called a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).   
Based on faculty, staff, and student input, EKU adopted the following QEP: To graduate informed, critical and creative thinkers who can communicate effectively.
This theme is represented with the E to the fourth power (E4) to indicate four basic tenants of thinking critically.
Students will:
  • EXPLORE and use relevant information in order to gain knowledge and solve problems.
  • EVALUATE information and ideas using appropriate methods.
  • EXPAND and generate their own ideas and express them effectively.
  • EXPRESS a point of view and develop it with awareness of alternatives.


The first five years of the QEP were focused on educating the campus community, especially developing a common language for talking about critical/creative thinking.  Thus, QEP funds were used to provide professional development opportunities, help faculty develop writing-intensive and service-learning courses, develop and distribute educational and marketing information, and fund faculty/staff-driven projects that advanced QEP goals.  Those efforts have led to a shift in institutional culture such that QEP is now part of the University Strategic Plan, and every program is required to evaluate critical/creative thinking and communication at the programmatic level.  

Leadership for QEP efforts has itself has been institutionalized and is now part of the duties of the Associate Dean of University Programs.  With this structure we can continue to support faculty with the development of writing-intensive courses, service learning courses, and other critical/creative thinking and communication endeavors, as well as focus on curriculum and assurance of learning issues that will further promote University goals. 

One current focus is to help chairs, program directors, and other faculty develop plans to evaluate student learning at the programmatic level.  The Associate Dean of University Programs and Institutional Effectiveness personnel are offering workshops for individual program faculty to help them develop these plans, and assist them with using the outcomes of those evaluations to improve student success. 

These workshops are called “Assurance of Learning Workshops” andy you can find information about these workshops under the Assurance of Learning link on this website.    

Another focus is the newly approved Minor in Applied Creativity.  The minor is coordinated by Dr. Rusty Carpenter, Director of the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity.  A Minor in Applied Creativity is an excellent supplemental degree for students in many majors.  The courses will help students to develop creative skills that employers want.  Adding a Minor in Applied Creativity to a resume can enhance students' job opportunities and marketability.

2013 Five-Year QEP Report to SACS55.33 KB
SACS Feedback: QEP Five-Year Report Summer 201313.03 KB
QEP Newsletter Fall 2013795.71 KB
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