The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a vital and forward-looking part of the SACS accreditation process that involves the University pursuing a designed and focused course of action that relates to enhancing student learning.
Belmont is developing a QEP that focuses on making significant improvements in the experience of our sophomores. By establishing a “Sophomore Transitions Center” and a constellation of curricular and co-curricular experiences aimed at sophomores, we intend to have our students engage in focused self-exploration of themselves and their places in the world. We expect that this program will improve student self-efficacy, understanding of the meaning and purpose of life, and persistence.
Key Elements of the Sophomore Year Experience
The Sophomore Transitions Center will facilitate the Sophomore Year Experience
- Student Service Tasks
- Guide and hold accountable individual students as they develop and carry out their focused exploration plans
- Plan, execute, and assess a convocation series for Sophomores
- Administrative Tasks
- Manage Sophomore Year Experience Steering Team as that group plans and executes all aspects of the Sophomore Year Experience
- Lead the development and execution of the ―Sophomore Summit‖ each Fall
- Track all aspects of student involvement with the SYE and use that data as the basis for assessment of the program
- Staff: One full-time Director and two part-time professional coaches
- COM 1100, Fundamentals of Speech Communication (required of all undergraduate majors prior to completion of 60 credits). Course revised to address needs of Sophomores
- Linked Cohort Courses revised such that each pair of linked courses is required to include significant engaged learning experiences. These courses are required of undergraduate students in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th semesters (with exceptions made for transfer students)
Social and Community Components
- Sophomore Living Experiences; concentrated housing in Thrailkill, Kennedy, and Wright-Maddox with enhanced residential experiences such as increased self-governance, Grab-n-Go food options, and residence hall programming specific to Sophomores
- Sophomore Summit; held in Fall immediately prior to the start of school, runs several days, and focuses on issues of concern to Sophomores
- Sophomore Service Project (probably a Habitat for Humanity build)
Spiritual and Character Components
- Belmont‘s “Living a Better Story” initiative
- Spiritual discernment convocation series
- Spring Break Immersion Trip
A regression analysis will be applied to dependent variables of self-efficacy test score, meaning of life test score, retention rates, and graduation rates with a variety of features of the SYE program serving as independent variables.
To read more about Belmont’s QEP, open the PDF of the full proposal.