Contact: Michael Tullier, APR, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
Terms like “quality enhancement plan” and “QEP” are probably new to most in the Tuskegee community. But, to Tuskegee University, which has been preparing for more than a year for its upcoming reaccreditation visit, they represent a deeper focus on helping students achieve their career aspirations.
When students return from spring break on Mar. 12, a host of “QEP Week” events will help them become better acquainted with the university’s quality enhancement plan. The first of those events, a “QEP Chat and Chew” on Monday, Mar. 12 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the university’s Tompkins Hall Ballroom, will also acquaint university employees, local residents and business leaders with its reaccreditation and QEP efforts.
The university’s quality enhancement plan topic — “Road from Early Achievement to a Career High,” or “REACH” for short — is a theme that will span the next five years. QEP initiatives will focus on integrating career concepts into Tuskegee’s academic, career development, student life and alumni relations programs. These programs will seek to better prepare students to be equipped, competitive and successful as they strive to achieve their educational and career goals.
“A QEP is an essential element of the reaccreditation process, but also an opportunity for Tuskegee University to identify and enhance the ways we can give our students a career advantage,” said Dr. Roberta Troy, chair of the university’s QEP Steering Committee, as well as head of the university’s Department of Biology. “Ultimately, these REACH-related efforts will provide students with creative, engaging and meaningful learning experiences they can carry into their chosen careers.”
The university’s QEP Steering Committee is working to integrate the REACH topic into the university’s various academic, administrative and co-curricular programming. One way of doing that is by engaging the community.
“The focus on career readiness creates opportunities for the university to partner with the community,” said Michael Tullier, APR, the university’s senior director of communications, public relations and marketing, as well as a member of the QEP Steering Committee. “We look forward to REACH providing a natural entrée to forming partnerships with the chamber of commerce, the city and local business leaders who can help the university guide and mentor its students as they prepare for the ‘real world.’”
The first of these opportunities will be the QEP Chat and Chew on Mar. 12, but Tullier indicated other QEP-focused events that will further engage the community are in the planning stages.
Every 10 years, Tuskegee University and other regional academic institutions must renew their accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). During the week of March 19, a team of SACS peer reviewers will be on campus to assess the university’s overall academic and operational effectiveness as part of this reaccreditation process. An integral part of that assessment will include the team gauging awareness of the university’s QEP topic among students, employees, alumni and the community.
Dr. Kellei Samuels, SACSCOC liaison and the university’s associate vice president for institutional effectiveness, noted that the goals of REACH include establishing an institution-wide academic/career program, increasing awareness and knowledge of careers related to students’ chosen majors, and developing and enhancing students’ work-readiness skills.
“Our QEP topic, like much of our preparation for our SACS onsite reaccreditation visit, has been a true campus partnership between students, administrators, faculty and staff,” Samuels said. “Considering Booker T. Washington’s view that education and workforce preparation are interrelated, REACH also reflects a rededication to the principles upon which the institution was founded in 1881.”
SACS [www.sacscoc.org] is a private, nonprofit and voluntary organization founded in 1895 in Atlanta, where it currently operates. It accredits regional academic institutions from Texas to the East Coast, and from Florida to as far north as Kentucky and Virginia. To be accredited and reaffirmed, the university must demonstrate compliance with the SACS Principles of Accreditation and prepare a quality enhancement plan. Elements of a successful QEP include focusing on student learning, enhancing student success, relying on the use of contemporary best practices, and articulating clear goals and measurable outcomes.
Tuskegee University has been accredited continuously since 1933, and was reaccredited most recently in 2008. In addition to SACSCOC accreditation, several Tuskegee academic units and/or degree programs in specialized fields or disciplines also are accredited by their respective accrediting organizations. For more information about Tuskegee’s reaccreditation efforts and quality enhancement plan, visit www.tuskegee.edu/ie.
© 2018, Tuskegee University