Senators, officials talk university advancement | News

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Student Government Association discussed the 2020 Quality Enhancement Plan with Director of Institutional Assessment Alise Hagan and College of Liberal Arts Dean Jordan Kellman, Ph.D.

The Quality Enhancement Plan is an initiative required to keep the university’s accreditation by SACS-COC, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commision on Colleges, in which the university will put resources toward a specific project to improve students’ experiences. The first QEP was in 2010, which resulted in the First-Year Experience program, including freshman seminar and UNIV 100.

The association is responsible for giving the stamp of approval to the university for the degrees it confers. Accreditation from SACS-COC includes federal financial aid.

“It’s a pretty big deal for any university to maintain its accreditation,” Kellman said.

Kellman said the SACS-COC requires its accredited colleges and universities to devise plans each decade to “enhance the quality of the education” of their students.

Proposals for the 2020 iteration of the program include: implementing a comprehensive advising and mentoring plan across curriculums; developing a coherent plan across degree programs to enhance the critical thinking skills of students; improving student learning through the implementation of “active learning” spaces that promote hands-on learning; developing a comprehensive “sophomore experience” program focused on improving student retention, satisfaction and engagement; and a “writing across the curriculum” program that will ensure students write substantially throughout their degree program as well as expand the university writing center.

The entire student body will vote to determine a majority-preferred proposal. This vote will be conducted through a two-question email survey sent to every UL Lafayette student. The first will ask for identification of student status and the second will require students to rank the eight proposals in the order of their preference. The email will also include a link to a document that summarizes all eight proposals. The poll closes Dec. 1.

The vote will not directly determine the QEP, but it will be considered by university President E. Joseph Savoie, Ed.D.

“Everything that we’re producing as part of our work is including all of the voting results, which can be analyzed as a whole with all of the respondents and then broken down into groups,” Kellman said. “We turn all of that over to the provost, and the provost, together with the president, looks at what the results are and looks also at what resources are available. They also have their own input about what might be university priorities, and they make the decision.”

Aside from this discussion, two new College of Engineering senators were sworn in.

An appropriation was tabled for a vote next week. The appropriation will allocate $500 toward the African Student Association to host African Night, held on Nov. 8 in the Student Union Ballroom.

The SGA meets at 5 p.m. every Monday in the Helma B. Constantine room of the Student Union.