Tristian Evans

 

tkevans1098@txwes.edu

 

To operate, all colleges must be accredited.

 

While Texas Wesleyan is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS), the accreditation must be reaffirmed in 2013.

 

Dr. Elizabeth Battles, chair of the Quality Enchancement Plan committee, and a team of faculty, students and board members are working on reaffirming Texas Wesleyan’s accreditation in 2013. The team is currently working on a QEP, which is a part of the reaffirmation process.

 

“The QEP is basically something that the university decides is the one issue that would improve student learning,” Battles said. “We have to then write a plan that we will implement over five years, and then assess to see if we have achieved our desired results.”

 

Battles has been involved in the QEP plan from the beginning and said she has enjoyed working on it.

 

She said she and her team have been working on the QEP since fall 2010. During the topic selection phase, Battles said various surveys were taken, asking the students, faculty and staff what would enhance learning at Wesleyan.

 

“One of the things SACS looks at is [making sure] the topic selection was broad based,” Battles said. “So, that we had input from all the stake holders [which are] faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni and trustees.”

 

Battles said this QEP will focus on assessing and improving critical thinking. She said the focus is to assess critical thinking of students already in their major classes. She said junior and senior level students will benefit the most from it.

 

“We haven’t decided exactly how we are going to do it,” Battles said.

 

She said the team is still in the process of deciding if they will use a standardized test or in-class assignments to help measure and assess critical thinking.

 

A visiting team from SACS will come to Texas Wesleyan in spring 2013 to assess the plan. The QEP team will hand over a 75-page document describing the QEP plan. Until then, the QEP team is hard at work on making the plan workable and authentic. The QEP will not actually be put into effect until some time in 2013.

 

“Part of our challenge this semester is to work out what [teachers] are already doing, and making it into a comprehensive whole for the entire campus,” Battles said.

 

She also said while this is the first coordinated effort on accessing critical thinking, most professors are already teaching and measuring it in their classes.

 

SGA secretary Gary Jones is the student liaison serving on the board.

 

“I think I bring the perspective of how the changes made and goals outlined during the QEP will affect students inside the classroom and out,” Jones said in an email. “I add a whole new perspective.”

 

Assistant dean of students, Chris Windsor, appointed Jones to the position and also serves on the committee himself.

 

“The idea of critical thinking is essential,” Windsor said. “I am really excited about the QEP and its focus.”

 

For more information on the QEP and SACS, visit http://www.txwes.edu/info/sacs.