Life After Mary Washington
The Life After Mary Washington: Preparing Students for Life and Career Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) will support student success by extending our focus beyond the 4-year on-campus experience. We will take the best of what we do as a campus community and prepare students for their future.
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)?
The Quality Enhancement plan is a part of the accreditation process of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Every ten years, colleges and universities are required to undergo a review process for the reaffirmation of accreditation. For re-accreditation purposes, SACSCOC requires colleges and universities to engage in a comprehensive self-study to develop a plan that will enhance overall student learning and/or the learning environment at the institution. This plan is called a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and is expected to become part of the university’s culture over a five-year project time span.
The QEP must meet five criteria:
- Encompass a topic identified through an ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation process
- Have broad-based institutional support
- Focus on improving specific student-learning outcomes and/or student success
- Benefit from committed resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP
- Include a plan to assess achievement
Student learning includes changes in students’ knowledge, skills, behaviors, and/or values. The goals, outcomes, and assessment strategies must be clearly linked to improving the quality of student learning while supporting the University’s strategic direction, mission, and vision.
Life After Mary Washington
The Life After Mary Washington: Preparing Students for Life and Career Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) intends to support student success by extending our focus beyond the 4-year on-campus experience. This QEP will integrate the After Mary Washington general education requirement into the fabric and culture of the University of Mary Washington (UMW) experience. With this plan, we will take the best of what we do as a campus community and prepare students for their future by cohering in all university activities with a common language, visual branding, and a community-wide focus.
The plan is grounded in our strategic focus as an institution as well as industry trends. Through strategic planning, the QEP development team identified 10 life and career readiness competencies, based on the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Career Ready Competencies, and aligned with UMW’s ASPIRE values (Accountability, Scholarship, Personal and Institutional Integrity, Inclusive Excellence, Respect and Civility and Engagement). This topic was selected because of its focus on promoting values of service and community and civic engagement, immersing our students in impactful learning experiences, and creating a diverse and inclusive community. Through targeted planning, this QEP expands our emphasis on learning experiences beyond the classroom by encouraging students to connect their classroom experiences to their future endeavors.
This QEP will embed Life After Mary Washington into the fabric of our students’ Liberal Arts education and experiences at UMW. Instead of creating new initiatives, this QEP packages what we do well across our academic programs and extra curricular activities into an interconnected experience to prepare our students for success After Mary Wash.
About the Program
This QEP, Preparing Students for Life After Mary Washington will create a culture around the Mary Washington experience as preparation for life and career. Successful implementation of the QEP will equip students with the necessary structure and support to develop the skills that will help them thrive during and after their time at UMW. Ten core competencies will guide the development and delivery of student co-curricular experiences. The general education requirement, AMW, is the academic vehicle for structuring and delivering necessary exposure. This plan acknowledges the existence of and need for AMW courses in specific disciplines and encourages further development across disciplines. Our plan will create a cultural pillar of the UMW student experience through academic preparation and structured experiential and co-curricular endeavors that will be achieved through:
- Expansion of course offerings across disciplines that are designated AMW;
- Introduction of ten core competencies that support preparing for Life After Mary Washington;
- A co-curricular transcript that supports the ten core competencies; and
- A robust communication plan to facilitate the integration of AMW into the fabric of the university experience for students, faculty, and staff.