QEP Executive Summary
The Southern University Law Center (SULC) is seeking reaffirmation of accreditation in 2020. Each institution seeking reaffirmation with SACSCOC must develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP “is an integral component of the reaffirmation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes.” Moreover, an institution’s QEP should reflect and affirm “a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the institution considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success.”
To identify an adequate QEP, SULC formed a committee to gather information, develop a proposal, and develop a timeline for implementation of a QEP compliant with SACSCOC standards. The committee gathered information from its institutional constituents which included students, faculty, alumni and employers. Each year SULC meets with its constituents to discuss various topics which include, matters that impact student learning outcomes, the strengths and weaknesses of SULC students’ performance at internships, and matters impacting student matriculation. The information gathered from the meetings with constituents helped the committee determine that improved analytical skills was the greatest area of opportunity to improve student learning and student success.
The committee determined that it would be best to create a pilot program for its QEP intervention. With this in mind, the committee recommended the creation of a new course which would replace one section of Legal Analysis & Writing I and II. All first-year students are required to take the legal writing courses in their first year. While the students are assigned to specific sections for their doctrinal courses (Torts, Contracts, etc.), students from various sections are in the legal writing courses. Thus, the legal writing courses provide a broad base of students who take courses taught by various professors across the first-year curriculum. The pilot course is designed for the express purpose of exploring pedagogical strategies in a selected population of first-year students beginning in Fall 2018. One of the key goals for the pilot course is for students, upon completion of the course, to be able to analyze and synthesize case law in various subject areas, with a focus on first year courses. The QEP committee proposed a plan of data collection to allow an assessment of whether the intervention/pilot has a positive impact on the development of analytical skills of students enrolled in the piloted course as compared to those students who were not enrolled in the course. The proposed pilot QEP intervention course was submitted to and approved by the Curriculum Committee, as well as the SULC faculty.
The QEP committee was tasked with creating and selecting a slogan for the pilot QEP. The committee unanimously agreed on the slogan of “Analysis Matters.” The committee proposed to market its intervention by using the “Analysis Matters” slogan throughout all departments of SULC. The QEP committee also hosted a launch event for the students featuring food, games, and a raffle drawing in an effort to emphasize the importance of analysis.
The pilot QEP course was initially taught in the Fall of 2018 and the Spring of 2019. SULC has collected data from those courses which preliminarily indicates that the pilot has had a positive impact on the development of the analytical skills of students enrolled in the course. As per the adopted proposal for the pilot, SULC will continue to collect data and make decisions based upon the data collected.