Background

Beginning in Fall 2013, the campus will spend five years implementing the Writing Excellence Initiative (see the December 2012 draft plan), an intensive program that will enable every student to become an accomplished writer by graduation. We have developed this initiative in the context of a requirement by Elon’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Every accredited institution in the SACS region is required to develop a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for enhancing some central aspect of the institution’s educational program.

In 2010-2011, Elon’s QEP selection committee (Pam Kiser, David Copeland, Todd Lee and Jodean Schmiederer) gathered ideas from students, staff, and faculty about possible QEP topics. After months of discussion across campus, the committee narrowed the possibilities to six topics: Civic Engagement, Diversity, Futures Thinking, Information Literacy, Intellectual Engagement, and Writing. Small groups drafted proposals for each of these ideas over the summer of 2011, and after further deliberations, the committee made its recommendation to President Lambert in October 2011. Before confirming writing as Elon’s QEP, President Lambert held discussions with several groups including faculty in English, writing faculty in Communications and Business, and Academic Council. These groups reinforced the importance of enhancing students’ knowledge and production of writing for their professional and personal success.

In December 2011, Peter Felten, Assistant Provost and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, became coordinator of the QEP. In January 2012, Peter assembled a planning committee (consisting of administrators, faculty, staff, and students) that spent the remainder of the 2011-12 academic year and the summer, and will spend the 2012-13 year, developing goals, learning outcomes, and implementation procedures to equip every Elon student with writing expertise (See the full timeline and a list of the Planning Committee Members.). After consulting with the campus community during Fall 2012, the committee will finalize the QEP plan in November 2012. The QEP will be discussed extensively during the SACS on-site visit in the spring of 2013 and will be a focus of our campus agenda through the SACS Five-Year Review in 2018-19.

Timeline

Spring 2012 Planning Meetings
May 4Numen Lumen on QEP
Summer 2012 QEP Subcommittee drafts the full QEP report
September 2012 Committee will solicit feedback on report from a SACS consultant
Full draft of the report available for feedback from across the university
October 5Numen Lumen on QEP
March 2013 Final QEP report due to SACS
April 16-18, 2013 SACS visit to Elon
Spring 2013 SACS feedback on plan
Summer 2013 Begin implementing QEP
2013-2018 QEP implemented