QEP logo, white background

Assessment Day 2013 Schedule:

Assessment Day/QEP Convocation Activities Page

February 13, 2013,  8:30 – 9:50 a.m.
Pearce Auditorium
Jeremy Szteiter, Critical and Creative Thinking Assistant Director University of Massachusetts Boston
Critical Thinking for Everyday Life,  presentation for students, faculty and staff

February 13, 2013, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Thurmond McRae Auditorium
Believing, Doubting, Dialogue, and Feedback
Presentation and workshop with faculty

Quality Enhancement Plan

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges requires all of its accredited schools to develop and implement a quality enhancement plan (QEP) to improve student learning. Brenau’s QEP is focused on enhancing critical thinking skills, particularly among our undergraduates.

Through the QEP there are training resources for faculty, staff, and students. On this page you can find links to webinars for all faculty, powerpoints and handouts for students, faculty, and staff, and information about upcoming presentations. In addition, there is information about the QEP training grant for faculty, and a more complete description of the QEP goals and strategies.


QEP Resources

Executive Summary  |  Documents  |  Webinars  |  Glossary | FAQ






What is a QEP?

In order to maintain accreditation, all schools must fulfill the requirements of their accrediting bodies. Brenau must fulfill SACSCOC requirements, one of which is a Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP is a five year plan designed to enhance student learning by focusing on a specific topic and identifying student learning outcomes. The QEP is part of the strategic plan of the university and must be related to the university mission.


What is Brenau’s QEP?

The focus of the Brenau University QEP is the improvement of undergraduates’ critical thinking skills. Our QEP began Fall 2011 and will continue through 2016.


What is our definition of Critical Thinking?

We have adopted the definition of critical thinking provided in the APA Delphi Report, “purposeful, self-regulatory judgment.” As outlined by the Delphi Report, critical thinking is demonstrated through interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation and self-regulation.


Why focus on Critical Thinking?

Both the academic literature and research on employers’ needs single out the importance of critical thinking for success and that students are graduating and entering the workforce with critical thinking skills that are insufficient. Additionally, discussions with and surveys of Brenau faculty, students, and alumni revealed that all agreed critical thinking was the best choice of a topic for the QEP. Finally a focus on critical thinking aligns with Brenau’s mission, vision, strategic plan, and curricular goals and will help us provide an extraordinary education for all our students.


What are the goals of the QEP?

The QEP has two complementary, overarching goals:

  1. To graduate students proficient in critical thinking
  2. To create a culture of critical thinking



What are the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in the QEP?

Students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the meaningfulness of data.
  2. Articulate and defend positions or arguments using evidence and logic.
  3. Create, develop or revise solutions to problems by using existing information and materials.



How does Brenau assess SLOs?

All of the instruments we are using to assess critical thinking have been built into the curriculum and/or assessment cycle. There are no additional requirements for students to fulfill. At some point during their time at Brenau, students are asked to complete the NSSE Survey. In their senior year students complete the ETSPP (an instrument similar to the SAT and GRE) which provides Brenau with information about how their writing, math, analytical, critical thinking and other skills have developed. In many of their classes professors will use a rubric (HCTSR) designed specifically to gauge critical thinking skills. This rubric has the student learning outcomes identified so students can see exactly what we are looking for.

HCTSR rankings, scored by individual faculty is used in courses across the curriculum. ETS Proficiency Profile scores provides a ranking of “proficient” or “not proficient” in critical thinking and gives comparison scores for other colleges/universities. Select questions on NSSE also provide comparison rates for other colleges/universities.


How will we assist undergraduate students in achieving our goals?

1. Graduate students proficient in Critical Thinking

  1. Class discussions on Critical Thinking
  2. Evaluation and assessment using the HCTSR
  3. Modified assignments and pedagogy

2. Create a Culture of Critical Thinking

  1. Faculty development activities: Lunch and Learns, Best Practices sessions, Faculty grants
  2. Student Services activities: Leadership certificate program, AS100, programming
  3. Critical Thinking resources: QEP office and research assistant, acquisition and dissemination of print and online critical thinking resources, creation of a critical thinking LibGuide



What do I need to do?


  1. Participate in the activities provided for you through the QEP (such as the presentation on Assessment Day).
  2. Think about the way you approach course content: ask questions, analyze the material, make connections between your classes, etc.
  3. Be a friend of critical thinking. Join us on Facebook-Brenau QEP


  1. Be prepared to answer questions the SACSCOC On-site committee may have about the QEP
  2. Read QEP documents available  here
  3. Ask questions (email Heather Casey Hollimon at  hcasey@brenau.edu )


  1. Read the QEP; it’s available  here
  2. Participate in the activities provided for you through the QEP.
  3. Think about the reasoning /critical thinking core competency and how you approach that in your major courses
  4. Collect and forward data when requested
  5. Ask questions (email David Barnett at  dlbarnett@brenau.edu , Marlene Giguere at  mgiguere@brenau.edu  and Heather Casey Hollimon at  hcasey@brenau.edu )



General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100