Many faculty, staff and students are already familiar with EKU’s soon-to-be-implemented Quality Enhancement Plan.
By the end of this week, QEP leaders hope the entire campus community knows about Read with Purpose.
QEP Kickoff Days, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, will feature professional development sessions; classroom activities; student workshops; a “QEP Appreciation Reception”; and, of course, plenty of free refreshments and giveaways.
“This is a chance for everyone to become familiar with the new QEP,” which officially begins in Fall 2017, said Dr. Lisa Bosley, co-director of the QEP Implementation Team along with Dr. Jill Parrott.
The new QEP, a requirement for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), calls for Eastern to develop critical readers through the use of metacognitive strategies. It meshes with the current QEP, which has been focused on developing critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively. A SACSCOC committee will visit the campus in February to learn more about the QEP and to approve it as part of the reaccreditation process.
“The QEP represents EKU’s commitment to institutional improvement and provides a long-term focus for faculty and staff professional development and student learning,” Bosley said. “The EKU community determined that a QEP centered on critical reading could have the most impact on student learning across campus. Digital technology is changing the nature of reading in fundamental ways. The QEP will provide many forums for exploring these changes and for reflecting on how pedagogy and curriculum might adapt to ‘the new reading brain,’ as Maryanne Wolf called it. It will, I hope, provoke campus-wide conversations, study, and development of ideas to help 21st-century students value and practice the kind of critical reading necessary for thoughtful action in a world inundated with information from all types of media.”
Bosley noted that assessments of the University’s current QEP indicate that students have made “strong gains” in critical thinking, creativity and communication. She expects that the subsequent QEP, while a five-year plan, will “impact campus culture over a 10-year period.”
The “QEP Appreciation Reception” will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Grand Reading Room of John Grant Crabbe Main Library. President Michael Benson and Provost Janna Vice will “acknowledge the good work” of QEP 2007 leaders, QEP Stars, QEP coaches and past Critical Thinking Teachers of the Year.
A workshop for faculty on “Developing Critical Readers through Metacognitive Strategies” will be offered on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 12:30 p.m., both days in the Faculty Center in the Keen Johnson Building. “This is an introduction to more active reading instruction appropriate for instructors from across disciplines,” Bosley said. Register at studio.eku.edu/TLI.
A “Read Your Prompt with Purpose to Write with Purpose” workshop, offered through the Noel Studio several times both days, will coach students on reading and analyzing writing assignment prompts as a way to get started on a paper. “Sometimes,” Bosley said, “students may not be familiar with academic jargon or concepts in writing prompts. They may be stymied by an instructor’s expectations for an assignment or need help analyzing the task as a way to begin planning a paper.”
To see a full schedule of Kickoff Days events, visit http://qep.eku.edu/sites/qep.eku.edu/files/kickoffschedule.pdf.
Several critical reading workshops will be held throughout the spring as part of the Studio’s Teaching and Learning Innovation Series, and Bosley and Parrott will pilot a critical reading Professional Learning Community this spring with occupational sciences faculty. The two are also working with the many tutoring groups on campus to provide additional training to support students’ critical reading.
Bosley encourages instructors to “help spread the word” about the new QEP to students by planning a critical reading activity in their courses on the Kickoff Days. A handout with suggested classroom activities and the QEP document recently submitted to SACSCOC are available at www.qep.eku.edu.
The QEP planning process has generated much interest in helping EKU students become more critical readers.
“I hope everyone will look for additional QEP learning opportunities in the fall,” Bosley said. “There will be workshops, professional learning communities, and events for faculty, staff and students.”