Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Announces Quality Enhancement Plan on Research Literacy
Dec. 18, 2009



FLORENCE, Ala. – After about eight months of work, the University of North Alabama announced its five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – “Academic Research Literacy in the Disciplines” – this week. The announcement was made by Dr. William G. Cale Jr., UNA president, at the university’s quarterly board of trustees meeting Monday.

The QEP is a five-year program that systematically addresses an aspect of student learning. The plan is a key component of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation reaffirmation process, which occurs every 10 years. UNA’s accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2002.

The QEP topic on academic research literacy “is aimed at strengthening the fundamental and essential skills of writing, research and quantitative literacies,” said Dr. William G. Cale, UNA president.

The topic was chosen after a lengthy process, which included input from the entire university community as well as the public. Possible QEP topics were eventually narrowed to three areas – global awareness, service learning, and academic research literacy and writing – and expanded proposals were solicited for each area.

The plan ultimately selected was authored by Dr. Robert Koch Jr., director of the UNA Center for Writing Excellence; Dr. Nick Mauriello, assistant professor of English; and Dr. Kelly Latchaw, assistant professor of English.

Over the next year, the plan will be developed into a five-year project to strengthen students’ understanding and use of research tools and communication skills, particularly writing, as they are applied to a broad range of disciplines.

“This (QEP) topic is significant to the university and its students,” said Celia Reynolds, UNA’s SACS reaffirmation director, citing the importance and expectation of strong communication skills among college alumni.

The QEP builds upon UNA’s core academic competencies while supporting the university’s mission and strategic plan. It also employs structures and expertise already available at UNA.

“The plan is applicable to all disciplines throughout the university and has the potential for significant, long-lasting impact on our students and the future,” Reynolds said.

For more information on the QEP, visit www.una.edu/qep.