Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Encourages Student Involvement in Development of SACS Quality Enhancement Plan
Feb. 9, 2011



FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama is urging its students and faculty to be involved in the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that will improve the quality of education for UNA students for years to come.

The university is up for its 10-year SACS accreditation reaffirmation review in 2012. According to Dr. Phil Bridgmon, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and leader of the QEP team, UNA’s primary QEP goals for SACS reaffirmation are to ensure students are research literate in their respective disciplines.

The QEP development process is vital to UNA because it allows the university to examine its academic support services and the way writing and research education is being structured. Celia Reynolds, SACS reaffirmation director at UNA, said the QEP planning team is seeking input from students, faculty, alumni and local businesses as the process moves forward.

“We are very sincere about student input and involvement,” Bridgmon said. “UNA has taken reaffirmation very seriously. Getting involved gives students an insight into how organizations work, heightens their awareness of the external obligations and environments the university operates within, and helps them learn decision-making, critical analysis and prioritizing obligations.”

The renewal of UNA’s SACS accreditation is a process that takes several years to complete. The QEP team is currently developing its five-year plan, which will be due in early 2012. The university’s compliance report will be submitted in September 2011 and reviewed by an off-site SACS committee in November. The on-campus SACS visit is scheduled for Feb. 28-March 1 of 2012.

UNA junior and QEP student representative Caleb Banks is enthusiastic about getting more students on board with the QEP development process.

“This is something that will affect every single person on campus, including every department and major,” he said. “Everyone has to be on board for this to happen, and we have to prove to SACS that UNA is still moving forward and that we are not a stagnant being.”

Reynolds hopes more students and faculty members will get involved to improve the quality of education for students, which would lead to more job opportunities in the future. The QEP team has also sought opinion from UNA alumni and local employers in seeing how UNA can better prepare its students to serve in society.

For more information about QEP, contact Dr. Phil Bridgmon at 256-765-4192 or e-mail QEP@una.edu.