Thank you to the JCSU community for your enthusiastic participation in the development of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). JCSU faculty, staff, and students shared their ideas and thoughts about improving the quality of education here at JCSU. Ultimately, Undergraduate Research was the area selected for the QEP and it is the QEP committee’s hope that each one of our students, faculty, staff members, and our Northwest Corridor community will benefit from our efforts. We continue to welcome your input, comments, and participation in the JCSU QEP - Cultivating a Culture and Curriculum for Undergraduate Research.
What is the QEP?
The Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for 2017-2022, “Cultivating a Culture and Curriculum for Undergraduate Research”, has been developed from an inclusive process that allowed for considerable input from all JCSU constituencies.
The curriculum at JCSU will be modified to focus on the development of basic research skills in foundation courses. Continued development of these skills will be effected by scaffolded research experiences in the major courses, leading to improved Senior Investigative Papers/Projects (SIPs). Faculty development will include workshops on developing research skills, classroom-based research project development, and proposal development.
The culture for research will be enhanced by a process audit of barriers to undergraduate research effectiveness, additional support for mentored undergraduate research, and increased staff training opportunities. In addition to improving SIPs through more intentional research skill development throughout the undergraduate experience, a positive benefit of these activities will be an increased number of externally-funded research activities on campus, which will lead to a perpetuation of the achievement of the goals of this QEP beyond its five year time-frame.
The overarching intention of the QEP inquiry is to use the Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research (COEUR) as a guide to enhance the institution’s support for both the culture and curriculum of undergraduate research. The specific elements listed under the COEUR Indicator categories were derived from a campus needs assessment with respect to undergraduate research and frame the current local concerns in these areas.
Goal 1: To improve the quality of learning by cultivating a culture of undergraduate research in the following areas: Campus Mission and Culture, Administrative Support, Research Infrastructure, Recognition, External Funding, Dissemination, Student-Centered Issues, Strategic Planning.
Goal 2: To improve the quality of learning by embedding research skill development across the curriculum in the following areas: Professional Development, Course-Embedded Research, Mentored Research, Evaluation and Assessment
Student Learning Outcomes
To remain as inclusive as possible what defines research at JCSU across the various disciplines, the QEP committee decided to adopt Willison and O'Regan's Research Skill Development Framework (RSDF) (www.rsd.edu.au). Based on this framework, the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are as follows:
- Embark and Clarify: Students will be able to respond to or initiate research and clarify or determine what knowledge is required, heeding, ethical, cultural, social and community consideration. (Curiosity)
- Find and Generate: Students will be able to find & generate needed information/data using appropriate methodology. (Determined)
- Evaluate and Reflect: Students will be able to determine and critique the degree of credibility of selected sources, information and or data generated and metacognitively reflect on processes used. (Discerning)
- Organize and Manage: Students will be able to organize information and data to reveal patterns and themes, and manage community and research processes. (Harmonizing)
- Analyze and Synthesize: Students will be able to analyze information/data critically and synthesize new knowledge to produce coherent individual/community understandings. (Creative)
- Communicate and Apply: Students will be able to discuss, listen, write, present and perform the processes, understandings and applications of the research, and respond to feedback, accounting for ethical, cultural, social and community issues. (Constructive)