I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The University of Mobile is an institution intentionally dedicated to Biblically-based Christian culture in heritage, faith, and practice and is committed to providing educational programs of the highest quality to its students. One of UM’s goals is to graduate students who are able to express themselves clearly, correctly, and succinctly in writing. It is in support of this objective that the University of Mobile has developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that seeks to improve our traditional undergraduate students’ written communication skills through the implementation of Writing Intensive Networks (WIN). The network will include faculty, students, Learning and Writing Center staff and peer tutors.
The QEP Steering Committee was charged with the responsibility of developing an enhancement program appropriate to UM’s goals, values, and resources. Membership of this committee included representatives from across the university community including faculty, staff, students, alumni, administration, and trustees. University constituents were invited to examine institutional data in preparation for QEP topic submission. Presentations were made to groups across the campus explaining the QEP process and soliciting topic proposals. Following the topic selection process, the committee, with continued input from stakeholders, developed a five-year plan, including assessment measures and an operating budget, set for full implementation in the 2014-15 academic year.
Program Goals and Action Plans
The QEP identifies four program goals: (1) Establish uniformity in the Writing Intensive (WI) curriculum; (2) Increase the amount of writing required of UM students; (3) Expand the reach of the University Learning/Writing Center; and (4) Improve the ability of faculty to integrate writing into their WI courses. The QEP establishes the following action plans to accomplish these goals: (1) Develop a university-wide definition of Writing Intensive (WI) courses; (2) Revise the existing WI curriculum within each major or concentration; (3) Increase usage and perceived value of the University Learning/Writing Center; and (4) Provide writing-centered professional development opportunities for UM faculty who teach WI courses.
Student Learning Outcomes
As a result of the Writing Intensive Networks, students will demonstrate an increased proficiency in the ability to: (1) formulate a thesis, develop an outline, and write an essay of a prescribed length utilizing effective grammar and vocabulary, varied sentence structure, well-developed paragraphs, and appropriate transitions; (2) revise drafts of written assignments based on feedback from faculty, Learning/Writing Center staff, and peers; (3) select, analyze, and incorporate appropriate supporting material; (4) demonstrate attention to context, audience, and purpose in writing assignments; and (5) follow conventions and writing styles appropriate to specific disciplines.
A variety of direct and indirect measures have been selected to assess the student learning outcomes as well as the overall progress of the QEP. These will be administered and analyzed at regular intervals during the five-year period.