Date Awarded

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Pamela L Eddy

Committee Member

Christopher R Gareis

Committee Member

Jacob D Joseph


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) mandates the completion of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which requires institutions to develop and implement initiatives to improve student learning or the student learning environment as part of the reaffirmation process (SACS, 2016a). The purpose of this study was to examine the reported impact of QEPs of various institutional types and topic areas on student learning at SACS-accredited institutions. Additionally, this study also examined the effective practices that institutions have identified in the implementation of their QEPs. The data analysis revealed the following four areas of student learning that the QEP reportedly impacted: critical thinking, global competence, information literacy, and reading and writing mastery. The data analysis also revealed the following three effective practices for use during QEP implementation: the mixed use of direct and indirect measures of assessment, communities of practice, and high-impact practices. These findings indicated the occurrence of organizational learning during the QEP process, as well as a potential for interorganizational learning that could further foster innovation and maximize impact on student learning.



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