For the second straight year, Sul Ross State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) will be showcased at the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ (SACSCOC) National Convention. This year’s convention is scheduled for December 5-8 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Quality Enhancement Plan, entitled Compass: Navigating Excellent through Effective Communication, is in the second year of implementation at Sul Ross.

The SRSU QEP is the product of faculty, staff and student planning led by Coordinators Dean April Aultman Becker and Dr. Dan Foley. They are assisted by faculty guides including Dr. Tiffany Culver, Dr. Jennifer Miller and Dr. Joey Velasco. The program is coordinated by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and supported by Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom and Deborah Derden as data analyst. The QEP is designed to increase students’ skills in writing, speaking and visual presentation.

“This year, there are fourteen faculty from all four Sul Ross campuses who have joined the QEP program as ‘Navigators’,” said Dr. Qvarnstrom. “Their role is to promote communication skills in their courses.”

Qvarnstrom noted that faculty members are representative of all academic colleges.

Faculty Navigators include: Dr. Audrey Taylor, Dr. Kevin Young, Dr. Thomas Matula, Dr. Michael Ortiz, Dr. Jennifer Miller, Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez, Dr. Ryan Luna, Professor Diana Rodriguez, Dr. Joey Velasco, Dr. Alicia Trotman, Dr. Francine Richter, Professor Carolyn Barrientes, Dr. Jamie Boyd and Dr. Billy Jack Ray.

“Both students and faculty who participate in the QEP are excited about the success,” Qvarnstrom said.

She added that in a fall 2018 survey, students enrolled in QEP courses reported that their communication skills had developed (92% strongly agree and 8% somewhat agree).

“Some faculty have summed up the program as, ‘an amazing experience’,” she said.

Reflecting on the honor, Becker observed, “We’ve had tremendous input and support from faculty, staff and students on our QEP from the days of topic development to the implementation of Mapped Courses.”

“Our faculty Navigators have worked very hard creating and teaching their Mapped Courses with the goal to improve students’ written, oral and nonverbal communication skills, a marketable skill that employers across the country look for in new hires,” she said.

Qvarnstrom said that as Sul Ross moves into year three, more faculty are invited to become a part of the QEP.

“Dean Becker and Dr. Foley are currently accepting faculty applications to become involved through infusing communication skills in their courses,” said Qvarnstrom.

For more information, contact Dr. Qvarnstrom@