By Steve Lang, News and Publications
    April Aultman Becker declared Sul Ross State University’s 2018 Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) launch party a success.
   “There was no food left,” said Aultman Becker, Dean of Library and Research Technologies and  co-coordinator of the QEP.
   About 200 persons, including over 100 students and 80 faculty and staff attended Thursday’s (Jan. 25) launch party of the 2018 QEP, “Compass: Navigating Excellence through Effective Communication,” held in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. The plan was also launched at Rio Grande College (RGC), under the direction of QEP co-coordinator Dr. Dan Foley.
   The party and information fair included unveiling the new QEP logo, designed by RGC graduate student Maria Garza, and visual and verbal information about the new plan. Visitors received refreshments and Swag bags, with drawings for door prizes. Sul Ross graduate student Abe Kamara won the grand prize, a Chromebook. Swag bags are still available for students who did not receive one.
   “We wanted to get the word out to campus in a user-friendly way,” Aultman Becker said. She said Sul Ross develops a new Quality Enhancement Plan every 10 years to coincide with the university’s accreditation process.
   The QEP, to be implemented Fall Semester 2018, is directed at junior and senior-level courses and seeks to provide students with communication skills across the campus. Project outcomes are to increase opportunities for students to demonstrate competency in written, oral and visual communication through their coursework; and to enhance faculty capacity to teach communication skills through increased professional development opportunities.
   “Our quality enhancement plan is dedicated to our students,” said Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom, assistant vice president for Institutional Effectiveness and assistant professor of Education.
   “The planning committee reviewed assessment data to determine the greatest needs for students, and oral, written and graphic skills were selected,” Qvarnstrom said.  “Faculty in selected courses will be embedding these three skills into their curriculum to empower students to be more accomplished in communication.”
   Aultman Becker said that faculty have volunteered to redesign classes to integrate the communication  components.
   Dr. Joseph Velasco, associate professor of Communication, said “Understanding how to communicate effectively through written, oral, and visual communication is vital. An extensive body of research documents the historical and contemporary societal need for effective communicators across various contexts, cultures, relationships, and media.”
   “Sul Ross recognizes this need and seeks to develop student competence in written, oral, and visual communication across all academic programs, academic colleges, and Sul Ross campuses. An important strategy of our QEP is to enhance faculty development. That is, we not only want to enhance student learning, we want to become better teachers of speaking, writing, and visual communication.” 
   Aultman Becker said the overall plan is to provide students “with more chances at new classes to hone their communication skills. We will be planning more events and opportunities to showcase student progress.”
   “I am very confident in the plan we have created and the team we have assembled to orchestrate this effort,” Velasco said.
   For more information, visit the QEP website, or contact Aultman Becker,


Sul Ross junior Javier Garcia, San Elizario, a happy QEP door prize winner. (Photo by Steve Lang)

QEP logo designed Rio Grande College graduate student Mari Garza.