East Carolina University QEP: Faculty Participation


By Jordan Stanley

As beneficial as Quality Enhancement Plans (QEPs) are for the students of a university, they are comparably advantageous for the faculty. In the case of East Carolina University, it is the institution’s goal that the QEP serves as “an opportunity to strengthen the educational experiences of ECU students.” This goal is coming to fruition via the cooperation and integration of faculty into the initiative. In the ECU QEP, faculty are comprehended as valuable assets to the student writing experience across all disciplines—assets that, under the new programs, are essential in working toward creating a uniform standard of writing that will unify the campus under a cohesive understanding for improvement.

One of the main features of East Carolina’s QEP that is geared toward faculty is the Writing Liaisons program. Writing Liaisons are faculty members from undergraduate programs across the campus who facilitate communication between their academic programs and the University Writing and Writing Foundations programs. This involves monthly meetings with QEP leadership, including QEP Director Dr. Sharer, where Liaisons are able to share updates and concerns about the implementation of QEP initiatives. This month, several instructors of ENGL2201 will share their syllabi with the Writing Liaisons so that the Liaisons can (1) gain a better understanding of what students are learning in the course, and (2) bring this information back to their programs so faculty in writing intensive classes across the disciplines can work off of what students know from ENG2201.

The goal of the Writing Liaisons is to ensure that faculty collaborate on ways to ensure that students receive consistent information on writing expectations and strategies. In the previous post on ECU’s QEP, the idea of a “vertical curriculum” was introduced, where students are required to take a writing intensive course for each year of their undergraduate education. “This kind of sharing of information across diverse degree programs at the university is critical if the ‘vertical curriculum’ is going to be most beneficial to students,” said Dr. Sharer of the Liaisons.

The university’s required writing portfolios were also highlighted in the previous post on ECU’s QEP as a unique feature to the initiative. These portfolios, or UWPorts, are not only an essential part to the students’ vertical learning, but also a staple of faculty involvement in the QEP. Although the UWPorts are geared toward student improvement, the QEP addresses that in order for consistent writing to be affective for students, the faculty, too, be able to assess this writing consistently. To achieve this cohesion, Section X of the ECU QEP—which may be found on the East Carolina website—outlines how faculty should approach and evaluate the UWPorts. A staple of Section X reads: “Portfolios can benefit instructors and improve instruction. Seeing students’ responses to course assignments and their perceptions of their own learning can suggest ways that faculty might improve assignments and pedagogy.”

So far, the QEP has contributed noticeably to the cohesiveness of writing pedagogies around the ECU campus. QEP leadership feels that there is a far greater awareness across the university of what students learn in composition courses and how faculty should build on this, and the Writing Liaisons have been integral to this. QEP Director Dr. Sharer said of faculty, “that they are much more aware of what they are looking for in student writing and are much more aware of how to design assignments and writing activities to help students success as writers.”

For how the ECU QEP further focuses on faculty enhancement, please read here.


Jordan Stanley is currently a junior at Elon University. She is studying English with concentrations in Professional Writing & Rhetoric and Creative Writing, and works both in the Elon Writing Center and as a Writing Fellow.