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What is a QEP?

Quality enhancement is central to Piedmont College’s goal of being the best small college in the Southeast. As part of the college’s accreditation renewal process, we developed a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to focus on specific issues that engage the entire academic community and lead to greater student success.


What is the goal of the QEP?

The goal of the current QEP is to engage all Piedmont students in “deep learning” experiences in and out of the classroom. Deep learning means that you do much more than scratch the surface of a subject. One good analogy is the difference between snorkeling and scuba diving: snorkelers see a lot at the surface, but scuba divers gain a deeper understanding of the ocean. Students involved in deep learning are more successful in their academic work and more involved in the social and academic life of the college.


What are High-Impact Practices (HIP)?

Deep Learning often involves activities known as High-Impact Practices or HIPs. These are courses and other activities that allow students to jump in and “get their hands dirty” rather than sitting at a desk taking notes. Examples explain it best: HIPs can include study abroad, working at internships, serving in leadership roles on campus, or conducting independent and group research. These are just a few of the HIPs that students can benefit from.

Piedmont has always offered HIP classes, and the goal of the QEP is to increase the number of those classes and ensure that students participate in at least one HIP class or activity each year.  


How do students benefit from taking HIP classes?

High-Impact Practices (HIP) classes go to the heart of what it means to learn. Memorization is important, but when students put what they know to work in real-life situations, learning expands exponentially. HIP classes frequently involve students in more one-on-one collaboration with their professors, with their fellow students, and with the greater community—which can improve their entire college experience.


Are HIP classes and activities mandatory?

No, but by increasing the number of HIP opportunities and making students aware of the benefits, we are certain that student’s will “Choose to be HIP!” The QEP represents a shift from offering an opportunity to engage in HIP activities to an expectation of HIP participation.