Creating Career Connect Through UNT's QEP

Career Connect was developed as part of UNT's reaccreditation submision to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in February 2016. SACSCOC requires re-accreditation every 10 years and the submission contained two main parts:

  • The Compliance Certification Report, an assessment of UNT’s compliance with core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements of the Commission on Colleges
  • The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) or Career Connect, a five-year plan to enhances student learning throughout the entire university

On December 6, 2016 UNT received reaccreditation status from SACSCOC until 2026.

The process for selecting UNT's Quality Enhancement Plan, UNT Career Connect, started in 2013 when initial planning conversations were held with faculty and staff. A QEP Leadership Team was established in fall 2013 and included students, faculty, staff and external community partners. The team was tasked with gathering information from the entire university community to find out what those at UNT and those who partner with UNT would like for a QEP.

From fall 2013 to spring 2014, ideas were solicited and topics narrowed down while the QEP leadership team researched UNT’s areas of needs based on data provided by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. UNT Career Connect was chosen at UNT's QEP in fall 2014.

Initial Ideas

In the beginning, UNT's QEP website detailed ways that the university community could get involved in the conversation about the plan.

The QEP Leadership Team also began to immediately connect with individuals and groups across campus. Following discussions across campus and a call for submissions in November 2013, the QEP Leadership Team received 300 responses from students, faculty and staff regarding what they would like to see as UNT's QEP. Team members sorted those into topic clusters.

Short Proposals 

In early spring 2014, the QEP Leadership Team again visited with student, faculty and staff groups to determine which topic clusters most interested the university community. A call for short proposal submissions was also made, with the team noting that the proposals must meet the criteria for a Quality Enhancement Plan.

The five proposal groups submitted five short proposals  and the QEP Leadership team reviewed them and then selected four as finalists. Career Connect asked finalists to submit longer proposals.

Long Proposals

Finalists submitted long proposals to the QEP Leadership Team in  fall 2014. After a comprehensive, campus-wide evaluation process of each proposal, UNT Career Connect was chosen as the university's QEP. President Neal Smatresk announced on Nov. 3, 2014, to the UNT community that UNT Career Connect was chosen as the university's QEP.

The QEP or Career Connect engages UNT students through high-impact, experiential learning in the context of communities - public or private sector - in order to enhance their marketable skills - in particular, communication, teamwork, and critical thinking.

The plan strengthens UNT's commitment to educational excellence by allowing students to gain valuable career experience while learning. This is already being done in a number of ways at the university - including both curricular and co-curricular activities - but this plan will expand it to ensure that every student has the opportunity to connect their valuable learning experiences.

The plan gives students more opportunities to interact with the surrounding community, solve problems and strengthen their critical thinking and communication skills. A critical, high-impact component of the QEP is the use of an ePortfolio. The ePortfolio allows UNT students to collect, connect, and showcase evidence of their learning and have that evidence assessed by UNT faculty or staff who supervise their curricular and co-curricular, real-world experiences.

Pilot Projects took place in spring 2016 and the QEP officially launched in fall 2016. More than 40 activities have been initiated in the QEP’s inaugural semester.

For more detail on about the overall process and selection, check out our archives page.