Perspectives | Case Study

Inclusive campus engagement of faculty, staff and students identifies meaningful QEP theme for university accreditation requirement.



A large doctoral research and academic medical center educating roughly 20,000 students annually and employing a work force of over 23,000 university and hospital employees.


The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is the recognized accrediting body in eleven U.S. Southern States for institutions of higher education. Accredited by SACS, the university was required to develop and achieve goals for student learning as set forth in a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a carefully selected and designed course of institutional improvement to enhance student learning and outcomes. The development of the QEP required a demonstrated involvement of the academic community in theme identification and development. The university was in need of a partner to conduct campus-wide engagement and complete a synthesis of themes for recommendation to and selection by the President and Provost.


Clarus developed a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process to collect data from across campus and facilitate conversations to identify potential QEP themes, including:

  • Organizational Culture Assessment
  • Communications Planning
  • Facilitation Services


The university’s commitment to excellence in student learning was evident in the selection of their QEP topic: Learning in a Team Environment. By selecting this topic, the university will expose students to team-based learning, which will facilitate greater retention of classroom materials, increase participation in classroom activities, and prepare students for the workplace after graduation. In addition to meeting SACS standards, the university’s QEP topic selection and execution resulted in its accreditation reaffirmation in 2015.

Clarus’ design and facilitation to gather insights from faculty, students, administrators and other key stakeholders resulted in the identification of numerous potential topics informed directly by the university community. In addition, Clarus served as an objective third party, which brought neutrality to the process and enabled Clarus to gather unfiltered feedback to enrich the development of the QEP topic.