Quality Enhancement Plan

Required in order to remain accredited by SACSCOC, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a five-year initiative that focuses on improving student learning and/or success. 

SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body of degree-granting higher education institutions in 11 southern states, from Texas to Florida and north to Kentucky and Virginia.

Why do we need a QEP?

  • Developing and successfully executing a QEP is a required component of our reaffirmation of accreditation with SACSCOC, which occurs once every 10 years.
  • For those who have participated in QEPs in the past (including Mason’s successful Students as Scholars QEP in 2011), it is important to know there have been some recent changes in SACSCOC’s expectations regarding the expectations and scope of the QEP.
  • The QEP may outline a new initiative, or it may focus on something else that is already underway.
  • The plan must be connected to the University’s mission and/or strategic plan.
  • There must be measurable baseline data that informs the development of our plan, in other words, it must be “research-based process.”

What are the requirements of a QEP?

The QEP must be a project that:

  • Enhances student learning and/or student success;
  • Is related to the mission of the university;
  • Has broad-based institutional support;
  • Includes a commitment of appropriate resources; and
  • Has a plan for assessment



Final QEP

Quality Enhancement Plan cover titled "Transformative Education through Anti-Racist Community Engagement."

George Mason University submitted its QEP, Transformative Education through Anti-Racist Community Engagement, on February 10, 2022. 

The QEP represents the broad-based involvement of Mason students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrators, and community partners in the selection and development of the topic.

Mason's QEP and our university-wide initiative, the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force, have similar goals and visions but are separate programs (QEP versus ARIE).



Town Hall

Members of the Mason community were invited to join a virtual town hall on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, to learn about Mason’s next Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) “Transformative Education through Anti-Racist Community Engagement.”

During the town hall, members of the QEP Development Committee outlined the QEP planning process and details, as well as provided opportunities for attendees to ask questions and share feedback.


Two presentations on the QEP were given to Mason's Academic Council:


Topic Selection

Mason’s Reaffirmation Leadership Team, with input from the Mason community, has chosen Transformative Education through Equity and Justice: Anti- Racist Community Engagement as the university’s next QEP proposal.

The QEP, which is an important component of our upcoming reaffirmation of accreditation by SACSCOC, specifically focuses on improving student learning/student success. The topic reflects on the strengths of the original Civic Engagement proposal, addresses opportunities for qualitative improvement in student success, engages academic and co-curricular communities across Mason, and positions our students and faculty to respond to current social issues.

What should be included in topic proposals?

  • A proposal should be fairly brief (no more than two pages, excluding cover page and references) and should address the key points/items/questions identified below.
  • When developing ideas for a QEP topic proposal, it may be useful to think about Mason’s strengths and characteristics as an institution. Think about interdisciplinary/cross-curricular initiatives, the diversity of Mason’s student body, our reputation and status as a university for the world, our rapid growth and location in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, etc.
  • Please note that at this point, we do not need a full proposal, but any viable topic should provide some basic information relating to each of the key points/items/questions identified below.

Components of a QEP Topic Proposal

  • Topic: Describe your Quality Enhancement Plan topic.

    • Give your proposed topic a descriptive title, something that stands out and generates excitement.
    • What is the single, overarching goal of this QEP topic? How does it connect to Mason’s strategic plan and/or mission?
  • Champions of the Proposal: What faculty, staff, or students are supportive of this proposal? (We expect a team of at least three champions for any viable topic)
    • Please give your name and MasonID, identifying yourself as the topic proposal’s “Lead Champion”
    • Please list the names and MasonIDs for at least two other champions of your proposal.
  • Who? What constituencies does this QEP intend to reach? Who will be impacted by this QEP?
  • How? A successful QEP must “improve specific learning outcomes and/or student success.” In what way will this proposed project improve student learning or student success?
  • Relevance: What existing institutional data supports your proposal? Is any additional data needed in order to make a case for this project to be considered viable?
    • The website for Mason’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning may provide some useful and relevant data, depending on your topic.

What is the topic proposal selection process?

SACSCOC quality enhancement plan process

*Enlarge the SACSCOC QEP Topic Selection Process diagram. 

What is the timeline for topic proposal selection?

  • Proposals were due December 16, 2019.
  • Topic proposals were selected and the champions of the topics were notified in January 2020.
  • Presentations of all four topics were presented twice:
    • Tuesday, March 17, 2020: 3:00 p.m., Merten Hall 1201
    • Thursday, March 26, 2020: 12:00 p.m., Research Hall 163 (WebEx viewing will be available and a recording will be placed on this website afterward)
  • Window for campus community input and ranking of topics: March 30 – April 17, 2020
  • Announcement of selected QEP topic: late April-early May
  • Following selection of the QEP topic, the University established a QEP Steering Committee to lead the preparation of the QEP for completion by the end of the Fall 2021 semester.


Proposal Selections

View the top four proposal presentations below:


University Involvement

SACSCOC Leadership Team

  • Dr. Matthew Smith, Director of Accreditation
  • Dr. Justin Sutters, SACSCOC Faculty Fellow
  • Dr. Gesele Durham, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
  • Dr. Kim Eby, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development
  • Doug McKenna, University Registrar
  • Dr. Janette Muir, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives and Services
  • Dr. Bethany Usher, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

QEP Development Committee



Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact co-chairs Kristen Wright (Director of Civic Engagement) and Dr. Justin Sutters (SACSCOC Faculty Fellow and Director of Mason’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education program).