I am writing in response to the opinion piece by Olivia Reeb about the QEP in Feb. 6 Minaret.
I appreciate that some of the benefits of the QEP were noted and recognized. Ultimately the QEP is designed to improve the campus environment for student success and to focus on improving student learning outcomes.
However, it does not appear Ms. Reeb read the full QEP posted on ut.edu/qep, as many important nuances and details about the initiative were clearly missed or in error.
First, UT students have been involved in QEP program design since Fall 2013 through various focus groups, presentations and surveys. In fact, I taught a pilot Gateways section last fall using the QEP Inquiry modules, and that group of students and their mentor provided valuable feedback.
Secondly, we believe most UT students will be pleased to have increased opportunities to do mentored research with a faculty member or to do an enhanced internship before they graduate. Either experience will enrich students’ education and make them better prepared for graduate school or future work. Of course, the QEP does not make anyone do these things; participation is voluntary and through application. However, if students choose to not engage in these important experiences, they will devalue their UT experience.
Third, no student will be forced into a major or forced to declare one any earlier than the process calls for now. Future students, under the QEP, will have the time and freedom to find a path that suits them best along with more opportunities for exposure to the possibilities.
Ultimately, each student, like Ms. Reeb, will make their choice to like/not like/ participate/ignore the QEP. But they should do so only after knowing what it is and what it has to offer.
Dr. Joseph D. Sclafani
Professor of Psychology
Director of Reaffirmation