LSU is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). A key part of the reaffirmation of accreditation requires institutions to develop and implement a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) every five years to demonstrate their commitment to academic excellence and student learning and success. You can learn more about LSU’s comprehensive SACSCOC reaffirmation processes here.
To improve all LSU undergraduate students’ communication skills while elevating their learning of course content through expanded access to communication-intensive teaching and learning experiences across all disciplines/majors.
Effective communication is vital to college teaching and to students’ learning. This is why LSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan is focused on expanding our high-impact communication-intensive programming across the campus. We want all undergraduate students—regardless of their major—to have access to communication-intensive classroom experiences and co-curricular learning support services that will set them up for success, and we will be expanding support for our teaching faculty who will be at the forefront of making this happen.
QEP Primary Student Learning Outcomes
- Undergraduate students taking a Certified C-I Course are able to successfully articulate ideas, thoughts, and knowledge through effective written, verbal, visual, and/or technological communication.
- After completing a Certified C-I Course, undergraduate students express an increased awareness and value of the importance of effective communication within their chosen field/discipline, and their confidence in their ability to effectively communicate increases.
- Undergraduate students pursuing the LSU Communicator Certificate demonstrate strong integrative reflection skills and can effectively articulate the relevance of their communication skills in the context of their field/discipline and their post-graduation goals.
- Undergraduate students completing three or more C-I Courses are retained and graduate at higher rates compared to students who do not take C-I courses.
QEP Key Budget Elements
Teacher Development & Recognition
To increase the availability of C-I courses across all undergraduate majors, we must first focus on supporting undergraduate teaching excellence. Priority action items include:
- Scaling up introductory, intermediate, and advanced C-I teacher training/development experiences
- Developing easy-to-use asynchronous C-I teaching resources
- Facilitating peer-to-peer support through disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching communities
- Providing meaningful incentives, rewards, and benefits for C-I teachers
- Easing barriers for teachers wanting to integrate C-I into their courses
- Streamlining C-I course certification processes for teachers
All C-I teaching resources and support will be available to all LSU undergraduate teachers currently teaching or seeking to teach C-I courses, regardless of rank/classification. This includes tenured and tenure-track faculty, part-time and full-time instructors, adjuncts, and graduate teaching assistants.
Co-Curricular Student Support & Recognition
Improving communication skills requires iterative practice throughout the college experience. To support students working on all types of communication-based assignments, we must ensure they have access to high-impact co-curricular support services. Priority action items include:
- Increasing capacity to enable face-to-face and virtual peer coaching/support for undergraduates at all levels and across all majors
- Elevating training of student staff (UGAs and GTAs) as client services professionals and peer mentors
- Providing meaningful incentives, rewards, and benefits for student peer mentors (UGAs and GTAs) to increase retention of student staff
- Creating connections among student peer mentors and C-I teachers to increase effectiveness of peer coaching sessions and C-I teaching
- Expanding and enhancing C-I learning technologies and spaces across the campus to improve accessibility, accommodate increasing student visits, and meet contemporary teaching and learning needs within and across the disciplines
- Expanding student support to include intercultural communication coaching for American, international, native English speakers, and ESL students
- Streamlining systems and processes to scale up the LSU Communicator Certificate program
All C-I learning resources and support will be available to all LSU undergraduates regardless of whether they are enrolled in C-I courses.
Marketing Communications, Outreach, & Engagement
The campus community must play an active part in shaping the QEP activities and needs to know about LSU’s commitment to enhancing undergraduate teaching and elevating students’ communication skills. Priority action items include:
- Engaging the campus community in think tanks, focus groups, surveys, etc. to inform the QEP
- Establishing a peer-to-peer student ambassador team to elevate students’ understanding of the relevance and value of effective communication skills to their academic and post-college journey and knowing how to access the many opportunities and support resources available to them
- Cultivating relationships with teaching faculty, demonstrating how and why C-I is a high-impact teaching and learning practice within their respective discipline, understanding the teaching support resources available to them and their students, and illuminating the significant investment LSU is making in them as educators
- Encouraging academic support staff to articulate how their respective work connects and contributes to further enhancing students’ communication skills
- Publicly demonstrating how and why C-I elevates teaching within the disciplines, improves student learning and success, and increases the overall value of an LSU degree
Personnel, Operations, & Assessment
This QEP builds upon LSU’s 15+ years of success with its C-I teaching and learning model, which includes institutional components as well as college-specific customizations. As we expand access across the disciplines, we must ensure all of our operational models—existing and new—are efficient, effective, and sustainable beyond 2029. Priority action items include:
- Leveraging institutional data along with department-level expertise to identify courses within the degree pathways that are most suitable for C-I certification
- Collaborating with deans, department chairs, and teaching faculty to customize integration of C-I teaching and learning to accommodate the nuances of the disciplines and college culture, while also maintaining equity, academic quality, and institutional efficiency
- Realigning and creating CxC-related roles/responsibilities across the campus to enable scaling of C-I programming
- Eliminating soft funding sources and allocating appropriate budgets to enable strategic planning and effective implementation
- Collaborating with teaching faculty to intentionally align assessment efforts and resulting data to college and departmental-level goals, priorities, and accreditation requirements
- Creating and maintaining interconnected data analysis systems to inform holistic programming decisions and efficiently assess the impact of C-I on teaching and learning