ASU's QEP Enhances Students First-Year Experience

News Date

Alabama State University is launching a rigorous initiative to enhance the first-year experience of incoming students for fall 2020.

ASU’s QEP, “A Journey to Success in First-Year Experience,” focuses on enhancing student success through intensive learning experiences via Orientation 100, English 130, English 131, and English 132 courses. It will be launched through a virtual marketing campaign that targets the University’s first-year students.

President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., said the QEP is a vital plan required by ASU’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges Commission of Colleges (SACSCOC), during the University’s reaffirmation process.

“We are excited to implement this plan to increase students’ persistence beyond their first year at ASU, improve student learning and increase overall student engagement on their educational journey,” said Ross. “Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, will be important social media tools used in getting information about the QEP and the University’s mission to our students.”

Ross noted the QEP was developed with broad-based input from ASU’s deans, students, faculty and staff, as well as from alumni, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness. Baseline data was used to steer the topic development.

Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and the University’s SACSCOC Institutional Accreditation Liaison, Dr. Christine C. Thomas, said the primary mission of the QEP is to enhance the student success culture at ASU by fostering an environment of learning and engagement for first-year students participating in institutional activities and events.  It is a carefully designed and focused course of action that is linked to improving the quality of student learning, consistent with our mission and strategic priorities.   

“It is encouraging to know that we have a broad base of internal and external supporters who are invested in student learning and student success.  The efforts used to develop the QEP demonstrated the importance of the collaborative partnerships  between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, with the support of Institutional Effectiveness and our QEP Ambassadors,” Thomas said.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Carl S. Pettis, added that the QEP also seeks to ensure that students develop their academic knowledge, professional skills and career knowledge through nurturing professional relationships that will propel them toward academic persistence and professional success.

“We strive to offer our students a complete and holistic view of what academic excellence encompasses and what we expect from all ASU scholars. Nurturing and cultivating the catalyst for a brighter tomorrow is our goal. Our QEP is poised to do just that,” said Pettis.

Thomas emphasized that the QEP’s primary goal is student success.

“We know that we enroll the best and brightest at ASU. As a result, we have an educational, social and cultural obligation to ensure a smooth transition for each of our students. Our QEP will connect our newest Hornets to all that our University has to offer, from in-class instruction to out-of-class activities and events, which will not only reinforce the tenets of student learning and success, but assist them in creating college memories along the way,” Thomas said.

While developing the plan, the institution reviewed best practices and current research that would enhance student learning and student success with high impact curricular and co-curricular activities. 

“We look forward to summer training for our faculty who will be facilitating the courses impacted by the Quality Enhancement Plan and its full implementation this fall,” Ross said, adding that the Department of Institutional Effectiveness will market the QEP throughout the summer.

Alabama State alumnus and owner of T Baldwin Music, LLC, Terrence Baldwin (Class of ‘03, B.S. Music Education), lent his talents to ASU by creating a jingle that focuses on the QEP and highlights student success.  To listen to the jingle, click here.  

For more information about ASU’s QEP, please contact Dr. Rolanda Horn at 334-229-8531 or visit