Kennedy Fine Arts Building


Four Things You Need to Know About Our Upcoming QEP (to begin in 2022)

1. What's a "QEP"?

"QEP" stands for "Quality Enhancement Plan." A QEP is required by SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges), Savannah State University's accrediting body. It is a five-year project that will enhance the quality of our students’ education.

2. What is SACSCOC and why do you need to be accredited as a university?

SACSCOC  (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges) is the regional accrediting body for colleges and universities in the southeast.  SACSCOC accredits Savannah State University (SSU) to award degrees. Every ten years SSU must be reviewed to get reaccredited so we can:

3. What's our QEP about?

Our currently proposed QEP, Student Success United, has been developed to meet institutional needs and to enrich promising existing approaches highlighted during the QEP topic identification process, while also fulfilling the university’s mission, vision, and strategic planning priorities related to enhancing student success in substantial ways.  Savannah State University (SSU) is committed to providing pathways to higher education for underrepresented groups and students with non-traditional or limited college preparation. Thus this QEP and its holistic approach to student success reflects the particular needs of SSU’s student body, and our commitment to ensuring that all students embark upon purposefully chosen programs of study, develop a mindset for life-long learning, and reach graduation well prepared for success in the workplace.   By involving the entire university community in cooperative, aligned support for our students, this initiative offers an inclusive and multifaceted approach designed to make every Tiger successful. 

Topic Selection and Implementation Process  

Student Success United incorporates a broad-based consideration of institutional research data and strategic planning, stakeholder consultation and consensus, as well as scholarship on best practices related to student success. Faculty, administration, students, and staff have participated in shaping the QEP’s collective focus, and this collaboration promotes a wide base of support and investment in the project. There is a clear timeline, organization, budget, and management plan for implementation. Further, in executing this QEP, many significant new initiatives and augmentations will be enacted to reinforce student success practices coordinated across campus.    

Anchored in Ongoing USG Initiatives

Student Success United has been carefully designed to build on SSU’s participation in recent University System of Georgia (USG) student success initiatives and to continue and increase the impact SSU has already achieved through these student success initiatives. Our QEP builds on SSU’s early success with the USG’s Momentum Approach, specifically its emphasis on the importance of students’ first experiences on campus and first year of study, on developing an academic/growth mindset, and on making a purposeful choice of major. Our QEP harnesses the initial increases in student pass rates in critical courses through the Gateways to Completion (G2C) course  redesign initiative as well as the important financial literacy and debt relief goals of USG’s “Know More, Borrow Less” campaign. Our QEP also builds on the exciting successes of our Appreciative Advising approach and our Tutoring/Learning Support Program both housed in our Center for Student Success and Retention.  


4. Which SSU areas are uniting for student success?

A United Approach

The Office of Institutional Planning, Research, and Assessment (IRPA) will oversee the activities of the QEP, managed by a QEP Director and who is supported by the QEP Implementation Steering Committee. While the QEP will operate with its own, independent budget, a 5-year financial commitment fully guaranteed by SSU leadership, the QEP will also collaborate with existing campus resources to oversee the integration of QEP vision throughout campus.  This will provide a stronger unification of those resources, as units work collectively to achieve Student Success United.

Although the topic of student success has been something that has an area of great interest and focus at the institution, our continuous improvement analysis shows that student success efforts at SSU could be greatly enhanced by bringing them together in collaboration, rather than allowing them to remain in isolated, individual units. 


Ultimately, we believe that we are stronger together, and value the opportunity to coordinate our efforts thoughtfully and systematically through the structure of a SACSCOC QEP platform. Ultimately, this QEP allows Savannah State University to pursue a natural evolution of campus practices and projects already related to student success. Specifically, our QEP focuses on interventions in 6 areas that are critical for student success. Click on each area to learn more:


Student Success United seeks to increase student success by harnessing the increased inclusion of academic programing in an enhanced approach to new student orientation events.  The fully realized, academically themed launch of students and families into the momentum inspired goals of purposeful choice, academic mindset, and major to career connections will serve as their first experiences at SSU. Additionally, part of our aim is to create an orientation that is institutionalized and scaled in aligned practices through areas like First Year Experience (FYE), the majors, and co-curricular offerings (like Career Services, Greek Life, etc.). These goals will be accomplished by creating and implementing new practices and programming in both New Tiger Enrollment and Week of Welcome. 


Student Success United seeks to increase student success in First Year Experience (FYE) by building on the momentum already generated through the ongoing FYE revision work. With the first goal of increasing consistency of the experience for students across all sections of FYE, Student Success United will also augment the general education curriculum of FYE.


Student Success United seeks to increase student success by building on the early successes of the advisors and advising and by enhancing the advising redesign with its foundation in Appreciate Advising, creating a Faculty Mentoring Program, and enhancing and expanding the Peer Coaching Program 


Student Success Untied seeks to increase student success by enhancing the existing tutoring services at SSU, especially tutoring focused on core courses redesigned throughout this QEP and by investing in additional resources for oversight and training in the Learning Commons Tutoring Center.


Student Success United seeks to increase student success through prioritizing early FAFSA submission, expediting FAFSA processing, simplifying student billing, and increasing student personal and educational financial literacy.  This will help us to meet the challenge that compounding financial factors often pose for student success: a heavy reliance on multiple forms of financial aid, limited personal and family finances, and limited financial literacy.


Student Success United seeks to continue the early successes of its redesigned Gateway Courses by both by augmenting the G2C redesign principles with additional proven best practices and by significantly expanding the scope of course redesign efforts to all areas of the core curriculum and through every degree-granting program.