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ULM’s Quality Enhancement Plan Makes Students ‘FOCUS’
Students work together on class work in a biology class.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is seeking reaccreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC for short. ULM developed the Quality Enhancement Plan to help improve student learning and reaffirm their accreditation.

The QEP is for students to Formulate, Observe, Communicate, Use and Synthesize or put simply FOCUS. According to Mallory Benedetto, plan coordinator and biology instructor, the plan is to enhance learning in two biology courses in hopes that students take what they learn in the classroom and into the workforce.

“We had a lot of impact from community leaders when we came up with the topic for our Quality Enhancement Plan and they all agree that teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving skills were very important as they were looking for employees,” Benedetto said.

According to Anne Case Hanks, the director of the school of sciences, the biology courses were also chosen due to the number of incoming freshmen taking the classes.

“Of the incoming freshmen class 61 percent either declared pre-health or health studies major or a STEM major that ultimately could lead to dental school, med school, ophthalmology, so forth and so forth,” Case Hanks said.

Case Hanks and Benedetto plan to use a variety of teaching methods to better educate their students, jigsaw learning is one of them. In this method, students take and solve pieces of a problem and then come together to solve it. The added aspect of relying on each other betters their teamwork abilities.

The revisions to the two biology classes are set to begin in the Fall of 2019.