Building Success Through Discovery: Imagine, Investigate, Communicate
What is UNA's Building Success through Discovery?
The University of North Alabama’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Building Success through Discovery, focuses on engaging students in undergraduate research, defined as the specific reading, data and information collection, analysis, and presentation skills (written or oral) required to successfully participate in problem-solving within any given discipline and career. Over the course of this multi-year project, the University seeks to infuse undergraduate research into all academic programs and to encourage all undergraduates participate in research through Building Success through Discovery.
UNA’s QEP was developed on the belief that discovery; the sense of being curious, asking a question, exploring the possible answers, and explaining the results, is at the heart of academic research. Thus, as a part of the QEP implementation process, students will acquire an understanding of the research process in their discipline, be expected to apply these skills, and consequently, increase their ability to analyze, think critically, and make informed decisions.
Faculty members will mentor and guide students through the research process as a part of a required three-course sequence in their selected major. By systematically incorporating Building Success through Discovery into the existing academic programs, departments and faculty members will be able to more effectively instruct students in the academic research traditions of their discipline.
A formal assessment process to determine overall effectiveness of the program will include use of a customizable, common rubric for assessing all QEP-related assignments. The QEP student learning outcomes will be integrated into academic programs and courses in three levels: Level I – 100, 200 or 300 level classes; Level II – 200, 300 or 400 level classes; and Level III – 300 or 400 level classes. Success will be evaluated by assessing each student’s mastery of these four learning outcomes:
- Formulate a clear research question, thesis statement, research problem, or hypothesis;
- Collect information or data relevant to the research problem;
- Evaluate and analyze information to effectively address the research problem; and
- Present findings or results using a discipline-specific medium.
Building Success through Discovery encourages students to discover through the application of academic research which leads to building for success in their future careers.