Quality Enhancement Reviews (QER)

Purpose of the QER Process

The Quality Enhancement Review process serves as a tool for ensuring that the university fulfills and maintains its mission. The process enables the university to provide quality assurance, maintain academic standards, ensure continuous improvement of academic programs, and improve the university’s reputation.
The Quality Enhancement Review’s major purposes are (a) to examine the institutional effectiveness of a unit, its national position with respect to comparable units, what it needs to improve or sustain performance; and (b) to inform administrative decisions on the investment of new and existing resources. The Quality Enhancement Review also permits a “streamlined” continuous evaluation system by combining:

  • the statutorily required Florida Board of Governors’ seven-year program reviews
  • the Graduate Policy Committee’s (GPC) reviews of graduate programs
  • the Undergraduate Policy Committee’s (UPC) reviews of undergraduate programs
  • independent external evaluation

The entire review process is monitored by the Provost’s Office through the academic dean of the relevant college. The Provost’s Office may revise the policies and procedures, as appropriate, after timely consultation with interested parties.

Components of the QER Process

The Quality Enhancement process is founded on an extensive self-examination. Members of each academic unit and its programs under review prepare a self-study document. The self-study addresses a number of questions integrating the concerns of the Florida Board of Governors, the Undergraduate Policy Committee, the Graduate Policy Committee, and the Provost. The measures used in Quality Enhancement Reviews of graduate and undergraduate degree programs include indicators of:

  • Curriculum
  • Student Experience
  • Faculty
  • Resources

The review also asks for an evaluation of the quality of degree programs based on qualitative measures of the reputation of the faculty, significance of research and scholarly activities to the profession, and the currency of the curriculum, all commented upon by the external review. In addition, the QER evaluates the program’s student achievement by reviewing its follow-up on graduates, for example its success in placing graduates in graduate schools or employment in relevant fields, as well as employer satisfaction, student satisfaction with academic experience at FSU, the extent to which student-learning outcomes have been evaluated and achieved, and the levels of continuous improvement.

An independent external reviewer, contracted with the university, provides an outside perspective on the unit or program. The external reviewer reads the self-study binder, conducts onsite interviews, and prepares and submits a report indicating the findings of the site visit. The external reviewer synthesizes findings into a final report that also makes recommendations for improvement. The report forms the basis for later stages of the QER process.

The self-study material prepared by the unit/program is reviewed, along with the report of the external reviewer, by the academic dean, the Undergraduate Policy Committee, the Graduate Policy Committee, and other faculty and administrators. Academic deans review and act on findings of the QER, including the report and recommendations of the GPC and UPC, and submit an action plan to the Provost’s Office. Representatives of the Provost’s Office review the dean’s report. The Provost considers the dean’s action plan when making budgetary, planning, and performance assessments. The Provost’s Office reviews and submits the final reports to the Florida Board of Governors in accordance with state guidelines.