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As part of the 2017 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation process, UNC-Chapel Hill adopted the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) with the theme of “Creating Scientists: Learning by Connecting, Doing, and Making.”  Early in the implementation of the “creating scientist” was dropped and the tag-line “Learning by Connecting, Doing, Making” to be more inclusive of the entire campus.

“Learning by Connecting, Doing, and Making” is a five-year initiative promoting a mindset focused on experiential learning, which is reinforced through the action verbs in the title.

Connecting” refers to our goal to be more explicit in bringing ideas and skills from the arts and humanities to our developing scientists and vice versa. For example, life-saving vaccines produced by scientists are useless if members of society fear their use. Bringing scientific solutions to a community requires a humanistic lens combined with effective collaboration and communication skills.

Doing” includes all components of the contemporary model research, yet it emphasizes that students will go beyond reading about the process; they will actually experience and learn to navigate the messy, complicated, uncertain, and rewarding process of research for themselves.

Lastly, while “Making” refers to the synthesis of data and novel ideas, it even more explicitly accents the idea that the research and learning process often leads to tangible objects. For example, UNC-Chapel Hill students who recently learned of the educational needs of those with a visual impairment have been inspired to develop and test 3D models that make biological concepts more accessible to this population.   In COMM 690/ARTS 490: Movie Making Machines, students learn about the history and science of cinema through lectures and readings while delving into the principles of photography, movie film, movie cameras, and movie projectors. They explore the wonderful world of pre-cinematic optical toys by designing and fabricating a zoetrope, a pre-cinema optical device that creates simple animated effects.

Find out more about the four QEP programs:

COURSE-BASED UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (CURE) – An introduction to research by engaging a class in novel research questions.

INTEGRATED CURRICULA – An interdisciplinary effort to integrate the arts and humanities with science courses.

MAKERSPACE – Engaging in class in design thinking through campus makerspaces.

RESEARCH EXPOSURE OPPORTUNITIES – Infrastructure and learning opportunities to ensure student success in research experiences.

Discover new QEP courses being offered across campus under the drop down list for each program.

View the QEP timeline to see the major milestones of the plan.