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This is another in a series of interviews with staff, faculty, administrators, and students across campus promoting the goals of EKU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. The current QEP, Read with Purpose, calls for Eastern to develop critical readers through the use of metacognitive strategies. Building on the past QEP, which focused on developing critical and creative thinkers, this effort represents the University’s commitment to institutional improvement and provides a long-term focus for faculty and staff professional development and student learning.

This installment in the QEP Spotlight series features EKU associate provost Jennifer Wies.

1. In what ways have you been involved with the EKU QEP? 

Several years ago, I worked with the QEP development team to design the program and the evaluation plan. It was an amazing experience!  We have so many talented experts on our campus, in areas from critical reading to pedagogical support, all of whom lent their support to creating our QEP. Now, as Associate Provost, I am once again honored to work with all the people who continue to make our QEP possible, from our co-Directors Jill Parrott and Lisa Bosley, to all of the staff scheduling workshops and analyzing data to the faculty and staff  who are teaching and learning critical reading skills.

2. How does the QEP benefit the campus community? 

The Critical Reading QEP has created a campus-wide movement of people committed to improving reading skills among EKU students.  Critical reading, broadly construed, is a skill that can lead to multiple quality of life improvements, such as improved health outcomes and higher lifelong wages, over the course of a student’s lifetime. In this way, critical reading is a mechanism for elevating the lives of all Kentuckians.

3. As the QEP enters its fifth and final active year, what can faculty and staff do to continue to promote critical reading in their courses, disciplines or across the University? 

I believe that the EKU Critical Reading QEP is one of the best educational interventions that EKU has ever developed. Faculty and staff will continue to train and learn about teaching critical reading, and reflect on the results of the efforts.