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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 math professor Dr. Lisa Kay. 

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

I have attended several professional development sessions related to the QEP, I participated in the Critical Reading PLC last semester and I co-led a fall planning workshop session on Critical Reading in Quantitative Courses with Dr. Jill Parrott in 2019. I also coordinate STA 215, Introduction to Statistical Reasoning, which is a General Education course; critical reading is essential for students enrolled in STA 215.

2. In what ways is the QEP relevant to your discipline?

The field of statistics would be fairly useless without context — the numbers need to be accompanied by narrative. Students have to be able to glean the information they need from the story that provides the framework for a given situation, and they need to be able to write conclusions that others can read and understand.

3. In what ways has QEP professional development impacted your teaching?

While I may have promoted some reading strategies before I participated in any QEP professional development, now I am intentional in my efforts to encourage students to read critically. I have also learned some evidence-based techniques for teaching students how to read with purpose.

4. What impact is the QEP having on student learning in your discipline?

My colleagues and I have been participating in QEP-related trainings and incorporating critical reading approaches in our statistics and mathematics courses, particularly at the introductory level. Increasing students’ proficiency in critical reading gives them some of the foundational skills that they need in order to be successful in quantitative reasoning courses.

5. How does the QEP benefit the campus community?

Critical reading skills are, no doubt, important in every field. The students are gaining tools that they will use for the rest of their lives, and faculty are learning instructional strategies that they will use throughout their careers — even after a new QEP is adopted.

6. How will you continue to promote critical reading in your courses, discipline, or across the university?

I will continue to use what I have learned in the classroom for years to come, and I will share relevant ideas with colleagues at other institutions when I attend conferences. As STA 215 coordinator, I will work with my colleagues to ensure that we employ critical reading strategies in our introductory statistics classes.