Mississippi University for Women is committed to making sure students are as successful as possible with the introduction of its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), titled “Empowering Your Journey.”

“Our QEP aims to support student success by promoting professional development and career readiness through curricular and co-curricular programming and by helping students develop and demonstrate career-readiness competencies appropriate to their field,” said Dr. Erin Kempker, professor of history and interim QEP Director.

The utilization of outside-the-classroom opportunities such as internships, mentorship programs and other high-impact learning experiences, in conjunction with professional development and career readiness curriculum, aims to position students to be prime candidates for employment after graduation.

“It is clear that this is a timely QEP, as many colleges and universities turn their attention to career readiness and helping students express the many ways they are prepared to engage in professions.  What is equally clear is that employers don’t need the same conversation; they already ‘get it.’  Employers want college-educated employees because they know what that education provides.  We just have to help our students articulate the skills, knowledge and abilities their time with us has helped them develop,” Kempker said.

One major point of the QEP is the Center for Career Services and Professional Development. The plan seeks to “revitalize” the programming offered by the CSPD Center to even better serve the student body.

“This QEP is important because it focuses on skills that will improve our students’ ability to reach their career goals throughout their lifetime. Current college graduates are not necessarily having a difficult time gaining employment in entry level positions, however, they are not being promoted at the rate of other graduates before them. The NACE competencies that are central to this QEP are skills that employers are looking for not only in hiring but in seeking out their business’s future leaders,” said Elise Wilson, director for the CSPD Center.

The center will offer career fairs. However, it will also offer a Strong Interest Inventory career assessment to help students assess their career options, facilitate a connection between students and prospective employers through the Handshake app and other career-related events.

“The CSPD Center is always looking for ways to partner with university departments and organizations to provide professional development training for students,” Wilson said.

The QEP also is an accreditation requirement for the university and will be reviewed during the on-site visit in March.

“As part of The W’s accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the university must complete a Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP requires the university to engage in institutional reflection and review and then create a new five-year plan to do work that will enhance students’ learning and success. The QEP is a process meant to transform student learning and make us better at what we do,” Kempker said.

The QEP also is a group effort, which requires everyone on campus to contribute to making it successful. Whether it be directly or indirectly, everyone plays a part.

“We encourage everyone who reads this to read the full QEP and think about what you can do to help in this effort. If you are faculty and you will have a day that you were thinking of cancelling class, don’t do it! You can reach out to Elise Wilson and we can use that class to do important work on career readiness.  If you are staff, you can check out the professional development workshops and think about ways to support student workers in completing them,” Kempker said.

To access the full QEP document, please visit muw.edu/qep/. To contact the CSPD Center, visit muw.edu/careerservices, or email careers@muw.edu.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.