Undergraduate Research

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Undergraduate research is a process framed within the four broad stages of problem resolution: (a) Identification of the problem/need, (b) information gathering (e.g., data collection, systematic methods as appropriate to discipline), (c) analysis, and (d) proposed solution. Undergraduate research may occur in the context of (a) faculty driven projects and/or (b) student driven projects.

This definition is crafted with an inclusive spirit, to encompass different types of research and creative expression. The core value of undergraduate research participation is to develop research practices and awareness in students. Therefore, students’ undergraduate research participation may begin at a variety of levels including information gathering, review, and categorization of data, and/or through active engagement in the dissemination of research products.

Student Learning Goals and Outcomes

The plan, to be implemented in Spring 2022, includes three goals, each with two student learning outcomes. The three interrelated goals of the Quality Enhancement Plan are:

  • To assist students in gaining awareness of research and ethical research practices.
  • To help students to synthesize research
  • To enable students to produce a research or creative project

The goals are accomplished through the following six student learning outcomes in which students will:

  • Students will recognize the utility of research, inquiry, or creative expression
  • Students will understand ethical aspects of research, inquiry, or creative expression
  • Students will analyze a body of research, inquiry, or creative expression that they have collected
  • Students will develop a research question or problem derived from the body of research, inquiry, or creative expression that they have analyzed
  • Student will implement a “hands-on” research experience appropriate to their discipline either by contributing to a faculty member’s research experience or engaging in an independent research experience with a faculty mentor outside of the classroom
  • Students will interpret the results from their “hands-on” research/creative experience

Enhancing Undergraduate Student Research: An Introduction to the Quality Enhancement Plan

teaching theater chairs

The Powerpoint presentation was given by Wes Jennings and Erina Duganne as a Faculty Development Workshop on February 27, 2019

Quality Enhancement Plan Topic Selection Criteria

The Quality Enhancement Plan Theme Development Team met on Friday, April 7, 2017, and collectively identified the following criteria for the selection of the Quality Enhancement Topic.

  • Is the topic in alignment with the university’s mission and informed by a cross-section of its values, goals, and initiatives?
  • Does the topic offer an opportunity for growth that complements the strategic direction of the university?
  • Does the topic reflect and embrace the broad, diverse interests, ideas, programs, and people that comprise Texas State University?
  • Is the topic founded on documented need and research results – analyzing empirical data analysis and best practices?
  • Will the topic positively impact student learning – strengthening academic rigor, elevating student self-expectations, and improving the attainment of learning outcomes?
  • Will the topic yield quantifiable changes in student learning and success?
  • Is the topic practicable and are its results achievable – building on existing infrastructure to implement and sustain a manageable and successful framework?
  • Will the topic lead to benefits that balance its costs?
  • Does the topic lead to a plan that offers sufficient flexibility for adjustment based on unforeseen internal and/or external factors?
  • Does the topic innovatively anticipate current and future trends based on data and research?
  • Will the topic enhance students’ success as they progress through their Texas State experience and become citizens of Texas, the nation and the world?

Proposed & Possible Quality Enhancement Plans

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Quality Enhancement Plan themes were proposed and went through a selection process. Only four ideas were deemed worthy to become a QEP before ultimately deciding on undergraduate research.

Previous Quality Enhancement Plan


a close up picture of a brochure from 2010's Quality Enhancement Plan.

Before choosing undergraduate research, there was a previous QEP in place. 


The Quality Enhancement Plan is a long term project, you may visit the timeline page to see the QEP calendar and upcoming Task Force meetings.

Have a Question?

If you have any questions about the theme or anything regarding the Quality Enhancement Plan please send us a message.