MCU’s QEP: Creative and Innovative Complex Problem Solving
For over a decade, service posture statements and defense professionals have declared that future military leaders must prepare for an uncertain, complex environment in which wicked problems reign, resources dwindle, and unintended consequences dominate decision matrices. A strong grasp of history, refined analytical capacity, and an appreciation of doctrine are key to succeeding in this environment, but are insufficient on their own. The Center will focus on developing three concrete skill sets among MCU students: creativity and innovation to enable complex problem solving. Each is critical to the 21st century warfighter as both our adversaries and our operating environment grow more complex. Creativity is defined as the “production of novelty.” It encompasses developing an effective and unexpected departure from the familiar. Innovation is the process of using creativity to produce solution to recognized (and not yet recognized) problems. Complex problem solving is defined as solving multi-variant, dynamically interactive problems in situations of ambiguity. This QEP has identified three primary program goals:
- improve students’ creative and innovative complex problem solving skills;
- prepare civilian and military faculty successfully to create learning environments that enable creativity, innovation, and complex problem solving; and,
- create mechanisms to integrate student research and learning opportunities across MCU and with larger USMC and DOD planning and development initiatives.
By developing an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish and by honing students’ capacity for creativity, innovation, and complex problem solving, MCU will enhance student learning, fully meet the mission and vision of the university, and position students to be more competent leaders and decision makers in the challenging times ahead.
About the QEP
The SACS Principles of Accreditation note:
Effective institutions demonstrate a commitment to principles of continuous improvement, based on a systematic and documented process of assessing institutional performance with respect to mission in all aspects of the institution. An institutional planning and effectiveness process involves all programs, services, and constituencies; is linked to the decision-making process at all levels; and provides a sound basis for budgetary decisions and resource allocations.
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes. It reflects and affirms a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the institution considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success.
SACS evaluates the QEP according to the following standards:
1. The institution engages in ongoing, comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systematic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission. (Institutional Planning) [CR]
2. The institution has a QEP that (a) has a topic identified through its ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes; (b) has broad-based support of institutional constituencies; (c) focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; (d) commits resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP; and (e) includes a plan to assess achievement. (Quality Enhancement Plan)
3. The institution identifies expected outcomes of its administrative support services and demonstrates the extent to which the outcomes are achieved. (Administrative effectiveness)