WMKY

MSU’s Level UP! Quality Enhancement Plan emphasizes high-impact experiences and career readiness

Nov 13, 2020

Credit Morehead State University

Morehead State University has spent its more than 130 years serving students and earning a long-standing reputation for academic quality in the process. With its latest Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) appropriately titled “Level UP! Experience Your Future,” MSU will continue to serve Eagles in unique and exciting ways. 

MSU’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Schools (SACSCOC), asked the University to identify an area for improving student learning and/or success outcomes followed by developing a five-year QEP to address it. Level UP! was created by MSU to equip its graduates with career-readiness.  

“Multiple nationwide studies of employers show that there is a skills gap between the preparation that most job candidates have and the skills that employers desire in those they hire,” said Dr. Tim O’Brien, associate professor of mathematics at MSU. “To help our students become more competitive, MSU has opted to strategically emphasize the development of skill proficiency in these areas through special experiences on campus known as ‘Level UP! Experiences.’” 

Unlike typical upper-level classes that have students focus on core content, Level UP! courses will do this with specific emphasis on mastery of one of the five universal career skills: oral and written communication, professionalism, critical thinking and teamwork skills. This is done through high-impact experiences like undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning and internships. 

“These experiences will combine immersion in the core content of the class and active development of the career skill,” O’Brien said. “The Level UP! program will allow students to see the value of their education for their post-graduation plans and provide them with opportunities to experience some of the aspects of their future careers before they graduate.” 

Currently, the Level UP! QEP is still in the proposal stage, with a presentation to the SACSCOC scheduled for April 2021. Once the QEP earns approval, MSU will begin offering its first official Level UP! Experiences in Fall 2021. 

“In the short term, we hope to make our students aware of the importance of developing universal career skills for success in both their academic pursuits and their post-graduation plans. Additionally, we want to provide students with engaging experiences in their fields of study that will also develop their proficiency at those skills,” O’Brien said. “In the long term, we hope that MSU develops a reputation for producing graduates who are outstanding for their competence in these universal career skills in addition to their expertise in their major field.” 

Students may learn about Level UP! course sections through academic advisors and/or program faculty. Students can also search for Level UP! courses during class registration, with offerings changing each semester. 

To learn more about the Level UP! Program at MSU, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Education & Student Success at uess@moreheadstate.edu or visit http://www.moreheadstate.edu/levelup

For more information contact Dr. Laurie Couch, associate provost for the Office of Undergraduate Education & Student Success, at 606-783-2434 or l.couch@moreheadstate.edu.