Convergence – UT Southwestern’s Quality Enhancement Plan
UT Southwestern Medical Center educates future physicians, researchers, and health professionals. To educate and train this diverse population, we have three degree-granting schools:
- UT Southwestern Medical School
- UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
- UT Southwestern School of Health Professions
UT Southwestern is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Part of SACS’ mission is “the enhancement of educational quality in the region.” SACS requires institutions to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP should demonstrate an institution’s commitment to enhancing the quality and effectiveness of student learning, relative to its institutional missions.
The QEP for UT Southwestern is called Convergence. It begins by converging two educational missions of the Medical Center: patient care and biomedical science. It continues with the convergence of students, trainees, and researchers from the three schools into interprofessional learning communities. These communities converge students and trainees from educational programs within each school, and converge learning communities between schools.
Convergence makes use of existing learning communities within each of the institution’s three schools. These learning communities include Academic Colleges in the Medical School, Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Groups in the Graduate School, and Interprofessional Development, Education & Active Learning (IDEAL) teams within the School of Health Professions.
Over the course of a year, each learning community participates in activities focused on a specific science of medicine theme. Each year, all of the learning communities meet together to participate in Convergence Day, a day-long event focused on interprofessional communication about the annual science of medicine theme.
The Future of Convergence at UT Southwestern
Learning communities and interprofessional education are a way of life at UT Southwestern and an integral part of our culture. Our faculty, staff, trainees, and students recognize Convergence as a critical pathway to enhance education and link the provision of health care and community outreach with all professions working together.
Convergence began because of the SACS QEP requirement, however, it has become a part of our culture and we look forward to improving student education through these efforts. Take a moment to review our full QEP.