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QUEST Honors Fellows Program

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Title: QUEST Honors Fellows Program  
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QUEST Honors Fellows Program

The QUEST Honors Program is a specialized program for undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, College Park. The program accepts students from the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the A. James Clark School of Engineering.[1]

The name QUEST is an acronym for Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams. The QUEST curriculum covers quality management, process improvement, idealized design, and systems design. In the capstone course, QUEST students conduct consulting projects for corporate clients and present their results at a conference.[1]


In 1990, the University of Maryland, College Park began a total quality initiative on campus. President William E. Kirwin and senior staff spent a year in total quality training, examining both administrative and pedagogical processes on campus to address the challenges of a dim financial forecast and declining enrollments.[2] In October 1991, 18 months into the University of Maryland's efforts, IBM launched a grant competition for universities to improve total quality in higher education.[3] IBM offered eight awards in the amount of $1,000,000 cash and $3,000,000 of IBM equipment, and received 204 applications.[4] Of the eight universities to receive awards, the University of Maryland was the only school to include an undergraduate program as part of their total quality initiative, a program which began as the IBM-TQ program and continued in 1998 as QUEST.[5]


QUEST students begin the program in their sophomore year, and continue in the program through their senior year. They must take three QUEST courses: Introduction to Design and Quality, Systems Thinking for Managerial Decision Making, and the QUEST Consulting and Innovation Practicum.[6] QUEST students also take two elective courses from a list of courses related to quality management and process improvement, operations research, and production and operations management.

Executive Directors

The current Executive Director of QUEST is Dr. Joseph P. Bailey, Research Associate Professor in the Decisions, Operations, and Information Technology department at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b What is QUEST? Program Information
  2. ^ Olian, J. "Total Quality and the Academy: Problems and Opportunities." in eds. Ruben, B. Quality in Higher Education. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 243 & 248.
  3. ^ Ibid.; Zairi, M. "Total quality education for superior performance." Training for Quality 3(1) 1995 Link to article
  4. ^ Zairi, M. "Total quality education for superior performance." Training for Quality 3(1) 1995 Link to article
  5. ^ Assad, A. and Olian, J. "Total Quality and the Academy: Continuously Improving the University of Maryland." in ed. Roberts, H. Academic Initiatives in Total Quality for Higher Education. ASQC Press, Milkwakee, Wisconsin, 1995.
  6. ^ QUEST Curriculum
  7. ^ Dr. Joseph P. Bailey, Faculty Profile.
  8. ^ QUEST Staff

External links

  • QUEST Home Page
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