Olivier Debure, Director QEP
Amanda Foster, Service-Learning Administrative Coordinator
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
local: (727) 864-7675
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
fax: (727) 864-8588
What is a QEP?
As part of the accreditation process, Eckerd College develops and implements a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) every five years, which addresses an issue contributing to institutional improvement and student learning. Due in part to Eckerd’s growing service-learning programs and relating to the college’s mission, Eckerd selected Reflective Service-Learning as the QEP for 2010-2015. The QEP involves thorough assessment and evaluation to document successes, note challenges, and make continued adjustments and improvements throughout the five year plan.
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): Reflective Service-Learning
The Eckerd College Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is designed to strengthen student learning by enhancing service-learning experiences through the use of reflection in credit-bearing service-learning courses. Over the course of the project, 15 faculty members will be selected as Faculty Fellows to design and deliver new reflective service-learning courses. By the end of the project, we anticipate that reflective service-learning will have had a transformational impact on student learning outcomes in the areas of critical thinking and problem-solving, civic engagement and leadership, and openness to diversity.
Beyond Volunteering: Reflective Service-Learning
It is important to note that the QEP moves beyond the traditional service-learning model. Reflective service-learning, rather, is a pedagogy through which targeted student learning outcomes are achieved by combining meaningful, relevant service with structured critical reflection in the classroom. Research shows that incorporating reflection into service-learning experiences has a measured positive impact on student learning.
How can agencies get involved with the QEP?
Participating faculty will seek out partnerships with agencies relevant to their service-learning course with the assistance of the QEP Director and Service-Learning Administrative Coordinator. Service-learning courses throughout the QEP will vary in academic discipline, student service contributions, and specific learning outcomes targeted by each professor. Campus-community partnerships should fit into the QEP in a way that is beneficial for all participants: students, faculty, and agencies. Ideally, reflective service-learning courses will be transformative learning experiences for students, while making sustainable contributions to the agency’s mission and fostering a long-term partnership between the campus and community organizations.