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Campus Impacts: 2016 – 2017

In an effort to be transparent with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville community, annual reports are released with data pertaining to the Experience Learning QEP Initiative. It is our hope that in releasing such data, the UT Knoxville community will have a better understanding of how Experience Learning opportunities are making a difference for our students, faculty and staff.

Soon, a written version of the annual report for the 2016 – 2017 academic year will be available for download. Until then, the Experience Learning team has compiled the key data and top successes from 2016 – 2017, which are listed below.

In the 2016 – 2017 academic year, the Experience Learning course designation system was piloted in an effort to increase awareness of experience learning opportunities at UT Knoxville. Under the service-learning (S) designation, 10 courses were piloted across campus from a number of different disciplines. Additionally, 6 courses were piloted under the research designation (R). The internship (N) designation was also approved in Fall 2017 as a part of experience learning course designation system.

Under the Experience Learning QEP Initiative, the UT Knoxville community has the opportunity to apply for the EL Faculty/Staff/Student Support Initiatives grant program or the EL Faculty Development grant program.

From 2016 – 2017, 11 Faculty/Staff/Student Support Grants were awarded:

  • 6 faculty projects and/or courses were supported
  • 3 staff projects were supported
  • 2 student projects were supported (one undergraduate, one graduate)
  • In total, 96 students participated in these projects and opportunities

From 2016 – 2017, 25 Faculty Development Grants were awarded:

  • 22 individual courses were redesigned to involve experiential learning
  • 1 faculty team of three fellows from the Department of English set to lead the redesign of Chancellor’s Honors Writing II to provide new research opportunity to approximately 400 students
  • 1 fellow worked to incorporate experience learning into the College of Education, Health, and Human Services’ leadership studies minor (6 courses total, 2 – 3 courses/annual impact)

In an effort to aid UT Knoxville faculty currently or hoping to be involved in Experience Learning, a number of resources were created:

In 2016 – 2017, other opportunities for collaboration and engagement across campus continued to grow. In the summer of 2017, the first Experience Learning Summer Institute was implemented, in which 25 faculty members were chosen to participate.

Additionally, the Office of the Provost unveiled a new advising model, titled, “The Volunteer Experience,” as a way to improve retention rates at UT Knoxville. In this new model, Experience Learning was listed as a priority; advisors should help UT students seek experiential learning opportunities.

Finally, with the help of 36 administrative offices and all 9 undergraduate-serving colleges, the administrative and college-level baseline data on students and faculty engaged in experiential learning for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 was collected. This collection process makes it possible for the Experience Learning QEP team to compare the data of pre-QEP experiential learning opportunities and post-QEP experiential learning opportunities at UT Knoxville.

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