As part of the reaffirmation process, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges asks each institution to develop a quality enhancement plan (QEP) that arises from the institution’s ongoing, integrated, institution-wide planning and evaluation process. Experience Learning is the University of Tennessee’s QEP, submitted to SACSCOC in 2015.
The QEP interdisciplinary development team was formed in April and May 2013. The members of the committee were selected with broad-based representation of key academic and administrative areas, student support units, and current and former students. The development team and subgroups met regularly as part of an institutional process that identified key issues emerging from institutional assessment.
The team considered potential topics and gained student, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders’ input through surveys, forums, presentations, focus group interviews, and a website page until experiential learning was identified as the QEP topic through an all-encompassing institutional process. The team developed an implementation plan and metrics for assessment. The initiative was then named Experience Learning and officially launched in Fall 2015.
Building the Experience Learning Culture
At our university there is a growing consensus, voiced by students and various task forces and reports, that students need more opportunities to be involved in civic engagement, solving complex real-world problems, and contributing to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work. The results of national comparisons with peer institutions concur with these campus assessments.
Experience Learning was developed to address that need and is intended to enhance the quality of our educational programming by focusing on student learning, and specifically experiential learning, as well as the environment supporting that learning, including faculty training, as part of our Vol Vision goal of being one of the top 25 public universities in the United States.
Experience Learning was developed by a team of faculty, staff, and students that represented different parts of the university community.
Matthew Theriot (Chair)
Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning Innovation
Associate Professor, College of Social Work
Associate Vice Provost for Accreditation, Office of the Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor
Student Member (2014-2015)
Student Member (2013-2014)
Former Administrative Specialist, Office of the Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor
Sherry Cable (Chair)
Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences
Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, Office of Research & Engagement
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences
Director of Advising, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Director of the Student Services Center, College of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Executive Director, Student Success Center
Associate Professor and Head, Department of Learning, Research, & Engagement, University of Tennessee Libraries
Michael Palenchar (Chair)
Associate Professor, School of Advertising and Public Relations, College of Communication & Information
Assistant Director, Media Relations
Director, Office of Service-Learning, Office of the Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Cellular, & Molecular Biology, College of Arts & Sciences
Associate Professor, School of Architecture, College of Architecture & Design
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling, College of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Gary Skolits (Chair)
Associate Professor, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences and Director, Institute for Assessment and Evaluation
Senior Lecturer, Division of Biology and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor and Director, School of Art, College of Arts & Sciences
Assistant Director, Office of Institutional Research & Assessment
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, College of Arts & Sciences; Co-Director of VolsTeach
Annette Ranft (Chair)
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, College of Business Administration
Assistant Provost of Academic Resources, Office of the Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor
Associate Dean for Research Technology and Professor, College of Engineering
Interim Director and Associate Professor, School of Communication Studies, College of Communication & Information
Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Dean of Students, Division of Student Life