September 23, 2007
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We are pleased to announce that we have selected the Community Based Transformational Learning proposal as the basis for UNF’s Quality Enhancement Plan, a fundamental component of the SACS accreditation process. “The QEP,” according to the SACS Handbook , “describes a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning. . . . The plan launches a process that can move the institution into a future characterized by creative, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences for students.” Once approved and launched, the university will be evaluated periodically on the effectiveness of its QEP over the subsequent five years.
Initially the CBTL proposal was part of a larger group of twenty-six proposals that were developed by many different members of the university community and submitted for consideration by the QEP Planning Committee. That degree of broad participation speaks highly of the level of commitment that exists across the university to advancing the quality of education at UNF. We are most appreciative.
The Community Based Transformational Learning proposal impresses us as being the QEP most appropriate for adoption by virtue of its perfect alignment with the current values and future direction of the university. As a public university located in one of Florida’s major population centers, UNF from its inception has been committed to engagement with and the betterment of the region that it serves. Further, there is significant evidence that experiential learning–whether in the liberal arts or the applied fields offered by our professional colleges–substantively enhances the depth, retention, and transferability of knowledge. It makes great sense to us, therefore, to combine the university's equally strong commitments to situated and transformational learning with the generation of intellectual and civic capital by adopting CBTL as the university’s signature QEP.
As a metropolitan university that aspires to national quality, the communities that UNF serves will continue to expand to include not only the region but also the State, the nation, and indeed the world. Potential sites of learning and responsibility are thus literally boundless. We are excited at the prospect of facilitating the deep and authentic learning of our students that will derive from extending the university beyond the confines of the campus, transforming our students, our communities, and the university in the process.
We look forward to further refinement of the CBTL proposal by a QEP Development Committee that will be assembled for that purpose. In light of the scope of the proposal, its successful realization will depend upon the support of the entire university community. We encourage you to review the CBTL proposal, and to communicate with the QEP Development Committee about what role you and your colleagues might wish to play in translating the proposal from theory to practice. The QEP Development Committee will begin its work within the next week or two.
We count on all of you to help enrich the education of our students and to thereby elevate the reputation of UNF as a highly deliberate and thoughtful institution dedicated to advanced learning.
John A. Delaney, PresidentMark E. Workman, Provost and VPAA
“The Community-Based Transformational Learning QEP promotes student academic achievement through engaged learning in authentic settings, including but not limited to faculty/student research projects, internships, fieldwork, co-ops, and service learning. As a public urban university, UNF's mission includes as central foci community engagement and student empowerment through transformational learning opportunities. This QEP promotes student learning through the application of disciplinary content knowledge to community-based problems and needs. Every UNF college and most UNF programs currently employ forms of community-based learning. Under this QEP, all academic programs at UNF will have access to resources to further develop community-based opportunities for student learning. This QEP will advance the career prospects of UNF students, provide expanded networks of mentorship, and make direct contributions to the health of the community.“
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