One of the foundations of education is that effective learning will happen when the student sees how a learning experience will make a difference in his/her life and in the world. If a learning experience fails to make a connection with the student's concept of relevance, it may become a "bare minimum" learning experience rather than an "enhanced" learning experience. With this in mind, I am proposing that we make "service" the thrust of the QEP plan. We are already doing this in numerous ways at Millsaps: through Service Learning classes, through the Faith and Work Initiative, through projects of the Campus Ministry Team, the McNair Fund, and even through Greek Life. It would not be a huge leap to begin incorporating the idea of service to others, to each other, and to the world into every class, every degree program, every campus activity, and every employee's job. Simply giving what we do each day the focus of "I am serving you" will add another dimension of quality to the product we offer at Millsaps College.
Years ago when I first began my employment at Millsaps, we had a project called the Quality Service Initiative, and all of the programs and information distributed were presented with this idea in mind. All employees were reminded that their jobs were important, and the way in which they performed their jobs should be a service to everyone else. The Quality Service Initiative became a huge morale booster and motivator to people to simply do their best in the delivery of their service to others. The Quality Service Awards that we now present each year to staff members were one of the lasting projects of the Quality Service Initiative. Nevertheless, this was not a program to be executed only once and then last for all time. People come and go and the staff has changed. Furthermore, the idea should not be limited to staff members but should include everyone at Millsaps. We want our students to graduate from college with a lasting imprint of their college experience being one that transformed their lives to being highly effective "servants" of the world.
My thought is that the QEP would be an effective way to present this idea across every department and individual at the College. Our students will learn most by what they come to believe will be an integral part of the way they will live their lives from now on!
As a Wesleyan institution, we could naturally focus on the statue of John Wesley that stands in the center of our front campus and his quotation that speaks of service to the world. "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." With this thought at the forefront, learning can only be enhanced and be a natural outgrowth of our college's mission.
Contact person: Janet Langley
For a PDF of the proposal, click here.
Comments and Discussion