Quality Enhancement Plan
Lee University is a Christ-centered, liberal arts institution whose mission is to develop students' knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability and skills in ways which will prepare them to be responsible citizens in a complex world (Mission statement). The Quality Enhancement Plan will contribute to the mission by creating pathways of integrative learning that lead students to an understanding of and commitment to Christian faith and vocation through ethical action, redemptive service, and responsible citizenship in the community, the church and the world. In the view of the institution, vocation is the call of God to see both the "wounds and wonders" of contemporary life and to take responsibility for the world's flourishing (Garber 17), to live responsibly as Christians in a complex world that demands the most of students’ minds and hearts. The QEP will bring together already existing high-impact learning experiences to create learning pathways from the first year through the final capstone, integrating academic knowledge with the understanding of faith and vocation.
Since the mid 1970's Lee has required a freshman seminar that introduces students to the institution’s core values. Since 1997, Lee has also a required cross-cultural experience that allows more than 90% of students to study abroad. Also since 1997, Lee has had a capstone course in the majors, intended to be the culminating experience in the integration of faith and learning. For the past decade, we have also had a service-learning requirement of 80 hours. The QEP is a response to institutional data suggesting that these powerful practices have not been sufficiently articulated to students through their first-year experience or integrated with the academic disciplines in ways that lead students to a clear understanding of faith and vocation.
Ethical action is living as God calls us to live, with an uncompromised commitment to justice and the sacredness of human life.
- Redemptive service is engagement in benevolent labor in an effort to eradicate systemic oppression.
- Responsible citizenship is submitting ourselves to God and our neighbor by using our resources, abilities, talents, and energy to be good stewards.
The goals of the QEP will be accomplished through three integrated projects.
Project 1 focuses on redesigning three existing courses to form a year-long introduction to the core values of Christian faith and vocation through the practice of ethical action, redemptive service, and responsible citizenship. The freshman seminar, offered first semester, will include a significant emphasis on these values with the goal of making students aware of their centrality in the Lee curriculum. The existing 200-level courses of Foundations of Benevolence and the Cross-Cultural Seminar will be redesigned and offered as linked courses across the second semester of the first year. Students will remain in a learning cohort through these three courses, and the revised courses will reinforce the values of redemptive service and global citizenship.
Project 2 focuses on the further development of core values through the major curriculum, and the faculties of each discipline have developed learning pathways that intentionally and explicitly apply academic knowledge to ethical action, redemptive service, and responsible citizenship, emphasizing service learning, cross-cultural experiences, research, and internships as appropriate. Most majors will attempt to incorporate 50% of the service hours within the discipline, and they will create a common experience and reflection for all cross-cultural experiences. With the freshman seminar, students will begin to build an electronic portfolio that will expand throughout their majors, including evidence of their application of academic knowledge to the core values.
Project 3 focuses on redesigning senior capstones. Capstone experiences will be required for every major discipline and will bring together reflections on the students' portfolios with further emphasis on the integration of their disciplines with the core value of Christian faith and vocation. Capstone students will write a paper that conveys extensive evidence of a personal response to the issues raised in the course and to the Lee experience.