Quality Enhancement Plan: EDGE


The communities surrounding GPC’s campuses are among some of the most underserved in the greater Atlanta area, each with a multitude of community and environmental needs. High school dropouts, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, poverty, homelessness, hunger and food security, health illiteracy, environmental justice and sustainability, and immigrant/refugee issues are just a sampling of the many problems facing GPC’s surrounding communities. Since 1964, Georgia Perimeter College has demonstrated a commitment to meet community identified needs through service to its surrounding communities.

GPC's service learning activities are coordinated through GPC's Office of the Quality Enhancement Plan. Located on the Clarkston campus in A1300, the QEP Office is charged with implementing GPC's quality enhancement plan, which is named EDGE (Engagement Drives GPC Education). The QEP, which was developed through a process that involved representatives from every part of the college, was developed over the span of several years and is a major component of GPC's SACS reaffirmation of accreditation. The purpose of GPC's QEP is to improve student learning by engaging students both inside and outside of the classroom. Faculty members are encouraged to implement one or more of several teaching strategies into their courses. These strategies include the following: collaborative learning, problem-based learning, service learning, and/or community-based research. Faculty members can also make their courses more engaging by integrating existing programs into their courses (i.e., campus gardens, GPC Reads, the Democracy Commitment).

GPC's QEP Office collaborates with GPC faculty members to provide GPC students with meaningful community-based learning opportunities in a collegiate community that values and embraces service learning and community-based research and promotes community-based learning as an integral aspect of education. QEP staff members work with faculty members and students to connect GPC to local, national, and global communities through meaningful community-based learning opportunities. The QEP Office also maintains a library of community-based learning resources. Finally, the QEP Office also offers high-quality development opportunities for faculty and leadership programs for students.

The QEP Office serves as a resource center and central repository of information for GPC students, faculty, staff, and other community members interested in addressing community-identified needs through community-based learning. GPC's QEP office supports and develops student leaders, sponsors student academic scholarships, engages faculty in the scholarship of service learning, nurtures community partnerships and relationships, and assists students engaged in making a positive difference in their communities through service.

In recognition of the high quality of GPC’s community-based learning program, the college was recognized on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll – with Distinction in 2011 and 2012, and the college received the highest recognition in 2013.

Community-based learning is integrated into many departments and programs at GPC, including art, history, English, biology, chemistry, math, early childhood education, nursing, dental hygiene, geography, botany, speech, literature, foreign language, American Sign Language interpretation, ESL, and others. Examples of projects include dental hygiene students providing free dental care for immigrants and children, ESL students tutoring elderly immigrants at the community center, botany students helping with the local community garden, and math students creating fun math-centered game nights for local elementary schools. However, service and civic engagement are fully integrated into co-curricular activities as well.

The QEP Office's library is open for study and research between the hours of 8:30 AM and 12:30 PM (except as noted) and by appointment, Monday through Friday.

QEP library materials can be checked out at the QEP Office to current GPC faculty, staff, and students. QEP library materials can also be requested and sent through intercampus loan. Patrons at other USG institutions can request QEP library books through GIL-Express. For more information on requesting and borrowing materials, please consult the GPC Libraries' homepage or use the GPC Libraries' Ask a Librarian services. The Atlanta Center library does not provide research assistance or library services beyond the scope of civic engagement and service learning activities. Please visit one of the GPC campus libraries for general library research help and services.

Last Updated: August 27, 2014