MACON – Dr. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry and director of the First-Year Integrative Foundational Program (INT 101), has been named director of Mercer University's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
The QEP is a requirement for regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The mission of this commission is to enhance educational quality throughout the region and improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that they meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students. Accreditation must be reaffirmed every 10 years.
The QEP describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution.
"I am very excited about the appointment of Dr. Trogden to direct the QEP," said University Provost Dr. Scott Davis. "She has focused her work at Mercer on the interface of service and research. More importantly, Bridget realizes both the great potential for such a focus and the extraordinary impact this project will make on our students' lives."
The QEP will be submitted four to six weeks in advance of an onsite review by the commission in March 2015.
Over the past two years, a topic screening committee has vetted ideas and a steering committee has pulled together some basic details, with the goal of enhancing student learning through service-focused research, beginning with first-year students and continuing through capstone experiences and projects. The QEP will involve the alignment of several University initiatives to foster a culture of civically engaged scholarship and service. Dr. Trogden will provide the leadership necessary to create the full plan prior to the onsite review and orchestrate five years of implementation and assessment prior to submitting a final report in 2020.
"This particular QEP topic gives us the opportunity to institutionalize and align our research and service efforts to chart a portion of the University's course for the near future and to become a national model for engagement in these topics," said Dr. Trogden. "I agreed to serve as director because I see what can be possible. To me, the best part of working at Mercer is our students. The QEP is designed to help our students to have a voice and an impact – both in and out of the classroom – on understanding the problems of our local, national and global communities and in bringing about positive change."