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Emory rolls out Quality Enhancement Plan

This spring Emory launches its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), "The Nature of Evidence," introducing a vision for how the plan will be implemented across campus over the next six years.

A mandatory requirement for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), the QEP is dedicated to improving an aspect of student learning or the environment for student success. It is a key component that the SACS-COC team will evaluate during their visit to Emory in March 2014 as part of the reaffirmation of accreditation review.

The Emory community is invited to learn more about plans for QEP implementation at a town hall on Jan. 31 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Winship Ballroom of the Dobbs University Center.

Following over a year of campus-wide dialogue, a QEP committee was formed in spring 2013, and identified "The Nature of Evidence" as Emory's QEP. The theme seeks to empower students as independent scholars capable of supporting arguments with different types of evidence. Specifically, it will focus on the first-year experience on Emory's main campus.

"Teaching first-year students about evidence, and particularly primary evidence, enhances Emory's place as a top research university with leading undergraduate colleges," says Center for Faculty Development and Excellence Director Pamela Scully, who chairs the QEP development committee.

With a pilot extracurricular event this semester and implementation rolling out over the next six years, "The Nature of Evidence," will engage students before they arrive on campus and, once they are here, offer learning opportunities focused on evidence both in and out of the classroom.

The three components are:

  • An introductory orientation that explores the nature of evidence through dynamic videos, available online
  • Enhancements to the classroom experience through a focus on evidence in first-year seminars, FYS190, required for all first-year students, and
  • Additional enhancements for co-curricular programs and events, including
  • Encounter with Evidence events, where faculty discuss artifacts (texts, sculptures; genes) and how their discipline analyzes such evidence
  • Scientific explorations in campus laboratories
  • Discussions of original texts
  • Research on original documents in the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL)
  • Discovery of fragile habitats at Lullwater Preserve
  • Investigations of artifacts at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Art
  • Attendance of performances at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, and
  • Discussions in freshmen residence halls

With these experiences, students will finish their first year with an understanding of the basic building blocks of knowledge and preparation for research at a leading university.

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