“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein
Piedmont College’s mission, “to educate students to become successful and responsible citizens,” articulates some tangible benefits of rigorous critical thinking skills. For all its graduates, the College hopes for no less than full and active participation in our democracy through personal, religious, social, and political communities. Students, faculty, and staff are challenged to keep their eyes on the prize: critical thinking in response to 21st century problems.
QEP stands for Quality Enhancement Plan. Piedmont has created a 5-year QEP, from 2007-2012, focused specifically on inspiring critical thinking and student learning. Piedmont hopes that the intense spotlight of this college-wide initiative will further prepare our graduates for the kind of problem-solving that Einstein rightfully presents as needful to create innovative responses to the demands of life and society.
There are many opportunities for members of the College Community to participate in the QEP's activities. Alumni, members of the Board of Trustees, students, staff, and faculty have roles to play in addition to teaching and learning in the classroom. The activities of several committees give structure to the project. Membership on these committees changes annually to provide everyone the opportunity to assist in the execution and oversight of the project.
The Advisory Council
The Advisory Council is composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni from the local community, and members of the Board of Trustees. It seeks a broad perspective from all constituencies to guide the plan's development as it proceeds and to garner feedback on the success of past practices.
The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee collaborates with the Director of the Plan and provides oversight for all aspects of implementation. The following three subcommittees, each of which is chaired by a member of the Steering Committee, have specific implementation functions.
The Assessment Subcommittee of the Steering Committee
The Assessment Subcommittee of the Steering Committee assists the Department of Institutional Research with interpretation of the data collected. It also audits academic and non-academic program recommendations.
The Communications Subcommittee of the Steering Committee
The Communications Subcommittee of the Steering Committee provides the public relations outreach of the plan and maintains the flow of information among all stakeholders.
The Professional Development Subcommittee of the Steering Committee
The Professional Development Subcommittee of the Steering Committee plans, provides, and evaluates the effectiveness of professional development for faculty and staff.
For more information about the management and execution of the plan, see Chapter 7 and Appendix 2 of the plan documentation.