TU Plans for Reaccreditation

by Lyman Stone

The committee formed to renew Transylvania’s accreditation is calling for heavy student involvement in the preparation of an outline of Transy’s goals for the next few years.

The last time Transy went through this process was in 2002 and the resulting document, called the Quality Enhancement Plan, covered a variety of issues. The QEP currently being developed will be profoundly different from the last one, according to Dr. John Svarlien, chair of the planning committee. Dr. Svarlien said the committee’s goals should be “simple, but significant,” with an emphasis on the democratic process and inclusion of students.

Last November, the QEP committee surveyed the Transy community for ideas and suggestions on how the university could be improved. The general objectives derived from the survey were fostering a culture of creativity on campus, enhancing interdisciplinary learning and internationalizing the campus.

While the general topics and goals have been outlined, Svarlien was clear about what the QEP’s priorities were.

Some schools have QEP plans that are “highly specific, but we can be more progressive and ambitious in planning,” Svarlien said.

This week the committee will be meeting to discuss ways of including student organizations in the development of QEP policy recommendations, so that a wide range of students will have a say in any improvements Transy implements over the next several years. Over the course of the term and next year, interested focus groups will be formed to develop plans of action and to brainstorm ideas for educational improvement at Transy. Moreover, the committee hopes eventually to open the process for discussion in larger public forums.

The 2002 QEP included policy recommendations ranging from changes in Greek life and recruitment rules to the enhancement of interdisciplinary teaching, according to the plan publicly available on Transy’s Web site.

Svarlien said that any students who want to be involved in this process can e-mail suggestions to QEPdevelopment@transy.edu.

Since Transy is required to write a QEP, Svarlien said we should take “the opportunity for self-examination and campus-wide conversations about how we can significantly enhance student learning.”


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