QEP Screening Committee

Committee members

The following individuals were part of the Screening Committee for QEP topic proposals, and met during academic year 2012-2013.  The Screening Committee was comprised of faculty, staff, and students representing Macon, Atlanta, and Regional Academic Centers.

Proposal Review

The QEP Screening Committee developed a set of criteria for reviewing and rating the proposals received.

  • Proposal clearly identifies and targets student learning (weighted in scoring)
  • Proposal topic is aligned with Mercer's mission (weighted in scoring)
  • Proposal topic is aligned with Mercer's strategic plan (weighted in scoring)
  • Proposal topic is "doable" (weighted in scoring)
  • Proposal topic targets a significant student population
  • Proposal topic is focused, yet has broad interest and relevance
  • Proposal is supported by data
  • A project growing from the topic is something we can accomplish, or make significant progress towards accomplishing, in five years
  • Proposal topic is directly assessable

Topic Proposals Received

Proposed topics were received from students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, a trustee, a standing academic committee, and a member of a college's board of visitors. They represented ideas from a broad range of units: Liberal Arts, Education, Business, Nursing, Continuing and Professional Studies (now Penfield College), Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Academic and Advising Services, and the Student Government Association. Screening Committee members individually scored the submissions using the evaluation criteria and those scores were compiled and weighted to achieve a final ranking for each proposal.

After reviewing submissions against the rubric, the Screening Committee further examined them for commonalities involving student learning and Mercer's institutional goals. Several proposals consistently addressed the common categories of engaged and experiential learning and service, and research was a steady thread through most proposals. The Screening Committee next narrowed the proposed topics to five categories: writing, online learning, service-learning, engaged/experiential learning, student scholarship.

Each of these topics was addressed by multiple proposals, targeted learning in a specific student population, and was aligned with Mercer's mission and goals.


Final Selection of Mercer's QEP Topic

The Screening Committee submitted a comprehensive report to the President containing descriptive summaries of these five topics on February 1, 2013. The President reviewed the recommendations and asked the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) to define the end goals of the QEP as it related to the institution. OIE prepared an analysis of each, including the strengths and weaknesses. In consultation with the Provost, the President narrowed the QEP topic choice to either writing or a combination of service and research. Next, he requested that OIE generate an analysis of potential student learning outcomes and assessment strategies for these topics and the pros and cons of each, along with information providing a sufficient distinction from the Mercer's previous QEP. With this additional analysis, he presented the topics of writing and research combined with service to his Cabinet.

The Cabinet closely examined the potential topics and accompanying analyses and agreed that, although either was a worthwhile investment, service and research were central to Mercer's mission and identity. The President and the Cabinet determined the combination of service and research would make a transformational QEP topic, and they presented this combined topic to the Board of Trustees, which then voted in April of 2013 to formally select Integrating Research and Service as Mercer's proposed QEP theme.