The objective of Bridgewater College’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Academic Citizenship, is to help our students see their Bridgewater education as a process that develops a unique, creative and civil voice, a voice that participates authoritatively and energetically in the public sphere. By helping students take advantage of an academic community filled with other vibrant, creative, interested and interesting citizens, Academic Citizenship provides students the skills, attitudes and behaviors needed to become adept at exploring perspectives other than their own, evaluating the claims others make about the world, and ultimately offering their own assertions for consideration by that community. As Bridgewater students become academic citizens, they are also preparing to be better citizens of the communities (occupational, local, national and global) they will influence in the future.
To the degree that it teaches people to think and question and to be deliberate, a liberal arts education has the power to expand and enable critical emancipation and real democracy for the long term.
This program, which came into full effect in fall of 2012, is fulfilling its goals through two complimentary initiatives:
- The Annual Pedagogy Project in which faculty members develop student-centered learning strategies that focus on building perspective taking, public reasoning, and self-authorship skills in their courses
- The Big Question an annual theme to focus and invigorate campus conversations