Bridgewater College approves strategic plan through 2020

A strategic plan to guide Bridgewater College through 2020 has been approved by the college’s board of trustees.

“BC 2020: The Strategic Plan for Bridgewater College” identifies key areas that are critical to the success of Bridgewater in the next eight years and presents strategies for achieving goals within those areas. Areas addressed in the plan include student success, the Bridgewater Experience, enhanced and new programs, access and affordability, alumni and community, and facilities.

“The prior strategic plan was 10 years old, and higher education has notably changed over that period,” said Nathan H. Miller, chairman of the board of trustees. “The board, recognizing the need to have a plan for the future, initiated the process of developing this new strategic plan.”

Miller noted that, in the future, higher education must focus on the realities of living in an international community, a fast-changing technological environment and an educational environment in which new majors and curricula abound.

“While addressing these changes, the board insisted on maintaining the fundamentals of our identity – education of the whole person in a challenging and supportive learning community that embraces the core values of equality and service to humanity inspired by our church heritage. Thus we have some of the old and some of the new.”

Miller added that the strategic plan committee was chaired by J. Russell Bruner, a 1977 alumnus of Bridgewater who is currently the chief executive officer for Maersk Inc.

“The committee sought input from the board of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students to ensure that the plan is well rounded and, during the next decade, will meet the needs of the many populations served by the college,” Bruner said.

The plan calls for Bridgewater to develop measurable learning goals to improve retention and four-year graduation rates, emphasize critical thinking and communication skills, particularly writing, and explore offering graduate (master’s level) and other educational programs consistent with the college’s mission and values.

Other elements of the plan include:

·     Employing technology-assisted learning environments and techniques

·     Taking advantage of the college’s proximity to Washington, D.C., and Richmond to provide distinctive, community-based learning experiences

·     Reducing energy and resource consumption

·     Developing curricula to reflect a global context

·     Supporting faculty development

·     Enhancing the college’s focus on pre-professional and graduate-school preparation

·     Prioritizing the recruitment and enrollment of community college transfer students

·     Increasing the endowment of the college

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,700 undergraduate students.


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