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Featured news from the Association of American Colleges and Universities

Public and Private VA College Presidents Voice Skepticism About Obama Plan to Rate Colleges

As the Washington Post reported in an article on August 5, private and public college presidents, including the chair of AAC&U’s Board, Kenneth P. Ruscio, President of Washington and Lee University, have signed a common letter, expressing “skepticism about President Obama’s plan to rate colleges on measures of access and value and link those ratings to federal aid.” AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider notes that, “This letter gives public voice to concerns being expressed all over higher education. It also resonates with the three public statements AAC&U’s Board of Directors has released on the ratings proposal. Speaking for myself and not for our Board, I personally believe that we should ask institutions to report how well they are serving Pell-eligible students. But that is entirely different from rating an entire institution on the highly reductive set of metrics the administration proposes. By result, if not intent, the metrics being discussed will drive the quality of learning entirely off the public radar screen, to all students’ disadvantage.”


(Posted on 2014-08-06 12:16:13)

New Project to Engage Minority-Serving Institutions In Research about Impact of HIPs on Underserved Student Achievement

AAC&U has received a grant from TG Philanthropy to expand AAC&U’s ongoing work to make excellence inclusive and ensure that all college students—including, in particular, those attending minority-serving institutions—benefit from proven high-impact educational practices. Part of AAC&U’s ongoing Making Excellence Inclusive, the project, “Advancing Underserved Student Success Through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning,” will examine the degree to which greater faculty intentionality in clearly articulating expectations for student learning and implementing more problem-centered instructional strategies can help to deepen student learning and increase student success. Read the press release or see the project web page for more information.


(Posted on 2014-08-04 14:20:42)

Submit Nominations for the 2015 Ernest L. Boyer Award
The Ernest L. Boyer Award is given by the New American Colleges & Universities (NAC&U) every year to recognize an individual whose achievements in higher education exemplify Boyer?s quest for connecting theory to practice and thought to action, in and out of the classroom. The winner will be announced at AAC&U?s annual meeting in January 2015. AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider is a former recipient of the award. Nominations are due by September 16, 2014. For instructions on how to submit a nomination, visit the NAC&U website.
(Posted on 2014-08-04 10:19:57)

AAC&U?s Rebecca Dolinsky and Heather McCambly Co-Lead August 6 Webinar on LGBTQ Student Success for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

AAC&U's Rebecca Dolinsky and Heather McCambly will co-lead an August 6 webinar titled “Understanding LGBTQ Student Success: A Toolkit for Expanding Campus Practice.” This webinar is being sponsored by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The webinar will be on Wednesday, August 6, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. (Eastern time). The cost for the webinar is $199. In this webinar, panelists will discuss literature on student success—which includes best practices for supporting first-generation, racial or ethnic minority, and low-income students—to identify ways to better serve LGBTQ students. They will also broaden the notion of what it means to be underserved in U.S. higher education and provide a toolkit to help educators and practitioners address issues relevant to LGBTQ student success. Click here to register for this webinar.


(Posted on 2014-07-23 13:32:09)

AAC&U Joins Multi-State Coalition in Support of Common Core Standards

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has joined Higher Education for Higher Standards to publicly advocate for the implementation of college- and career-ready standards, including the Common Core State Standards, in K-12 schools. This collaboration aims to mobilize college leaders to participate in the public debates about the standards, addressing the role that these standards play in helping today’s students better prepare for success in college, life, and work. AAC&U has consistently called for colleges and universities to ensure that today’s college students achieve a broader set of learning outcomes to ensure that they are ready to succeed in a complex global society. If students are to achieve these Essential Learning Outcomes, they must arrive at college better prepared for the kinds of inquiry-based learning and collaborative problem-solving that define high-quality learning in the twenty-first century. The Common Core Standards will not accomplish this goal by themselves, but implementing them effectively and in a coordinated way across states is an important step in the right direction, AAC&U affirms. Read the full press release for more information


(Posted on 2014-07-17 11:49:22)

AAEEBL Invites Participation in 4th Annual E-Portfolio Survey
The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) is conducting its 4th Annual E-Portfolio survey. AAEEBL invites anyone associated with e-portfolio practice in higher education to contribute to this year's survey, which closes August 1. The survey, which takes about ten minutes to complete, focuses on the ways in which e-portfolios are used to achieve learning objectives and educational goals. The study is part of a multi-year research initiative to find out more about trends in e-portfolio implementation and results across a wide variety of institutions and demographics. To complete the survey, visit the AAEEBL website. AAC&U's Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment Terrel Rhodes serves on the advisory board of AAEEBL.
(Posted on 2014-07-14 13:16:32)

AAC&U Will Celebrate 100 Years of Leadership for Liberal Education in 2015--Submit Proposals Now for the Centennial Annual Meeting
AAC&U will celebrate our 100th Anniversary in 2015, and we warmly invite your participation. The meeting--"Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and the Equity Imperative"--will be held in Washington, DC, January 21-24, 2015, and the Call for Proposals is now open. The Annual Meeting will explore higher education’s role in engaging students with the world’s urgent problems and, ultimately, in helping to create a more just and sustainable global future. We want to explore the kinds of learning--combining high touch and high tech--that Americans need now from postsecondary education to engage, contribute, and thrive within the economy as democratic and global citizens, and in their own lives. The Annual Meeting will feature the Centennial Symposium on January 21--"America's Global Future: Are College Students Prepared?" and the Forum on Digital Learning and E-Portfolios on Saturday, January 24. Proposals can be submitted online through July 14, 2014. Also see AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider's message to members about the Annual Meeting and the Centennial Year.
(Posted on 2014-06-24 09:16:23)

68 Institutions in Nine States to Pilot New Approach to Learning Outcomes Assessment
AAC&U and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) announced the 68 institutions--including both 2-year and 4-year institutions--participating in the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC) supported in its initial planning year with funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The nine states currently participating in the MSC include: Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah. Click here for the full list of participating institutions. Part of AAC&U's ongoing VALUE initiative, the 68 institutions in the MSC will pilot test a cross-state and cross-institutional effort to document how well students are achieving key learning outcomes like quantitative reasoning, written communication, and critical thinking by assessing authentic student work products using a set of common rubrics. For more information, see VALUE and Multi-State Collaborative on Learning Outcomes Assessment.
(Posted on 2014-06-24 09:14:32)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member David P. Angel Seeks to Define 'Liberal Education 2.0'
LEAP Presidents' Trust Member and Clark University President David P. Angel was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “On Leadership” online video series. President Angel noted that, “Blending a traditional liberal-arts education with practical real-world projects can make students more valuable contributors to the organizations they will work for when they graduate.” Learn more about developing blended approaches and employer partnerships at: http://www.aacu.org/leap/presidentstrust/compact/index.cfm
(Posted on 2014-06-23 09:41:25)

Twenty Institutions Selected to Participate in New Initiative, "Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM" (TIDES)
AAC&U announced the twenty institutions selected for the initiative called TIDES—Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM. The initiative will support curriculum and faculty development activities to develop models for broader institutional change and to advance evidence-based and culturally competent teaching in STEM fields, particularly in the computer and information science domains. Of the 20 institutions selected, 14 are full awardees, five received honorable mentions, and one institution is designated as noteworthy. The 14 full awardees will each receive up to $300,000 for work completed over the next three years. The TIDES initiative is funded with a $4.9 million grant to AAC&U from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Over the next three years of the initiative, TIDES and its awardee institutions will: Provide STEM faculty with opportunities to become proficient in incorporating culturally sensitive pedagogies into STEM courses; Develop interdisciplinary courses that include the computer/information science disciplines; and Engage in course implementation that is grounded in evidence-based pedagogies that are culturally sensitive. The initiative is led by Kelly Mack, Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope.
(Posted on 2014-06-19 09:43:00)

AAC&U Releases Statement on Providing Better Evidence on College Learning and Completion
Responding to the calls for better information about how well colleges and universities are serving today's students, AAC&U's Board of Directors has released a statement urging institutions of higher education to take the lead in framing these debates around appropriate metrics that focus on what students learn in college, as well as completion rates. AAC&U applauds the measures being taken by sister organizations and institutions to assess the quality of student learning, and to collect better data on the complicated educational pathways of today's students. AAC&U also encourages member institutions to explore whether participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability, the U-CAN initiative, or the Voluntary Framework of Accountability would be useful to them in presenting a more accurate picture of their own institutional results. For more information, read the press release about the statement from AAC&U's Board of Directors.
(Posted on 2014-06-03 08:49:02)

AAC&U Announces Partnership with Taskstream to Create New VALUE Rubrics Database
As part of the next phase of the VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education), AAC&U is partnering with Taskstream to create a database of student learning artifacts, collected from a range of institutions across the country regardless of their local platform, that can be assessed using the VALUE rubrics. This comprehensive database will allow for the development of national and statewide benchmarks for student learning achievement. AAC&U is also partnering with the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment, the State Higher Education Executive Officers, and an additional set of independent colleges and universities to advance this next phase of the VALUE initiative.
(Posted on 2014-05-30 10:52:28)

New Publication on Global Learning
We are pleased to announce a new joint publication of AAC&U and NAFSA: Association of International Educators--Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating--by author Kevin Hovland, Senior Director for Academic Programs at NAFSA and previously Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change for AAC&U. The publication provides a definition and rationale for "global learning," a term which is widely used across higher education, although academic leaders do not always agree on what the term means. By exploring how the term and the ideas behind it are evolving, global learning is placed in the context of several important overlapping higher education change efforts. The publication is available at no cost on both the NAFSA and AAC&U websites.
(Posted on 2014-05-23 06:00:05)

University of Wisconsin System Announces Liberal Arts Essay Competition Winners
The UW System has announced the winners of its ninth annual Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition. The annual competition is part of the UW System’s LEAP initiative and has been sponsored for nine years. This year’s essay prompt invited students to reflect on their own education in the context of the William Cronon essay, “Only Connect,” about the qualities that distinguish a liberally educated person. The three contest winners will each receive a $2,000 scholarship to help fund the remainder of their undergraduate education. UW System President Ray Cross noted that, ““Every day I am in this position, I become more impressed with the quality of the students who attend our institutions, and there is no greater testimony to that quality than this year’s winning essays.” to read the winning essays, visit http://liberaleducation.uwsa.edu/scholarship. For more information, see the Wisconsin SAGLA Web page and AAC&U’s LEAP initiative web pages.
(Posted on 2014-05-13 14:56:47)

AAC&U Vice President Debra Humphreys Featured on WAMU Program on the Value of a College Degree and Proposed Federal Ratings System
AAC&U Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement Debra Humphreys was one of three guests on WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show on May 7, 2014. The show, titled, “Measuring the Value of A College Degree,” was a panel discussion that addressed the value and costs of a college degree, future employment prospects for college graduates, and President Obama’s proposed ratings system. Humphreys argued that the value of a college degree is about more than just earnings and noted that, “Nearly all employers recently surveyed by AAC&U say that ‘a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.’” Humphreys also noted some of the problems with President Obama’s proposed rating system and responded to questions about AAC&U’s 2014 report, How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment. The report argues that "whatever undergraduate major they may choose, students who pursue their major within the context of a broad liberal education substantially increase their likelihood of achieving long-term professional success." See AAC&U’s most recent statement on the proposed federal ratings system.
(Posted on 2014-05-08 09:05:54)

AAC&U's Rebecca Dolinsky and Heather McCambly Coauthor Op-Ed on LGBTQ Student Success for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
In a recent op-ed, “ LGBTQ Student Success in Higher Education” (May 6, 2014), AAC&U’s Rebecca Dolinsky and Heather McCambly ask: “How can the higher education community better understand the influence of campus climate and educational practice on LGBTQ student success?” Drawing from a session they led on this topic at AAC&U’s Diversity, Learning, and Student Success conference in March, the authors note that “too many LGBTQ students feel unsafe, unwelcome, or disconnected from social and/or academic life on their respective campuses.” They encourage educators to draw from key literature on student success “to create opportunities for students to engage academically and socially and experience validation not only in terms of their culture or sexuality or gender or spirituality but as authentic, whole people.”
(Posted on 2014-05-08 09:04:09)

Faculty and Administrative Teams from 109 Institutions, 33 States, and 3 Countries to Attend AAC&U 2014 Summer Institutes
AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2014 summer institutes. Teams of five or more participants from 109 institutions will attend these summer institutes: the Institute on General Education and Assessment at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont (June 3–7); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, (June 17–21); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, California (July 9–13). These three AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus; for a list of participating institutions, see this press release. AAC&U also will announce soon the faculty members participating in the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM Faculty. PKAL Institutes are designed to prepare early and mid-career STEM faculty for roles as effective agents of change in transforming undergraduate STEM education at the departmental, institutional, and/or national levels.
(Posted on 2014-05-06 09:21:13)

The Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts Sponsors Essay Contest on the Value of a Liberal Arts Education
The Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) has announced the winners in its statewide essay contest on the value of a liberal arts education. The first and second prize essay contest winners were high school seniors Shelby Gordon from Walla Walla High School and Jake Vasilj from Mead Senior High School in Spokane. Both Shelby and Jake reflected on the relationship between the liberal arts and American democracy. Both students were awarded college scholarships. WaCLA is an organization of more than 30 public and private, two- and four-year institutions in Washington State created to promote the value of a liberal arts education to the people and communities of Washington. On May 20, 2014, WaCLA, AAC&U, and LEAP are co-sponsoring an Employer-Educator forum in SeaTac, Washington.
(Posted on 2014-04-29 14:43:51)

Philadelphia LEAP Forum Brings Together Nearly 150 Employers and Educators To Chart Action Agenda for High-Quality Learning
AAC&U is hosting a LEAP Employer-Educator Forum on “Making High-Quality Learning Our Priority as Americans Go to College” in Philadelphia on April 16. This forum is part of a series of similar programs being held across country in 2014 as a way for higher education institutions to engage in purposeful dialogue with local and regional employer representatives and policy leaders about creating more intentional partnerships that give college students hands-on learning experiences that will be useful for their careers. The event builds on the 2013 release of AAC&U’s Employer-Educator Compact and a national survey of employers. See also AAC&U’s recent report on How Liberal Arts Majors Fare in Employment.
(Posted on 2014-04-15 11:07:28)

UW-Whitewater Hosts Gallery Exhibit Highlighting LEAP
The Roberta A. Fiskum Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will open an exhibit titled "Let's LEAP: A Vision for Learning," highlighting the university’s work as part of AAC&U’s centennial initiative Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP).  The exhibit, on display April 16–23, showcases student learning artifacts and a range of projects created by the university’s LEAP teams over the last four years.  The LEAP team will also host a reception at the exhibit on April 23. The reception will include student testimonials and presentations on the Essential Learning Outcomesand other elements of LEAP by senior university administrators.
(Posted on 2014-04-07 12:30:40)

LEAP Initiative Featured in Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times recently featured AAC&U's LEAP initiative in an article and described how it is influencing educational change in Illinois. Reporter Sandra Guy describes the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes, the VALUE approach to assessment, and LEAP's focus on traditionally underserved students. Also featured is AAC&U member institution, Governors State University (GSU). GSU President and LEAP Presidents' Trust member Elaine Maimon addresses ways that GSU is using LEAP to reform its general education program as it welcomes its inaugural first-year class. The article also cites AAC&U's President Carol Geary Schneider noting that, "‘We need history, English, and political science majors, of course, but to remain a global leader, the United States needs its engineers, business leaders, and health professionals to be liberally educated as well.”
(Posted on 2014-04-07 07:49:32)

More Than 500 Gather in Chicago To Explore Diversity, Learning, and Student Success
AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference on Diversity, Learning, and Student Success welcomes more than 500 attendees March 27-29 in Chicago, Illinois. Program highlights include an opening address, “The Wind Beneath Their Wings,” by Economist and Author Julianne Malveaux; a panel discussion on Improving and Measuring Student Success: Perspectives on Policy and Practice,” with Steve Gunderson, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities; Debra Humphreys, AAC&U; José Moreno, California State University, Long Beach; and Christi Pedra, Cardinal Health; and sessions on Technology-Enabled Education: Opportunities and Pitfalls,” with Candace Thille, Stanford University and Sylvia Manning, Higher Learning Commission; and “Intentional and Strategic Connections of Diversity, Learning, and Student Success,” with Lon Kaufman, University of Illinois at Chicago. Attendees can download the conference mobile app, and follow the conversation on Twitter, twitter.com/aacu, #dlss14.
(Posted on 2014-03-27 08:35:49)

Celebrating Women's History Month
In honor of National Women’s History Month, which focuses this year on the theme Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment, AAC&U recognizes two extraordinary women who for over four decades led AAC&U’s efforts to offer resources for women in higher education: Bernice “Bunny” Sandler, founding director of AAC&U’s Program on the Status and Education of Women and recent inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and Caryn McTighe Musil, AAC&U Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives and longtime advocate for gender equity in higher education. AAC&U continues their legacy of supporting women in higher education through publications such as Liberal Education (which recently featured Musil’s article “Gender Equity: Who Needs It?”) and initiatives like the NSF-funded Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future project supporting women of color STEM faculty at HBCUs.
(Posted on 2014-03-20 10:04:54)

AAC&U Board Member Charlene Dukes Receives 2014 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award
Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George's Community College and an AAC&U Board Member, is the 2014 recipient of the Reginald Wilson Diversity in Leadership Award from the American Council on Education (ACE). The award was presented at ACE's 96th Annual Meeting. "It is a privilege to present the 2014 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award to Charlene Dukes, whose bold leadership at Prince George's Community College and elsewhere demonstrates an unwavering dedication to the cause of expanding higher education diversity and access," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. "She is a pioneer who is intent on helping to forge new opportunities for countless other higher education leaders and students." 
(Posted on 2014-03-17 09:16:15)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member, Elaine Maimon, Receives ACE Award for Advancing Women in Education
Elaine Maimon, president of Governors State University and a member of the LEAP Presidents’ Trust, received the 2014 Donna Shavlik Award at the annual meeting of theAmerican Council on Education (ACE). The award, named for the former director of ACE's Office of Women in Higher Education, honors an individual who demonstrates a sustained commitment to advancing women in higher education, through leadership and career development, campus climate, and mentoring. Maimon has worked with ACE on several different initiatives to promote women’s advancement, and her work has done much to “expand access to higher education overall and advance the cause of women in higher education leadership in particular,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad.  AAC&U Senior Scholar Caryn McTighe Musil also received this award in 2005. 
(Posted on 2014-03-10 09:34:50)

More Commentary on Salary Data as a Measure of Value of Higher Education Institutions
As the US Department of Education works on a very quick timeline to develop a new system for "rating" colleges and universities that receive federal student aid, education leaders continue to seriously question the inclusion of salary data as part of any ratings system. AAC&U is on record strongly opposing the use of salary data in any rating or ranking system of colleges and universities, noting that, far beyond the data so far proposed for inclusion, "The United States needs a far more searching exploration of 'value' than the administration has proposed." AAC&U has also noted that, "Using salary data in the proposed ratings system is bound to be misleading to students and, because of its complexity, a distraction from more basic questions of whether students are successfully completing college, transferring to other institutions, and managing the net costs of their enrollment." See a useful summary of responses provided by The Chronicle of Higher Education, AAC&U’s statements on the proposed ratings system, and this helpful article by AAC&U board member and Oregon State University President Ed Ray asking “Is College for Getting a Job or Finding One’s Passion?” See additional responses from a panel of experts, including AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, in the Wall Street Journal. op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the value of the humanities. See also AAC&U’s recent report on How Liberal Arts Majors Fare in Employment.
(Posted on 2014-03-06 10:53:38)

900 Education Leaders Gather in Portland for Conference on General Education and Assessment
AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference on General Education and Assessment welcomes 900 attendees February 27–March 1 in Portland, Oregon. Program highlights include Thursday’s keynote address, “From Disruption to Design: A General Education for 2030?” by Randall Bass, Georgetown University; and Sybril Bennett, Belmont University; the Friday morning plenary, “Examining Leadership Paradoxes: New Students and Faculty on Campus,” by Adrianna Kezar University of Southern California; and Robert T. Teranish, University of California–Los Angeles; and the Friday afternoon plenary, “Evolving Identities of E-Portfolios,” by Bret Eynon, La Guardia Community College/City University of New York. Attendees can download the conference mobile app, and follow the conversation on Twitter, twitter.com/aacu, #gened14.
(Posted on 2014-02-27 08:17:31)

GEMs Project Launched at Washington, DC Meeting: Working Groups Convene to Map Next Generation General Education Pathways
Three working groups and a newly formed Quality Assurance Group began charting a twenty-first century course for general education and its assessment at a meeting in Washington, DC on February 10-11, 2014. The Working and Quality Assurance Groups appointed by AAC&U are collaborating as part of an initiative called GEMs (General Education Maps and Markers) launched with initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GEMs Working Groups include leading researchers and educators who will lay the groundwork for a cornerstone to capstone “remapping” of general education. In addition, a new Quality Assurance Group will provide guidance both to the GEMs initiative and to AAC&U’s ongoing VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) family of projects. See the news release about the launch meeting for GEMs.
(Posted on 2014-02-25 09:32:59)

Nominations Now Open for Examples of Excelencia
AAC&U is pleased to announce that Excelencia in Education is now accepting nominations for its Examples of Excelencia initiative. Launched in 2005, the Examples of Excelencia initiative is designed to identify and honor programs and departments at the forefront of increasing academic opportunities and improving achievement for Latino students at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. The initiative is focused on results and disseminating promising practices to others interested in serving Latino students. Nominations for the 2014 awards must be submitted by April 25; selected programs will be recognized at the Celebración de Excelencia on September 30 in Washington, DC. AAC&U has partnered with Excelencia in Education as part of our Making Excellence Inclusive initiative within Liberal Education and America's Promise. Learn more at http://www.edexcelencia.org/examples-of-excelencia/2014
(Posted on 2014-02-21 14:31:05)

Screening of Documentary, "Inequality for All" on February 20
AAC&U, AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, Campus Compact, NASPA, Project Pericles, and the US Students Association invite your campus to host a screening of the Sundance Award-Winning Documentary “Inequality for All” on February 20 at 5 p.m. (EST). The documentary, from Robert Reich, Former US Secretary of Labor, is an exposé on the nation’s widening economic gap. Following the film, at 6:30 p.m. (EST), Robert Reich will present a live interactive webcast. The cost to participate in this screening is $250. This fee covers the purchase of film and public performance rights, as well as a license to allow your institution to show the film anytime, anywhere on campus. For information about hosting a screening, e-mail Wendy Cohen at wendy@picturemotion.com. Click here to view the film trailer.
(Posted on 2014-02-12 09:57:52)

AAC&U Selects Thirteen Scholars to Guide Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills Initiative
AAC&U has chosen thirteen STIRS Scholars to provide leadership for the Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills (STIRS) initiative. STIRS was launched in 2012 to develop the tools to improve the capacity of undergraduate students to use evidence to solve problems and make decisions. The new STIRS Scholars, chosen through a competitive process, will develop STIRS case studies and draw national attention to evidence-based reasoning and decision making as critical, multifaceted, cross-cutting capacities to be practiced by all undergraduate students in all degree programs. The scholars will meet together at AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference on General Education and Assessment in Portland, Oregon, in late February/early March, 2014. A list of the scholars is available at http://www.aacu.org/stirs/STIRSScholars.cfm.
(Posted on 2014-02-11 10:45:40)

AAC&U and a Host of Others Warn Department of Education That Proposed Ratings System Will Be Almost Impossible to Do Well
In November, AAC&U issued a cautionary statement about the ratings system urging that it not be described as metrics for “value” or “worth”; and specifically warning that including salary data as an indicator of “quality” would punish institutions whose graduates flock to public service and teaching. (For more on the salary issues, click here.) Subsequently, AAC&U also signed a community letter, framed by ACE, which outlined in considerable detail the likely insurmountable practical and technical problems any one-size-fits-all ratings system will encounter. While the Department of Education has underscored that, given the president’s directive, “there will be a new ratings system,” AAC&U will continue to encourage the department to present its system as “selected indicators,” rather than as an evaluation of institutional worth or value.
(Posted on 2014-02-07 11:09:41)

LEAP Texas Becomes Tenth Official LEAP Partner State
AAC&U and LEAP Texas announced that Texas has become a consortial partner in AAC&U’s signature national initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). LEAP Texas is a collation of more than sixty institutions spanning different state offices and systems, united by common issues and shared purpose.  Moving forward, LEAP Texas has three main goals: leveraging the newly redesigned State Core Curriculum (largely informed by the Essential Learning Outcomes) to improve undergraduate education; creating a capacity for large-scale, inter-institutional collaboration on assessment; and embedding high-impact practices throughout the undergraduate curriculum.  See http://www.aacu.org/leap/texas.cfm for more details.
(Posted on 2014-01-30 09:38:56)

More Than 2,000 Education Leaders Gather in Washington to Address Educational Innovations and America's Global Future
More than 2,000 participants have gathered in Washington for AAC&U’s 2014 Annual Meeting (Jan 22-25). Participants are discussing three urgent and intersecting issues: the continuing challenge to define and demonstrate what we mean by quality liberal education; attempts to imagine and plan for how technology is changing all aspects of higher education; and the inequality that results when educational opportunity is too closely linked to first-job skills. Meeting highlights include a Pre-Meeting Symposium on the future of the arts and sciences; an opening plenary featuring EJ Dionne, Jr., columnist for the Washington Post; a special plenary address by Walter Isaacson on “Liberal Education and the Future of Innovation”; and the final plenary by Frank Levy (MIT) on “Technology and the Future of Work and Learning.” At the meeting, eight graduate students are being honored with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Awardand AAC&U presented the 2014 Ness Book Award to José Antonio Bowen for Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning. Learn more about what's happening at the Annual Meeting on the AAC&U blog, http://blog.aacu.org. Follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/aacu, #aacu14.
(Posted on 2014-01-22 06:46:57)

New Report Documents Professional Success of Liberal Arts Graduates
A new report written by Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly and published jointly by AAC&U and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) tracks the long-term earnings and employment rates of liberal arts graduates and counters stereotypes about the value of liberal education. In addition to providing data on long-term employment outcomes for four-year college graduates with an array of undergraduate majors, the report details how humanities and social science majors, in particular, are flocking to a family of educational and social service professions. In releasing the report, NCHEMS President Dennis Jones notes that “This report makes a strong case that liberal arts degrees really do prepare their holders for successful careers…[and] reminds us that these degrees also are the primary pathways to careers that society critically needs, but has been unwilling to compensate as well as others.” See the news release on the report, purchase a print or electronic copy, and download a brochure with select findings about the value of the liberal arts.
(Posted on 2014-01-22 06:45:53)

January 22 Annual Meeting Announcement
AAC&U's Annual Meeting will continue as planned. We expect that some people will experience travel delays—particularly for Wednesday’s pre-meeting events—but there are no changes to the schedule. The weather in Washington through Saturday will be very cold, with zero chance of precipitation. Although we hope to see you this week, our first concern is your safety. If you do need to cancel your registration, please email meetings@aacu.org or koebke@aacu.org. Thank you.
(Posted on 2014-01-21 12:41:18)

Graduate Students Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award
Eight graduate students will be honored as 2014 recipients of the annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, a distinction given to graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley. For more details about the 2014 recipients, see the list of Cross Award winners online. The 2014 Cross Scholars will be introduced to the AAC&U community at its 2014 Annual Meeting, "Quality, E-Quality, and Opportunity: How Educational Innovations Will Make--or Break--America's Global Future," to be held in Washington, DC, from January 22-25, 2014. The 2014 Cross Scholars will be honored at the Opening Plenary. They will also be presenters in the session, "Faculty of the Future: Voices from the Next Generation." The Cross awardees will participate in other sessions and meetings throughout the conference.
(Posted on 2014-01-09 10:22:08)

New PKAL Project to Focus on Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM
AAC&U announced that it has received a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support TIDES--Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM--a three-year curriculum and faculty development project that will engage at least fourteen competitively selected campuses working to develop models for broad institutional change to advance evidence-based and culturally competent teaching. The initiative will create a national community of faculty leaders committed to and effective in developing supportive and empowering environments for students traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Further information on submitting an application for this initiative is available here. A letter of intent is due on January 10, 2014. Full proposals are due on February 18, 2014. AAC&U will support at least 14 awards of up to $300,000 each in this competition.
(Posted on 2013-12-10 12:20:31)

House Holds Hearings on Impact of ACA on Education: Discusses Larger Issue of Part-Time Faculty Working Conditions
The U.S. House of Representatives recently held a hearing about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on higher education institutions. Among other issues discussed was the ongoing challenges faced by part-time and/or contingent faculty. Maria Maisto, president of the New Faculty Majority, referenced AAC&U’s new strategic plan in her testimony and noted her ongoing concern which AAC&U shares, “that the quality of the education students receive is being eroded by the working conditions of the majority of faculty who teach them.” For further information and research on the issue of faculty work, see The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, a partnership between AAC&U and the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education.
(Posted on 2013-12-04 09:24:25)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member Blogs About Priorities in Higher Education
John Petillo, president, Sacred Heart University, wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post College Blog (November 20, 2013) where he notes that, "We've entered a new and perilous era when the schools that try to inspire students to a higher calling will be penalized by federal aid distribution. The government's formula discounts the personal development of the individual and the need for social consciousness. It insults the liberal arts and rewards trade schools where richness of cultures, literature and creativity are virtually ignored. The addendum is there will be increasing pressure on colleges to scrap liberal arts programs and eviscerate the curriculum in favor of skills-based study. Equally frightening, some small independent colleges that produce teachers, clergy and social workers will face the prospect of having to close."
(Posted on 2013-11-25 09:03:02)

AAC&U Launches Initiatives to Advance Transformative Change in General Education and Student Learning Assessment
AAC&U announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the organization a $2,305,000 grant to support initial work on two initiatives designed to significantly improve the quality of undergraduate education and increase student success. With support from the Gates Foundation, AAC&U will launch on December 1, 2013 two far-reaching educational change efforts—GEMs (General Education Maps and Markers) and VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education).  The new projects will lay the groundwork for a cornerstone to capstone “remapping” of general education, and for a new approach to quality assurance that moves students’ own work to the center of educational assessment and accountability.  Both projects are part of AAC&U’s ongoing LEAP initiative (Liberal Education and America’s Promise), which works to make the most powerful forms of learning a resource for all college students and which challenges the trend toward broad learning for some students and narrower learning for many others.
(Posted on 2013-11-14 15:54:50)

AAC&U Provides Feedback on Proposed College Ratings System
In November, The U.S. Department of Education is inviting written feedback and hosting open forums to gather input on the college ratings system proposed by President Obama in August. The Executive Committee of AAC&U’s board of directors has provided feedback in writing suggesting that, among other things that "the proposed rating system…should not be described as [measuring] the “value and worth of college" and that "the proposed ratings system should not include salary information." This feedback builds on the AAC&U Board of Directors statement released in August that noted, in part that, "the United States needs a far more searching exploration of 'value' than the administration has proposed."  See the entire text of the November 2013 statement, "AAC&U Responds to President Obama's Proposed College Ratings System."
(Posted on 2013-11-12 07:52:19)

AAC&U and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education Announce Indiana as Ninth Partner State in LEAP States Initiative
AAC&U and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education announced that Indiana has officially become a LEAP state partner in AAC&U's signature national initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise. This announcement follows a formal vote by the Indiana Commission passing a resolution in support of Indiana's LEAP initiative. In becoming a formal LEAP partner state, Indiana is building on prior projects and will be focused on developing a more effective and efficient system of higher education based on learning outcomes and authentic assessments.
(Posted on 2013-11-08 09:16:05)

The New American Colleges and Universities Formally Joins Liberal Education and America's Promise
AAC&U and the New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U) announced that NAC&U will formally partner with AAC&U on its signature national initiative, Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College. Through the partnership, NAC&U will leverage its members' collective mission--to purposefully integrate liberal arts, professional studies, and civic engagement--to advance LEAP's twenty-first century vision of liberal education. As part of the LEAP States Initiative, public state systems and other consortia of public and private colleges and universities participate collaboratively in the LEAP initiative to accelerate and advance systemic changes to improve student learning outcomes.
(Posted on 2013-11-06 09:32:18)

800 College Faculty and Academic Leaders Gather in San Diego for Conference on STEM Education
AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope's Conference, Transforming STEM Education, welcomes 800 attendees October 31–November 2 in San Diego. This conference is a sign of the urgency with which educators now are approaching the way we engage students with STEM learning. Those in attendance will share innovations, evidence, and practical strategies regarding inquiry-based and problem-centered learning as part of a successful STEM Education. Program highlights include the keynote address, "Persistence in Science by All Students: Lessons from the Little Red Hen and Other Fairy Tales," and a plenary, "Metacognition and Motivation: Advancing STEM Learning for All Students." Follow the conference conversation on Twitter at #stem13.
(Posted on 2013-10-30 09:14:16)

AAC&U Announces Appointment of Kelly Mack as New AAC&U Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education
AAC&U announces that it has appointed Kelly Mack as Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education at AAC&U. She assumes this position in addition to her ongoing role as Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), a position she has held since 2012. Mack will lead a new Office of Undergraduate STEM Education at AAC&U and will guide the association and PKAL in an expanded set of activities designed to increase the effectiveness of STEM teaching and learning and to create more liberally educated scientists, with particular attention to women and to students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Originally founded in 1989, Project Kaleidoscope formally joined forces with the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2010 in an integrated partnership to advance and amplify the work of both organizations to transform undergraduate STEM learning, teaching, and leadership. This new expanded role for Mack and the creation of the new PKAL Educational Affairs office at AAC&U reflect the success of the merger between AAC&U and PKAL and reaffirm the association’s ongoing commitment to the work of PKAL and the national project of expanding access to and success in STEM fields for students from all backgrounds.
(Posted on 2013-10-29 11:20:48)

Boston LEAP Forum Brings Together Nearly 200 Employers and Educators To Chart Action Agenda for Connecting College, Career and Community
AAC&U hosted a LEAP Employer-Educator Forum on “Making High-Quality Learning Our Priority as Americans Go to College: A New England Employer-Educator Forum,” in Boston on October 28. The forum brought together educators, employers, policy makers, and civic leaders from the New England region to address the changing nature of work and to chart specific ways that educators and employers can collaborate to better provide students with skills and knowledge needed for long-term success in a rapidly changing economy and global community. The event builds on AAC&U's release of a recent national survey of employers, It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success.
(Posted on 2013-10-29 11:19:58)

AAC&U Congratulates Bernice Sandler on Induction into National Women's Hall of Fame
Bernice “Bunny” Sandler, a Title IX advocate and founding director of AAC&U’s Program on the Status and Education of Women (PSEW), was among those inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame on October 13. From 1971 to 1991, Bunny directed PSEW, the first national project on the status of women in higher education within a national higher education association. Bunny also founded AAC&U’s periodical, On Campus with Women, which was published from 1971-2013. Among her many significant accomplishments, Sandler published the first set of papers on women of color in higher education; the first national report on sex discrimination in collegiate athletics; the first report on the “chilly climate,” a term the project invented; and the first report issuing guidelines for faculty search committees to help them identify whether applicants would be strong advocates for women. Learn more about Bunny’s tenure at AAC&U.
(Posted on 2013-10-28 15:55:18)

Registration Open for AAC&U's 2014 Annual Meeting
AAC&U’s 2014 Annual Meeting—“Quality, E-Quality, and Opportunity: How Educational Innovations Will Make—or Break—America’s Global Future”—will be held January 22–25, 2014, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. Online registration is open. Plenary speakers include E.J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post; Walter Isaacson, The Aspen Institute; Cecilia A. Conrad, MacArthur Fellows Program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Frank Levy, MIT, coauthor of The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market. The meeting includes the Wednesday Night Forum on “Digital Innovations and the Search for Efficiency and Quality”; a pre-conference symposium on “New Designs for Integrative Learning: Curricular Pathways, Departments, and the Future of Arts and Sciences”; and the Fifth Annual E-Portfolio Forum on Saturday, January 25. More information is available online.
(Posted on 2013-10-28 15:52:58)

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider Says The Proof is in the Portfolio
In her Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider notes that, "Our LEAP initiative has articulated the aims and learning outcomes of a 21st-century liberal education, and we helped frame the Lumina Foundation's competency-based Degree Qualifications Profile, now being 'beta-tested' by nearly 300 colleges. But not everything labeled 'competency' comes even close to meeting the competencies described by these two initiatives. Narrow training programs do not meet the test; they almost always shortchange both broad learning and civic learning, focusing only on job skills and not on the knowledge and evidence-based reasoning capacities that graduates need for life and citizenship as well as their careers"
(Posted on 2013-10-02 10:34:16)

Liberal Education, Summer 2013: The Annual Meeting
This issue features annual meeting presentations on the future of diversity, gender equity, and institutional governance. Also included are articles on social identity and privilege, efforts to teach critical thinking online, promoting student learning across faith lines, use of the VALUE rubrics to build community, and college as an intellectual workout.
(Posted on 2013-09-19 12:29:01)

NASA Video Series on Diversity in STEM Features Former Board Members Tatum and Hrabowski
MissionSTEM, a NASA program designed to help projects and institutions funded by the federal agency meet their obligations under civil rights and equal opportunity laws, has launched the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership video series. The series features interviews with prominent academic leaders about the importance of diversity in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and ways to increase participation of underrepresented minorities in these fields. The first set of videos includes interviews with Freeman Hrabowski, president of University of Maryland Baltimore County and member of the LEAP National Leadership Council, and Beverly Tatum, president of Spelman College and a member of the Peer Review editorial board. Both scholars are also former members of AAC&U's board of directors. New videos are uploaded each month.
(Posted on 2013-09-17 08:25:38)

AACU Board Releases Statement on "Ensuring the Value of US Higher Education"
The AAC&U Board of Directors recently released a statement, "Ensuring the Value of US Higher Education," calling for a more "searching exploration of 'value' than" has been proposed in recent speeches by President Obama. In the official statement, the AAC&U board further calls for the creation of a "contemporary framework for quality that is focused on Essential Learning Outcomes, educational practices that lead to these outcomes, greater equity in access to excellence, and intentionality in generating evidence of achievement based on students' best work." See full statement.
(Posted on 2013-08-28 14:21:21)

AAC&U Commitment and Plan of Action to Support the Indispensable Liberal Arts and Sciences Released
In a recent letter to members, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider has profiled AAC&U's current and planned work on behalf of the liberal arts and sciences.  Building on work in AAC&U's LEAP initiative that seeks to make the purposes and practices that characterize a 21st-century liberal education a guiding compass for all students and all major fields, Schneider articulates in her memo to members why the liberal arts and sciences are an indispensable component of any quality undergraduate degree.  Moreover, she sketches out how AAC&U plans to, at once make the case for the liberal arts and sciences, and support member institutions as they work to ensure that all students reach the important learning outcomes that the arts and sciences provide.  See the full letter to members and a recent op-ed in Inside Higher Ed that Schneider co-authored with David Townsend of the Aspen Institute.
(Posted on 2013-08-19 09:45:33)

AAC&U Board Releases Statement on "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence"
AAC&U’s Board of Directors has released an official  statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, which explains AAC&U’s vision for inclusive excellence in light of the association’s recently expanded mission “to make liberal education and inclusive excellence the foundation for institutional purpose and educational practice in higher education.”  “As our nation faces unprecedented demographic shifts and a complex and challenging economic, legal, and regulatory environment, it is more important than ever that every higher education institution redouble its efforts to ensure that all students learn with and from diverse peers and graduate ready to lead in a diverse and globally connected world,” said Mildred García, president of California State University, Fullerton and chair of AAC&U’s Board.  The new statement on inclusive excellence is a companion to AAC&U’s existing Board Statement on Liberal Education.
(Posted on 2013-08-15 10:04:43)

The Humanities and Arts are Disciplines "Basic to Democracy" Say AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider and Aspen Institute Senior Leader David Townsend
When politicians attack the humanities and arts, they are forgetting core lessons from our founders and depleting our capacity to sustain a civil society. In their Inside Higher Ed essay, Ignoring the Founders, Schneider and Townsend write, "There would be no America if Thomas Jefferson cared more about beans and viticulture than the truth that all men are created equal, if John Adams cared more about the legality of contracts for debt than liberty, if Benjamin Franklin cared more about inventing and marketing new technologies than the pursuit of happiness." The essay will be reprinted in the next issue of AAC&U's flagship journal Liberal Education. Since 1991, AAC&U and the Aspen Institute have co-sponsored the Wye Seminars on Citizenship in the American and Global Polity, for which Townsend serves as director and faculty member. The content and pedagogy of these seminars foster learning needed to secure a self-governing democracy and a prosperous economy.  The seminars, designed for faculty members and academic leaders, will be offered again in the summer of 2014.
(Posted on 2013-08-05 08:45:46)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member Makes the Case for the Value of a Liberal Arts Education
Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray notes in a recent Huffington Post College blog post, "The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today's Global Marketplace," "All successful careers require critical thinking, teamwork, sensitivity to cultural, demographic, economic and societal differences, and political perspectives. A liberal arts education provides this grounding. ...No one knows what the jobs of the future will be, but a liberal arts degree provides a great foundation for adjusting to new careers and further education. We do know that a third of all Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees. ...Finally, our society desperately needs the grounding in ethical thinking and questioning that the liberal arts provide. ...A good job and top salary out of college, we all agree, would be wonderful. More important by far, is what our college graduates do beyond the starting line to build a rewarding life, create a fulfilling career and serve their communities."
(Posted on 2013-07-25 09:40:35)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member Speaks Out for Humanities and Social Sciences
Miami-Dade University President Eduardo Padrón spoke out with Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami, in the Miami Herald op-ed, "Humanities, Social Sciences for a Vibrant, Competitive, Secure Nation." The op-ed was written in response to the June 19 release of an important national report focused on the continuing indispensable role of the humanities and social sciences in meeting urgent national goals. In the op-ed, Padrón and Shalala note that, "A better-educated America is a stronger America. One look at the rapidly changing world around us makes clear that if we are to prosper as a nation--with justice and civil liberties firmly rooted in democratic principles--we must ensure that the humanities and social sciences have their rightful place in education." Both Padrón and Shalala are members of the Commission on Humanities & Social Sciences. The Commission released this report. More information is available in this press release. See also additional news coverage about the humanities report.
(Posted on 2013-07-25 08:27:59)

New Book Explores Benefits of Civic Engagement across Multiple Generations
A new publication addresses the benefits of civic engagement from the perspectives of coauthors fifty-seven years apart in age. Civic Work, Civic Lessons: Two Generations Reflect on Public Service is a collaborative effort by Stanford University professor Thomas Ehrlich and recent Stanford graduate Ernestine Fu. The book explores the benefits of civic engagement and offers tips for successful civic work, including ways to leverage technology to promote change.
(Posted on 2013-07-16 10:10:57)

AAC&U Research Analyst Rebecca C. Dolinsky Writes about Contingency and Identity in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
In a recent blog post, "At the Intersection of Identity and Contingency” (July 11, 2013), Dolinsky notes that, “There is a particular element to my experience as a contingent faculty member that I want to underscore: at a private liberal arts institution, where I taught courses on gender and sexuality, I was one of the few out lesbian professors on campus. I bring this point to the forefront, because I want to discuss my experience as a contingent faculty member through my identity as a lesbian. But I also want to focus on the demographics of non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) in general, and discuss what it means to place identity at the center of a larger discussion on the contingent faculty experience.”
(Posted on 2013-07-16 10:08:00)

Models for Student Success: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap
The Spring 2013 issue of Peer Review highlights lessons learned from Developing a Community College Student Roadmap, the LEAP project designed to assist community colleges in creating robust and proactive programs of academic support. These programs--tied to expected learning outcomes--engage students at entrance and teach them how to become active partners in their own quest for educational success.
(Posted on 2013-07-10 15:01:33)

What Do Employers Want from College Graduates?
The Spring Issue of Liberal Education presents the findings from a new national survey of employer priorities for college learning and student success, along with the text of a new employer-educator compact; additional context for both is supplied by a pair of articles on what graduates need for long-term success in life and work. Also included are articles on how American education must change in order to meet twenty-first-century imperatives, on how students define success in college, on ways to achieve greater transparency in teaching and ways to encourage greater self-examination and reflection among students, and on a contemporary decline of empathy.
(Posted on 2013-06-25 13:13:55)

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Releases Important New Report on Humanities and Social Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences released today an important national report focused on the continuing indispensable role of the humanities and social sciences in meeting urgent national goals. In a press release from AAC&U pledging support for the recommendations in the report, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider notes that, "We were especially pleased to see the Commission's call for the humanities, social sciences, and sciences to work together on "Grand Challenges" related to our global future. We believe this kind of cross-disciplinary, problem-centered inquiry should play a prominent role both in scholarship and in teaching and learning." See more perspectives on the humanities from Carol Geary Schneider, including a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal describing how the humanities remain an essential component of a quality undergraduate education and have value for both citizenship and professional success.
(Posted on 2013-06-24 16:35:05)

AAC&U President Discusses Future of the Humanities with American Historical Association Executive Director Jim Grossman
AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider and Jim Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association (AHA) participated in a discussion recently regarding the future of history and the humanities. The discussion focused on civic discourse, higher education, democracy, and the Degree Qualifications Profile. Schneider noted that, “We as an association are working on examining the good outcomes of a liberal education. Employers we survey tell us that they do not favor narrow learning – they want people who can think outside the box.” See the full discussion online. For more perspectives on the humanities from AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, click here.
(Posted on 2013-06-18 14:52:11)

AACU President Makes the Case for the Continued Value of the Humanities
AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider writes in the Wall Street Journal that the humanities remain an essential component of a quality undergraduate education and has value for both citizenship and professional success. Schneider notes that, "It's a tough job market for all recent college graduates to be sure. But when employers evaluate candidates, national surveys show they view a candidate's ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems as more important than their specific undergraduate major." She notes further that "Given the global challenges we face on all fronts--from social unrest to religious and cultural conflicts to basic challenges of development in all parts of the world--we need more people, not fewer, with a solid grounding in the humanities." Schneider's post is part of a series on humanities studies and post-college employment. Anthony Carnevale, a member of the LEAP National Leadership Council and Director of the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce is also featured in the series. For more perspectives on the humanities from Carol Geary Schneider, click here.
(Posted on 2013-06-10 09:16:22)

AACU Remembers Sherry Levy-Reiner, former Director of Public Information at AACU
AAC&U notes with sadness the recent passing of Sherry Levy-Reiner who served AAC&U as Director of Public Information and Publications from 1985 to 1992. AAC&U member institutions were well served by Sherry's leadership and hard work and extend condolences to her family and friends. See the Washington Post for further information about sending condolences: www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?pid=164850476
(Posted on 2013-05-22 13:27:37)

Campuses and State Systems from 122 Institutions, 37 States, and 3 Countries to Attend AACU 2013 Summer Institutes
AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2013 summer institutes. Teams of five or more from 120 institutions will attend these summer institutes: the Institute on General Education and Assessment at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont (June 1-5); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin, (June 11-14); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon (July 10-14). All AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus. For a complete list of participating campuses for each institute, see the press release.
(Posted on 2013-05-15 08:25:45)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member Thomas F. Flynn Speaks Out For Liberal Education and Against College Scorecard
Alvernia University President Thomas F. Flynn's recent op-ed makes the case for liberal education and criticizes the recently released College Scorecard. Flynn notes that, "With a focus on financial data, the Scorecard ignores the civic purpose of higher education. And it fails to acknowledge the potential moral purpose of universities like my own: the transformative role of helping shape students' personal and ethical development," Flynn references AAC&U's recently released survey and the finding that, "more than 90 percent of employers confirm that they seek to hire those who demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity (as well as intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning.)" and that "80 percent of those surveyed agree that, regardless of their major, every college student should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences." Learn more about AAC&U's LEAP initiative. See more news coverage in our Liberal Education News Watch.
(Posted on 2013-04-24 12:44:51)

AACU Resources for First-Year Students and Advisors
AAC&U is pleased to offer two publications and a brochure designed for students, which explain to high school and incoming college students what really matters in college and how to achieve the outcomes of a good liberal education. Why Do I Have to Take This Course? is a practical guide intended to take the mystery out of curricular requirements and educate students about the importance of broad learning outcomes. What Will I Learn in College? is a short guide to college learning that presents a picture of the curriculum and nature of college teaching and learning methods that will help students understand what will be expected of them. What Is a Liberal Education? And Why Is It Important to My Future?--a brochure based on research findings from the LEAP initiative--provides a contemporary definition of "liberal education" and discusses the most important outcomes of college. Substantial discounts for bulk purchases are available.
(Posted on 2013-04-22 10:46:48)

AACU Launched New LEAP Employer-Educator Compact, Released Findings from a National Survey of Employers
On April 10, AAC&U launched a new LEAP Employer-Educator Compact and released new data from a 2013 survey of business and nonprofit leaders about employer priorities for college learning and student success. More than 100 college presidents—all members of the LEAP Presidents' Trust—have joined with more than 150 business and nonprofit leaders in signing the LEAP Employer-Educator Compact. These individuals have pledged to work together to ensure that all college students have access to a high-quality liberal education that fully prepares them for work, life, and citizenship. In the coming year, business and nonprofit leaders will join together with partner college, community college, and university presidents to sponsor events and launch and/or sustain ongoing programs to advance these shared goals. See the news release about the event or for more information about LEAP, the Employer-Educator Compact, or the findings from the new employer survey. See the news coverage about the release of the employer survey and the Employer-Educator Compact. Watch a webcast of the survey release and Compact launch.
(Posted on 2013-04-12 15:36:40)

500 College Faculty and Leaders to Gather in Miami for Conference on Student Success
AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference, Student Success and The Quality Agenda, will welcome 500 attendees April 4–6 in Miami. Program highlights include keynote speakers Eduardo J. Padrón, President, Miami Dade College, and Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&U. Shaun Harper, of the University of Pennsylvania, will offer an “Anti-Deficit Approach to Equity, Excellence, and Student Success” on Friday morning, and Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, of Columbia University, will examine “Identity and Stereotype Threat.” Attendees can download the conference mobile app, and follow the conversation on Twitter at #success13.
(Posted on 2013-04-02 07:50:30)

Celebrating Women's History Month
AAC&U is proud to acknowledge March as National Women’s History Month. This year's theme, Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination, recognizes American women's outstanding contributions to STEM fields. For more than four decades, AAC&U has provided resources for women in higher education, including the comprehensive report A Measure of Equity: Women’s Progress in Higher Education; a report on Gender, Science, and the Undergraduate Curriculum; and networking opportunities like the annual women’s breakfast at the AAC&U Annual Meeting. AAC&U currently supports women of color STEM faculty at HBCUs across the country through its Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future project, generously funded by the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). AAC&U’s Project Kaleidoscope also works to ensure inclusive excellence in STEM and to advocate reform in STEM teaching and learning. AAC&U offers publications and periodicals focused on women in higher education and science through our online publications shopping cart.
(Posted on 2013-03-04 13:42:43)

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member Experiences Vigorous Support for his Vision of Liberal Education in China
Wesleyan University President and AAC&U Board Member Michael Roth’s recent op-ed in Inside Higher Ed makes a powerful case for why a pragmatic liberal education is so valuable in our globally interconnected world. Reflecting on a lecture he gave at Peking University, Roth notes that, “In China there is increasing interest in liberal education, while here in the United States there is plenty of pressure on liberal learning from people who want our education system to have a more direct connection to the workplace. They seem to think that an education for ‘the whole person’ is just too soft in this hypercompetitive technology-driven age.” Roth later explains that the “call for more efficient, specialized education is a self-defeating path to conformity and inflexibility – just the kinds of traits that will doom one to irrelevance in the contemporary culture and society.” Learn more about AAC&U’s LEAP initiative. See more news coverage in our Liberal Education News Watch.
(Posted on 2013-02-26 11:51:56)

Nominations Now Open for Examples of Excelencia
AAC&U is pleased to announce that Excelencia in Education is now accepting nominations for its Examples of Excelencia initiative. Launched in 2005, the Examples of Excelencia initiative is designed to identify and honor programs and departments at the forefront of increasing academic opportunities and improving achievement for Latino students at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. The initiative is focused on results and disseminating promising practices to others interested in serving Latino students. Nominations will be accepted online until April 26 at 5 p.m. EST. Selected programs will receive a financial award of $5,000, recognition at special events, in media and online communications, inclusion in the 2013 edition of What Works for Latino Students in Higher Educations, and in the searchable Growing What Works Database. AAC&U has partnered with Excelencia in Education as part of our Making Excellence Inclusive initiative within Liberal Education and America's Promise.
(Posted on 2013-02-26 11:49:50)

1,000 Leaders and Practitioners to Gather in Boston for Meeting on General Education and Assessment
AAC&U's largest-ever Network for Academic Renewal conference will welcome 1,000 attendees to General Education and Assessment: A Sea Change in Student Learning, February 28-March 2. Program highlights include keynote speaker Bobby Fong, and plenary sessions led by Peggy Maki, Sarita Brown, and Robert Sternberg. Attendees can download the conference mobile app, and follow the conversation on Twitter at #gened13.
(Posted on 2013-02-21 16:54:56)

AACU Launches New Strategic Plan and Appoints New Officers and Members to Board of Directors
At its recent annual meeting in Atlanta, GA, AAC&U formally launched a new strategic plan, “Big Questions, Urgent Challenges: Liberal Education and Americans’ Global Future,” to guide its work on behalf of its members through 2017. At its 2013 annual meeting, AAC&U also named five new directors and elected a slate of new officers as leaders of the association. Dr. Mildred García, President of California State University, Fullerton, became the chair of the board, taking over from Dr. Bobby Fong, President of Ursinus College. Dr. García became the president of California State University, Fullerton in 2012, after serving for six years as the President of California State University–Dominguez Hills. Fong will continue to serve on the AAC&U’s Board Executive Committee as Past Chair. Read more about AAC&U’s new strategic plan and new officers and members to the AAC&U Board of Directors here.
(Posted on 2013-02-13 07:01:50)

AACU Staff Member Dr. Rebecca C. Dolinsky Authors Blog Post for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
Dr. Rebecca C. Dolinsky, a research analyst and program coordinator at AAC&U, and affiliate assistant professor of the Sociology Department at Loyola University Maryland. wrote the blog post, “Out Lesbian and Gay Presidents Discuss Pathways to Leadership” (January 28, 2013). The blog post was published by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Dolinsky notes that, “One of the panels [during AAC&U’s Annual Meeting], presented by LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education, featured four lesbian and gay presidents who discussed their professional pathways to higher education presidencies, and what it means to be out lesbian and gay presidents at their respective institutions. Presidents Raymond E. Crossman (Adler School of Professional Psychology), Margaret L. Drugovich (Hartwick College), DeRionne P. Pollard (Montgomery College), and Charles R. “Chuck” Middleton (Roosevelt University) spoke from their various intersecting positionalities, and discussed their sexual identities as either central or peripheral to their positions as higher education leaders.” Read more impressions from AAC&U’s Annual Meeting on AAC&U’s liberal.education nation blog.
(Posted on 2013-02-11 14:18:12)

AACU President on The Dangerous Assault on Disciplines Basic to Democracy
Inside Higher Ed recently published (February 8) an op-ed by AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, "The Dangerous Assault on Disciplines Basic to Democracy." Schneider notes that, "The global challenges Americans now face make the humanities and social sciences more central than ever before, not less, to our competitive future--as an economy and as a democracy." Schneider concludes, "It is time for American leaders--educators and employers alike--to say plainly and in concert that the current policy assault on the liberal arts is dangerous--dangerous not only to the quality of higher education, but dangerous also for America's global leadership, for our democracy, and for our economy."
(Posted on 2013-02-08 07:32:45)

US Under Secretary of Education and AACU President Coauthor Lead Article in Change, Highlighting the Civic Mission of Higher Education
Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider co-wrote the lead article in the January/February issue of Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. Their article, “Civic Learning and Engagement,” makes the case that higher education must prepare students not only for the workplace but also for citizenship in a diverse participatory democracy. Kanter and Schneider highlight new initiatives and resources, including those developed by AAC&U and by the Department of Education, focused on helping colleges and universities integrate civic learning across curriculum. The article draws on research from the report A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, which was commissioned by the US Department of Education and released in 2012. Read the full article online, or read more about the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network that AAC&U has formed to make civic learning in college expected rather than optional.
(Posted on 2013-02-06 09:22:52)

AACU President Carol Geary Schneider Honored with Boyer Award
Carol Geary Schneider, president of AAC&U, was honored with the 2013 Boyer Award, presented by the New American Colleges & Universities (NAC&U) on January 24 at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta. The award was established to honor the legacy of Ernest L. Boyer, former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, by recognizing an individual whose achievements in higher education exemplify Boyer’s quest for connecting theory to practice and thought to action, in and out of the classroom. At the presentation of the award, Schneider spoke about the priorities higher education needs to set in order to meet the urgent needs of the global commons in an era of student swirl and disruptive innovations. Read Ken O’Donnell’s blog post about the Boyer Award presentation.
(Posted on 2013-02-01 07:11:14)

AACU Senior Scholar Caryn McTighe Musil Receives NASPA Award
Caryn McTighe Musil, AAC&U senior scholar and director of democracy initiatives, was selected by the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Board of Directors as the recipient of the 2013 NASPA Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award. The award recognizes the impact of McTighe Musil’s research and service on higher education as a whole, especially in women’s issues, civic, democratic, and global learning initiatives. She will receive the award in March during the 2013 NASPA Annual Conference Awards ceremony in Orlando, Florida.
(Posted on 2013-01-29 08:17:26)

More Than 1,600 Education Leaders Gathered in Atlanta to Address Ensuring the Quality of U.S. College Degrees
More than 1,600 participants were in Atlanta for AAC&U’s 2013 Annual Meeting (Jan 23-26). The meeting engaged leaders from across higher education with pressing questions about how the academy is adapting to globalization, demographic change, rapid technological advances, and renegotiated political and economic relationships. Meeting highlights included a Pre-Meeting Symposium on E-Portfolios; an Opening Plenary featuring John T. Casteen, III, President Emeritus, University of Virginia; and a special plenary address by Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin on “A New Employer-Educator Compact for the Liberal Learning Students Need Now.” At the meeting, seven graduate students were honored with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, and AAC&U presented the 2013 Ness Book Award to the authors of Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education. Learn more about what happened at the Annual Meeting on the AAC&U blog, http://blog.aacu.org. Follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/aacu, #aacu13.
(Posted on 2013-01-29 08:16:34)

AACU Presents 2013 Frederic W. Ness Book Award to Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession
AAC&U announced the winner of its Frederic W. Ness Book Award: Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession. The book was published in 2011 by Jossey- Bass/Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Ness award is given to a book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education, and was formally presented to the books authors, Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, William M. Sullivan, and Jonathan R. Dolle, at AAC&U's Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's national study of undergraduate business education found that most undergraduate programs are too narrow, failing to challenge students to question assumptions, think creatively, or understand the place of business in larger institutional contexts. Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education examines these limitations and describes the efforts of a diverse set of institutions to address them by integrating the best elements of liberal arts learning with business curriculum to help students develop wise, ethically grounded professional judgment.
(Posted on 2013-01-24 06:37:07)

Ten Community Colleges Chosen to Join AACU Roadmap Project as New Leadership Institutions
AAC&U is pleased to announce the selection of ten community colleges to participate in phase two of AAC&U’s project, Developing a Community College Student Roadmap. With funding from MetLife Foundation, the Roadmap Project works with leadership institutions to “connect the dots” among the varied student support programs on community college campuses and create roadmaps for success anchored in a set of expected learning outcomes essential for all students to succeed in life beyond college. Through a rigorous application and evaluation process, a national selection committee identified ten community colleges with constructive plans designed to improve student learning outcomes and to create pathways for student success through evidence-based interventions and programs. This new cohort joins a select group of twelve existing leadership institutions that have already made great strides toward developing institutional models in support of student success. There will be an opportunity to learn from the Roadmap leadership institutions at an all-day workshop, “Developing Institutional Roadmaps for Student Success,” at the April 4-6 AAC&U Network conference, Student Success and the Quality Agenda, in Miami, Florida.
(Posted on 2013-01-14 09:58:39)

Graduate Students Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award
Seven graduate students will be honored as 2013 recipients of the annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, a distinction given to graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley. For more details about the 2013 recipients, see the list of Cross Award winners online. The 2013 Cross Scholars will be introduced to the AAC&U community at its 2013 Annual Meeting, “The Quality of U.S. Degrees: Innovations, Efficiencies, and Disruptions—To What Ends?” to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, from January 23-26, 2013. The 2013 Cross Scholars will be honored at the Opening Plenary. They will also be presenters in the session, “Faculty of the Future: Voices from the Next Generation.” The Cross awardees will participate in other sessions and meetings throughout the conference.
(Posted on 2013-01-14 09:57:28)

A Crucible Moment One Year Later: Learn More at AACU's Annual Meeting
The influential national report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future was released one year ago. Institutions across the country are working to implement its recommendations, and take civic learning to a new level of impact on students, campuses, and communities. Several sessions at AAC&U’s upcoming Annual Meeting provide information about how different campuses and organizations are advancing civic learning and using A Crucible Moment to sustain momentum. Learn more about the Annual Meeting series of Sessions on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, and A Crucible Moment. Learn more online about the National Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Action Network. Download a PDF copy of the Crucible Moment report, or purchase a print copy.
(Posted on 2013-01-10 14:08:51)

Annual Meeting--Featured Presentation on the Global Knowledge Economy
The Annual Meeting will include a featured session by Margaret Pugh O'Mara (University of Washington) on "Only in America: U.S. Higher Education and the Global Knowledge Economy." O'Mara will describe how U.S. colleges and universities--past and present--have played critical roles in the world economy, not only via the production of STEM degrees and research commercialization but also through a distinctively American model of liberal education that teaches students to think critically and creatively. O’Mara notes that, in an age of global competition, outsourcing, and teleconnectivity, American liberal education has remained the one building block of the knowledge economy that cannot be outsourced or placed entirely online. This history and contemporary global context demonstrates the extraordinary, place-based advantages of American colleges and universities, and suggests what's needed to ensure future technological innovation, economic growth, and individual opportunity. Margaret O’Mara is author of Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley (Princeton University Press). The session is Thursday, January 24, at 2:45 pm. More information about the Annual Meeting is available online.
(Posted on 2013-01-07 09:14:04)

AACU Announces New Mission Statement Affirming Commitments to Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence
As part of a new five-year strategic plan, AAC&U has adopted a revision to its formal mission statement. AAC&U’s mission is now “to make liberal education and inclusive excellence the foundation for institutional purpose and educational practice in higher education.” The new mission and a new set of strategic goals focus on supporting institutions to make excellence inclusive and provide every college student the kind of education that positions one for success and civic and social responsibility in the 21st century. Read the press release about AAC&U’s new mission statement.
(Posted on 2013-01-03 06:19:52)

AACU President Proposes Three Questions About Quality for Board Members to Consider in Trusteeship Magazine
AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider wrote an op-ed for the Association of Governing Boards’ Trusteeship Magazine (November/December 2012). Schneider notes that, “There are three questions that boards should ask about the quality of their educational programs: 1) How strong are your expected learning outcomes?; 2) Is your curriculum aligned?; 3) Do you have cornerstone, milestone, and cumulative assessments?
(Posted on 2012-12-17 06:25:44)

Professor and Student from LEAP CAN Member Institution Warn Against Narrowing Purpose of College
UW-Madison Professor Clifton Conrad and UW-Madison Ph.D. student Geoffrey Mamerow wrote a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel op-ed about the purpose of college. They note that,…"We must shift our state's conversation off jobs and back to careers and the broader purpose for a college education. In doing so, we can begin to renew our historical commitment to higher education, help current and future college graduates and ensure a stronger future for our state's and nation's citizens.” UW-Madison is a LEAP school, and Wisconsin was the first state in AAC&U’s LEAP States Initiative.
(Posted on 2012-12-14 07:14:41)

Current Standards for Merit and College-Ready Fall Short of the Mark, Says Scholar and AACU Board Member Robert Sternberg
Scholar and AAC&U Board Member Robert J. Sternberg wrote a blog post titled, "Our Fractured Meritocracy" appearing in The Chronicle of Higher Education's Blog, The Conversation (December 12, 2012). Sternberg notes that, "America has found itself with a fractured "meritocracy" based on attributes that are a significant but small part of what people need to succeed and, more important, make the world a better place. People with high IQ's on average may well be more successful in some respects, but they are no more likely than anyone else to use their abilities to help others. To create a real meritocracy, we need a broader range of tests that assess real merit."
(Posted on 2012-12-13 08:51:49)

AACU Staff Member Daniel Phoenix Singh's Dakshina Dance Company Recognized by Washington Post
Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh's Dance Company, was recognized among the "Best of Dance 2012" by the Washington Post. Daniel Phoenix Singh is AAC&U's Director of Information Systems. Among the top local productions in Washington, DC was Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company’s revival of Anna Sokolow's “Lyric Suite” at Dance Place in April, 2012. The Washington Post's Sarah Kaufman notes that “Sokolow, the mid-20th century modern-dance choreographer, is best known for dark portraits of urban isolation and Holocaust trauma. How refreshing and instructive it was to see her rigorous simplicity in ‘Lyric Suite,’ from 1953, which delivers subtle surprises and scuttles expectations. Grateful kudos to Singh for continuing his dedication to this master of composition.”
(Posted on 2012-12-10 14:33:18)

AACU President Calls for Integrated Designs for Liberal Education at University of Baltimore and in the Baltimore Sun
AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, notes in her Baltimore Sun op-ed that, “wherever a student enrolls and whatever his or her major, colleges need to help build ‘global intelligence’ and a broad array of skills and knowledge in all students. Every student needs to study science and technology. Every student needs to develop quantitative skills. Every student needs to be able to solve complex problems collaboratively with people from a wide array of backgrounds. And all students need a solid grounding in the liberal arts and sciences to understand the world in which they are living and to make good and ethically sound choices.”
(Posted on 2012-12-10 08:33:10)

E-Portfolios Featured at AACU's Annual Meeting
AAC&U's 2013 Annual Meeting will feature an all-day pre-meeting symposium on Wednesday, January 23, on “E-Portfolios: Foundational Knowledge, Student Voices, and Best Practices"—featuring more than twenty of today’s leading e-portfolio scholars and practitioners. Symposium presentations focus on five areas: “Making Connections,” “Closing the Loop,” ”Choosing the Tool,” “Building a Team,” and “Putting Down Roots.” Sessions at the Annual Meeting on Thursday and Friday also include a series of sessions on e-portfolios, including “Reimagining Teaching and Learning Across Disciplines through E-Portfolios”; “Developing a Culture of E-Portfolio Use at a Large University”; and “Challenging the Assessment Industry: Putting E-Portfolios at the Service of Pedagogy.” For those not able to attend the full Annual Meeting, the E-Portfolio Symposium is available as a stand-alone event. More information about the Annual Meeting is available online.
(Posted on 2012-12-10 07:49:43)

AACU Announces Appointment of David Paris as New Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons
AAC&U announces the appointment of David Paris as a new Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons. Paris will begin his work at AAC&U on January 1, 2013, and is moving into this new position from the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability where he has served as Executive Director since the Alliance’s founding in 2009. Dr. Paris comes to AAC&U as it launches a new strategic plan and will lead an office at the association focused on a key goal in that plan: advancing integrative liberal learning and social responsibility for all students. Among other things, he will lead initiatives related to engaging students in exploration of “big questions” in a global society and developing inquiry and innovation in the liberal arts and sciences and across contemporary designs for general education. For more information about David Paris’ appointment, read the press release.
(Posted on 2012-11-20 06:26:35)

New Speakers Added to Annual Meeting Program
AAC&U welcomes Candace Thille—Director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University—who will join Diana Oblinger (president of EDUCAUSE) and Jack Wilson (founding president of UMassOnline). They will speak Friday afternoon on “The Digital Revolution: Online Innovations that Strengthen Completion and Quality.” We also welcome two speakers to the Final Plenary, “Who Determines the Priorities? Philanthropy and the Quality Agenda”: Jeannie Oakes, Director of Education and Scholarship at the Ford Foundation, and Daniel Bernstein, Director of Postsecondary Success Strategy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They will join Alison Bernstein of Rutgers University and Holiday Hart McKiernan of the Lumina Foundation on Saturday morning, January 26. More information about the Annual Meeting is available online.
(Posted on 2012-11-15 07:58:44)

Teagle Foundation President Richard Morrill Affirms "The Value of Liberal Education"
Teagle Foundation President Richard Morrill wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post titled "What is the Value of Liberal Education?" (November 6, 2012). Mr. Morrill notes that "The key to seeing the enduring power of liberal learning is to trace how knowledge and its processes take up residence in students as they move toward becoming independent thinkers and agents of their own lives. A liberal education provides students with a broad set of capabilities such as critical thinking, effective communication, quantitative reasoning, creative thinking, problem-solving, integrative thinking, and personal and social responsibility. While not monetarily quantifiable at graduation, there is no question of the value of these capabilities for all individuals in the workforce of the future, as citizens and as human beings."
(Posted on 2012-11-07 09:23:59)

AACU Board of Directors Approves New Strategic Goals for AACU Work from 2013-2017
AAC&U's Board of Directors has approved a new set of strategic goals to guide the association's work on behalf of its growing membership in the coming years. AAC&U's work for 2013-2017 will advance: LEAP: Liberal Education as a Global Necessity; Quality: 21st-Century Markers for the Value of U.S. Degrees; Equity: Innovation, Inclusive Excellence, and Student Success; and Social Responsibility: Integrative Liberal Learning for the Global Commons. As part of its new strategic plan, AAC&U will continue its commitment to advancing the LEAP vision for a twenty-first-century liberal education and is also announcing a new configuration of its program offices and plans for changes to its print and online resources. These new strategic goals will be advanced through a newly configured set of Educational Affairs Offices, including an Office of Curriculum, Quality, and Assessment, an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, and Office of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons, and an Office of Communications, Policy, and Public Engagement; see the press release for details. The new plan will be formally released in early 2013.
(Posted on 2012-11-07 09:01:21)

Norman Augustine, Former CEO of Lockheed Martin and Member of the Presidents' Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, To Speak at AACU Annual Meeting
We are pleased to announce that Norman Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin, will address the Annual Meeting at a Thursday afternoon plenary session--“A New Employer-Educator Compact for the Liberal Learning Students Need Now.” Augustine will discuss the importance, as he put it in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, of educating students “with the critical thinking, creative problem solving, technological, and communication skills needed to fuel productivity and growth,” and education that includes both STEM learning as well as study in the liberal arts. He will also address the need to develop productive educator/employer partnerships to advance higher levels of achievement. The plenary session will include commentary from members of AAC&U’s LEAP Presidents’ Trust discussing the launch of a new “LEAP Employer-Educator Compact.” More information about the Annual Meeting is available online.
(Posted on 2012-11-07 08:59:51)

AACU Announces 2013 Annual Meeting Speakers
Diana G. Oblinger, President and CEO of EDUCAUSE, and Jack Wilson, President Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts and Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, will speak at AAC&U's Annual Meeting on Friday, January 25, on "The Digital Revolution: Online Innovations that Strengthen Completion and Quality." Oblinger and Wilson will speak on how we evaluate choices in adopting educational technology so that we may not only improve efficiencies, but also increase or maintain the quality of student learning. More information about the Annual Meeting is available online.
(Posted on 2012-11-07 08:57:05)

The Narrowing of the American Mind
AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider wrote a commentarytitled, “The Narrowing of the American Mind” appearing in The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 22, 2012). Schneider notes that, “A good education, and a good individual data-tracking system, ought to build insight into students' progress on multiple fronts. A good data system would ask how frequently, and how well, the student applied her learning to new problems and real-world settings. And a good data system would ask whether the student was engaged in a course of study that builds global understanding—of other cultures, and of the United States in the world. In the greater scheme of what matters most to Americans' economic and democratic future, data systems that report students' majors and wages alone are meager measures indeed. Our students deserve fuller guidance on what matters in college. And so does our society.”
(Posted on 2012-11-07 08:47:32)

New Assessment Tool Available from the New Leadership Alliance
The New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability has released a new institutional self-assessment tool titled “Assuring Quality.” Using twenty-nine criteria in eight areas, “Assuring Quality" is designed to assist institutions in drawing conclusions about the overall quality of their assessment processes and practices.
(Posted on 2012-11-07 08:45:31)

Williams College Students Develop Website That Illustrates Breadth of Career Paths for Liberal Arts Majors
Two Williams College Mathematics Students recently developed a website that uses visualization software to chart the career paths of 15,600 Williams College Alumni. The students, Hayley Brooks '12 and Kaison Tanabe '13, used the CIRCOS visualization software to track and illustrate the breadth of career pathways taken by Williams College graduates majoring in different majors areas. See other resources to help communicate with students about the value of liberal education.
(Posted on 2012-11-07 08:43:28)

Research Corporation for Science Advancement President and CEO James M. Gentile Addresses
Research Corporation for Science Advancement President and CEO James M. Gentile wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post titled “Gender Bias and America's Science Preeminence” (October 4, 2012). President Gentile notes that, “On Sept. 4, Norway's King Harald presented the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience to seven laureates at Oslo Concert Hall. Four of the seven winners were women, including the first person ever to receive the prize as a sole winner. On Sept. 25, a new peer-reviewed study was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that science professors at American research universities demonstrated bias against women in hiring… Both September events underscore core realities for America's continued preeminence in the sciences: First, women scientists are essential to that continued preeminence, and second, our nation will not be able to achieve its true potential in the sciences if gender bias undercuts deserving candidates.”
(Posted on 2012-11-07 08:41:42)

Ten Historically Black Colleges and Universities Chosen for Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future Project
AAC&U has announced the institutions chosen to participate in the third cohort of Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF), a project that supports women of color faculty in STEM disciplines in becoming strong academic and administrative leaders, both on campus and within their respective disciplines. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). Read more about the project on AAC&U’s Web site and in the press release about the third cohort of PCFF institutions.
(Posted on 2012-09-26 06:39:39)

Bringing Theory to Practice Project Announces Institutions Selected to Receive Funding in First Round of Grants
The Bringing Theory to Practice Project (BTtoP) announced on September 12 the names of 61 colleges and universities receiving grants supporting projects on Civic Learning, Psychosocial Well-Being, and Engaged Learning. The First Round of Funding includes more than $697,000 devoted to campus-based projects. Grants were awarded to selected institutions from more than 200 worthy applications received by June 15, the first deadline in the 2012-2014 funding period. On this first round of awards, Bringing Theory to Practice Project Director and President Emeritus of Bates College Donald W. Harward remarked, “The high quality of awarded projects and institutions represents the maturation of over a decade of the Project’s work, and signifies a step forward not only for the Project, but for the growing community of higher education institutions that pursue excellence through the exploration of the essential interconnectedness of civic engagement, psychosocial well-being, and engaged learning.” For more information and a full list of those receiving grants from the Bringing Theory to Practice Project, see www.BTtoP.org.
(Posted on 2012-09-12 07:42:49)

2013 Wisconsin LEAP Student Essay Contest Focuses on How Liberal Education Prepares Graduates for Responsible Citizenship
The University of Wisconsin System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts (SAGLA) has announced the Eighth Annual Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition. This year, students are asked to write about how their liberal education has helped them to process both the Wisconsin Gubernatorial recall election, and issues related to the 2012 presidential election. Essays will focus on the civic outcomes of liberal education – and, how these contemporary political events have influenced students’ civic participation. Students are encouraged to review the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes to inform their understanding of the larger framework of liberal education. For more information on the Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition, go to: http://liberaleducation.uwsa.edu/scholarship/index.htm.
(Posted on 2012-09-04 13:01:09)

President Richard Guarasci Emphasizes the Importance of Community Development and Partnerships as Higher Education Reinvents Itself
The Huffington Post features an op-ed written by Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College. The article is titled, “How Colleges Can Spark Economic and Community Development” (August 22, 2012). President Guarasci also wrote the op-ed, “The Crisis in Higher Education: How Civic Engagement Can Save Higher Education.” (June 27, 2012). Guarasci notes that “I believe that comprehensive and demanding civic engagement programs will help colleges and universities find new relevance, and communities regain economic footing and social rebirth in the midst of this crisis and a new kind of partnership is created between town and gown.” President Guarasci was a member of the national Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Task Force that prepared the influential national report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future. A Crucible Moment was released at a White House convening in January 2012 and called on the nation to reclaim higher education’s civic mission. AAC&U is coordinating a new Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Network of organizations working in a variety of sectors to advance this urgent national goal.
(Posted on 2012-08-27 09:16:05)

AACU Announces New Initiative to Advance Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning
AAC&U announced that it will partner with nine liberal arts colleges in a new initiative called Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning: Principles and Practices. Supported by a grant from The Teagle Foundation, this initiative addresses the urgent national imperative to provide students with more engaged educational experiences that teach them how to integrate and apply knowledge and transfer what they are learning from one context to another. “Through our LEAP initiative, AAC&U is working on ways to help students integrate and apply what they are learning--what we are calling the 21st century liberal art,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. "The institutions participating in this initiative are uniquely positioned to develop replicable curricular and faculty leadership models that ensure students achieve these outcomes so critical to their long-term success in an innovation-driven economy and globally interconnected world." For more information, read the press release.
(Posted on 2012-08-27 07:39:20)

AACU Joins 39 Higher Education Organizations in Submitting Brief to the Supreme Court Making the Case for The Educational Value of Diversity
AAC&U announced that it is joining together with 39 other higher education associations to support the University of Texas in its defense of the use of race in college admissions before the Supreme Court. AAC&U signed a brief of Amici Curiae prepared by the American Council on Education and submitted August 13, 2012 to the Court. The brief filed on August 13, 2012 broadly summarizes the expanding body of research about the positive educational impact of diversity and notes that the compelling need to provide students with diverse learning environments has only increased in the past decade as our nation has become ever more diverse. Read the press release, and AAC&U's statements on diversity.
(Posted on 2012-08-14 07:19:40)

Presidents Roth and Forsythe Make a Compelling Case for Value of Practical Liberal Education
Huffington Post recently published two articles making the case for liberal education. Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan University and a member of AAC&U's Board of Directors and the LEAP Presidents' Trust, reminds readers of how, in his debates with Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois argued that blacks needed more than just job preparation, noting that education, as the path to freedom, must take many forms. This debate is still relevant, Roth says: “We must give [students] the skills to translate what they learn in classrooms to their lives after graduation. But we shouldn't reduce our understanding of ‘their lives after graduation’ to their very first job.” In another article George Forsythe, president of AAC&U member institution Westminster College, argues that there's a difference between short-term job training and the kind of education that will prepare students to learn and work for the rest of their lives. He notes that employers across many fields need graduates capable of critical thinking, effective communication, cooperation, and integrated and applied learning--"the hallmarks of a liberal education."
(Posted on 2012-08-13 10:43:10)

 

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