AAC&U News, November 2017
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

AAC&U Annual Meeting Preliminary Program Now Online

Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?
January 24–27, 2018, Washington, DC
Register by November 17 for Best Rates

AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting will be held January 24–27 in Washington, DC. The preliminary program and a listing of all sessions are now available online. The meeting will open with Doris Kearns Goodwin, who will present the inaugural Carol Geary Schneider Lecture on Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence titled “Where Do We Go From Here? Leadership in Turbulent Times.” The opening plenary, “Identity Matters: Realizing the American Dream,” will be an open discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella with speakers Linda Martín Alcoff, author of The Future of Whiteness; Naomi M. Barry-Pérez, director of the Civil Rights Center at the US Department of Labor; Tamara Draut, author of Sleeping Giant: How America’s New Working Class Will Transform America; and Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore. The final plenary, “Higher Education: Crisis & Purpose,” will be delivered by William Deresiewicz, author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. The Annual Meeting will also feature a pre-meeting symposium (see below) and the 9th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on Saturday, January 27. Hotel and registration information is available online.  

Pre-Meeting Symposium on Civic Engagement

The Power of Civic Engagement—Across Campus, Within Communities, Beyond Borders
January 24, 2018, Washington, DC

Prior to the Annual Meeting, AAC&U invites you to join the all-day symposium cosponsored by Campus Compact, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and Project Pericles. Throughout the year and across the nation, we have experienced historic levels of active citizenship as people exercise their democratic rights and exert their collective power as community members, citizens, and consumers. These acts of citizenship can prepare students to be engaged in civic action now and throughout their lives. The all-day symposium will feature concurrent sessions by our cosponsoring organizations and others, roundtable discussions, and presentations by the following speakers: Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark; Randy Stoecker, professor of community and environmental sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; Timothy Eatman, dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community and associate professor of urban education at Rutgers University–Newark; Eduardo Ochoa, president of California State University–Monterey Bay; Debra Schultz, assistant professor of history at City University of New York Kingsborough Community College; Andrew Seligsohn, president of Campus Compact; and Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College.

Register Now: 2018 General Education and Assessment Conference

Foundations for Democracy
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
February 15–17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Register by January 5 for Best Rates

The value of general education lies in its centrality within the undergraduate experience as a place where all college students can gain the breadth and depth of integrative learning skills they will need to discern fact from fiction, realize strength in diversity, and become agents of democracy. Join colleagues in Philadelphia for the conference, “Foundations for Democracy,” to discuss how educators can promote a coherent and seamless undergraduate experience that champions evidence, values integrity, embraces diversity, requires collaboration, and ensures equity in practice and results—an experience where students understand that the value and purposes of general education, the major, and learning outside of the classroom are one and the same. Register now.

Register Now: 2018 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy Conference

The Inconvenient Truths
March 22–24, 2018, San Diego, California
Register by February 14 for Best Rates

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: “The Inconvenient Truths” will explore the inconvenient truths that stand in the way of fresh and critical thinking about how institutions can prepare all students for success in work, in life, and as globally engaged citizens. Jeff Chang, executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, will deliver an opening keynote address titled "We Gon' Be Alright: Diversity, Equity, and Resegregation in Higher Education and Beyond." Jeff has been a United States Artists (USA) Ford Fellow in Literature and was named by the Utne Reader as one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World." The conference will provide a forum for campus practitioners, students, and stakeholders to compare current institutional frameworks and practices to the democratic ideals necessary to serve today’s nontraditional, technologically advanced, and equity-focused student population. It will examine and address the inconvenient truths experienced by faculty, staff, and administrators working to design learning opportunities that value students’ cultural wealth, recognize their lived experiences, and honor their exploration and critique of current democratic practice. Information about plenary sessions, accommodations, and registration is available online. 

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in Massachusetts, Upstate New York, and Ohio

PKAL STEM Leadership Institute

Institute I:  July 10–15, 2018
Institute II: July 17–22, 2018
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland

The PKAL STEM Leadership Institute—grounded in the theories of leadership studies, adult learning, and social psychology—is designed to offer early- and mid-career STEM faculty a five-day intensive leadership development experience that strategically blends deep reflection and introspection with didactic and experiential learning. The institute has proven effective in promoting leadership self-efficacy among its participants, with more than 65 percent of its alumni noting a significant increase in their ability to (1) facilitate change, (2) effectively respond to problems, and (3) fully consider the effects of diverse cultures on institutional transformation. Intent to apply due by January 17, 2018.

Project News

AAC&U Highlights Departments that Integrate Civic Responsibility by Design in Majors

AAC&U has announced twenty-two departments from institutions across the country that are providing models for how to make civic learning and democratic engagement an expectation for all students who major in a given discipline. Nine departments were singled out for special recognition and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Peer Review, AAC&U’s quarterly publication on emerging trends and key debates in undergraduate education. The issue, “Civic Learning in the Major by Design,” will be published in January 2018. Thirteen other departments will be featured on AAC&U’s website. Supported by a grant from the Endeavor Foundation, this initiative aims to limit the civics-free zones within departments by providing guidance to colleges and universities as they tackle one of their most resistant, yet fertile, areas of civic learning by bringing it squarely into where students invest most of their academic attention: their majors. Visit the project web page for more information.

New AAC&U Publication: Models of Global Learning

By Indira Nair and Margaret Henning

Global education, or global learning, is not about national borders—it is about sharing problems, knowing that many challenges ultimately affect everyone because of the interconnectedness of today’s world citizens. Models of Global Learning provides a synopsis of major trends, discussions, and themes that emerge from efforts to support global learning in academic institutions. The publication provides a descriptive analysis of the global learning projects at twenty-four institutions that were part of the AAC&U Shared Futures Project: General Education for a Global Century. The authors describe the overall results and patterns that emerged during this study, several exemplary practices, and their concluding thoughts and insights. Download a free copy.

AAC&U VALUE Rubrics Translated into Japanese

AAC&U is delighted to share the Japanese translation of the VALUE rubrics as an example of the usefulness of the rubrics for assessing student learning outcomes around the world. In the PDF document, the English version is followed by the Japanese translation. AAC&U sincerely thanks Eiji Ito from Kansai University of International Studies in Japan for the leadership that made the translation possible. The rubric translations are shared by the other three universities that participate in the Inter-University Cooperation Project (Shukutoku University, Hokuriku Gakuin University, and Kurashiki Sakuyo University).  

International Journal of ePortfolio Joins AAC&U

The International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP), a double-blind peer-reviewed open access journal freely available online, has now joined AAC&U as one of its official publications. Published twice a year (typically in April and October), IJeP encourages the study of practices and pedagogies associated with ePortfolios, a strategy recently selected as AAC&U’s eleventh high-impact practice. IJeP’s executive editors are (1) C. Edward Watson, AAC&U’s associate vice president for quality, advocacy, and LEAP initiatives; (2) Helen L. Chen, senior researcher at Stanford University; and (3) Tracy Penny Light, associate professor at Thompson Rivers University. The journal’s focus includes the explanation, interpretation, application, and dissemination of researcher, practitioner, and developer experiences relevant to ePortfolios. It also serves to provide a single multifaceted source of information for those engaging in projects and practices associated with this newest high-impact practice. 

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

New Guide Book Helps Develop Action Plans to Increase Civic Learning, Democratic Engagement, and Voting Rates on Campus

The American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and NASPA’s Lead Initiative have contributed to a newly released guidebook, Strengthening American Democracy: A Guide for Developing an Action Plan to Increase Civic Learning, Political Engagement, and Voting Rates Among College Students

Nominations Open for the 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship

Community-committed students from Campus Compact member institutions are eligible to be nominated for the Newman Civic Fellowship, a one-year program designed to contribute to students’ personal, professional, and civic development so they graduate ready to invest in public problem solving and building equitable communities. Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on February 1, 2018. The fellowship will begin in fall 2018.

AAC&U, AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Campus Compact are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of twelve leading civic learning organizations convened by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and advances efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college. See the CLDE events calendar for upcoming civic conferences and webinars.

BTtoP News

Bringing Theory to Practice Director Donald W. Harward to Retire in July 2018

BTtoP’s founding and only director, Donald W. Harward, will retire in July 2018 after fifteen years of service. Alongside cofounder Sally E. Pingree, Don has been a staunch advocate for the greater purposes of higher education: learning and discovery, civic engagement, well-being, and preparation for a meaningful life. Under his leadership, BTtoP has funded over five hundred grants, published two major books and a five-volume monograph series, and organized nationwide conferences, most recently the May 2017 conference, “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being.” BTtoP is currently accepting applications and nominations for the director position. For more information on applying, please visit the job posting on the BTtoP website.

BTtoP to Host Four Panels at AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting

BTtoP will host four panels at AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The first panel, “Whole Students, Whole Institutions, and Whole Learning,” will feature moderator Lee Knefelkamp and panelists Frank Golom, Carolyn S. Terry, and Amy Sarch. Caryn McTighe Musil will moderate the next panel, “Educating for Global Civic Consciousness and Agency: The Whole World and the Whole Student,” which will feature panelists Helen Nasser, Hilary Kahn, and Lucy Brown. The third panel, “Moving from Talk to Action: How Structured Dialogues Can Achieve ‘Greater Purposes,’” will feature moderator Ashley Finley and panelists Zoe Corwin, Sarah Hoiland, Patty Robinson, and Kristen Luschen. The last panel, “Upholding Truth, Evidence, and Reason: An Imperative Democratic Obligation of Higher Education in a Divided Nation,” will be moderated by Don Harward and will include Jason Blakely and Elizabeth Minnich as panelists. For more information on the panels, please visit the BTtoP website.

Upcoming BTtoP-Sponsored Gathering: Building Faculty Capacity to Support New Majority and Underserved Students

BTtoP looks forward to cosponsoring two working group seminars of scholars and colleagues—the first will take place at Berea College this November and the second at the University of Michigan in spring 2018. Scholars and colleagues will come together to explore how to better shape higher education for the flourishing of new majority students (including first-generation students, adult learners, and students of color), particularly in examining strategies to better prepare faculty through culturally responsive pedagogies, identity mindfulness, empathy enrichment, new curricula, and reward structures.

Other News

New Book: Enhancing Assessment in Higher Education

Enhancing Assessment in Higher Education: Putting Psychometrics to Work is a new book from AAC&U and Stylus Publishing that features a chapter written by Terrel Rhodes, AAC&U vice president for quality, curriculum, and assessment, and executive director of VALUE. This new book “provides comprehensive and detailed descriptions of tools for and approaches to assessing student learning outcomes in higher education. The book is guided by the core purpose of assessment, which is to enable faculty, administrators, and student affairs professionals with the information they need to increase student learning by making changes in policies, curricula, and other programs.” AAC&U members receive 25 percent off the cost of the book by using the code AACU25.

Apply Now for WPI’s 2018 Institute on Project-Based Learning

AAC&U and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are pleased to announce that the application process is now open for the 2018 Institute on Project-Based Learning, to be held June 20–23, 2018, at WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts. The institute, a flagship offering of WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning, will bring together teams of faculty and administrators from colleges and universities for interactive workshops, consultations with institute faculty, and collaborative teamwork sessions focused on project-based learning. Participants will come to the institute with a proposal outlining a specific goal or project they would like to advance and will leave the institute with an enhanced understanding of project-based learning and a tailored plan to advance work on their own campuses. Randy Bass, vice provost for education at Georgetown University, will be returning as keynote speaker. Applications are open through February 13, 2018. Hear from past participants about the impact of the institute on advancing project-based learning initiatives on their campuses.  

New Book Investigates the Impact of Reacting to the Past Pedagogies

Playing to Learn with Reacting to the Past: Research on High Impact, Active Learning Practices, published in October by Palgrave Macmillan, is now available for purchase. Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a student-centered active learning approach that provides college students and faculty with unique teaching and learning opportunities. This book couples in-depth descriptions of those practices from multiple disciplines with research studies investigating the efficacy and impact of those approaches. Edited by C. Edward Watson, AAC&U associate vice president for quality, advocacy, and LEAP initiatives, and Thomas Chase Hagood, director for the Division of Academic Enhancement at the University of Georgia, the book’s studies reveal that, when done well, RTTP can foster positive impacts on student performance and retention. It can also positively disrupt students’ perceptions of success and increase student academic and social self-efficacy. These latter findings were more pronounced for women.

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AAC&U News is written and edited by Ben Dedman. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter's contents, please e-mail dedman@aacu.org.

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