Membership Programs Meetings Publications LEAP Press Room About AAC&U
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Search Web Site
Resources on:
Liberal Education
General Education
Student Success
Institutional Change
Civic Engagement
Global Learning
Science & Health
Connect with AACU:
Join Our Email List
RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
LEAP Toolkit
Support AACU
Online Giving Form

Greater Expectations Initiative

About the Initiative

Greater Expectations, a major initiative of AAC&U from 2000-2006, articulated the aims and purposes of a twenty-first century liberal education, identified innovative models that improve campus practices and learning for all undergraduate students, and advocated for a comprehensive approach to reform. The work of the Greater Expectations initiative laid the foundation for AAC&U's current initiative Liberal Education and America's Promise.

The work was supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

Projects of Greater Expectations

  • A National Panel of leaders in education, government, business, and community action formulated a statement of aims and purposes for twenty-first century college-level study.
National Panel Report

Released in October 2002, the Panel's report, Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College recommends ways to link with the best aspects of school reform. The report recommends the creation of a New Academy characterized by high expectations, a focus on learning, commitment to demonstrated achievement, intentional practices, and an engaged, practical liberal education for all students.

The report is available for purchase.

  • The Project on Accreditation and Assessment (PAA) built consensus among all six regional accreditors, four specialized accreditors, one national accreditor, the accrediting coordinator, and seven higher education associations on outcomes for, and methods of, assessing liberal learning. The project's purpose was to influence revisions of accreditation standards and processes so they place greater emphasis on student achievement.
  • The Greater Expectations for Student Transfer project was designed to facilitate statewide dialogues on curricular coherence and student learning.
  • To provide models of campuses centered on student learning, Greater Expectations convened a Consortium on Quality Education. Leadership Institutions, chosen for their innovative and comprehensive attention to helping all students toward greater achievement, comprised the Consortium. The selected campuses represent the range of institutional types, missions, and locations.
  • A Forum on Twenty-first Century Liberal Arts Education Practice shared powerful methods that lead to better student performance from high school through college. Four working groups of educators gathered promising practices in the key areas of 1) reasoned inquiry, 2) civic engagement in a diverse democracy, 3) global learning, and 4) integrative learning.
  • To better understand how innovations enter into the heart of institutional function, the Greater Expectations Institute has been held annually since 2001. Teams from institutions engaged in significant learning-centered change plan ways to build campus culture and infrastructure to support their innovations. Since June 2003, the institute has been focusing on campus leadership for student engagement, inclusion, and achievement.


About Greater Expectations