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LEAP

Liberal Education and America's Promise

LEAP Publications

How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths

How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths

Students, parents, and policy makers interested in the "return on investment" of college education tend to place unwarranted emphasis on the choice of undergraduate major, often assuming that a major in a liberal arts field has a negative effect on employment prospects and earnings potential. This new report—which includes data on earnings, employment rates, graduate school earnings bumps, and commonly chosen professions—presents clear evidence to the contrary. It shows not only that the college degree remains a sound investment, especially in these difficult economic times, but also that—as compared to students who major in professional, preprofessional, or STEM fields—liberal arts majors fare very well in terms of both earnings and long-term career success.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 members; $20 nonmembers)
 
Peer Review, Winter 2014

E-Portfolios: For Reflection, Learning, and Assessment Peer Review, Winter 2014)

E-portfolios are now being used in more than half of US colleges and universities. This issue provides examples of how engaging with e-portfolios enhances student learning and can be used for assessment and students' professional preparation and job searches.
Purchase
a copy of this publication ($8 members; $10 nonmembers)

Peer Review, Fall 2013

Capstones and Integrative Learning (Peer Review, Fall, 2013)

Whether they're called senior capstones or some other name, these culminating experiences require students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates and applies what they've learned. This issue shows examples of learning outcomes and best practices for capstone courses and programs.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($8 members; $10 nonmembers)
 
Investing in Success: Cost-Effective Strategies to Increase Student Success

Investing in Success: Cost-Effective Strategies to Increase Student Success
By Jane Wellman and Rima Brusi

This publication provides advice and planning tools to help educational leaders invest in high-impact practices, despite budget constraints. It presents ways to evaluate both the benefits and costs of high-impact practices, and strategies for investing in innovations. Building on research from the Access to Success initiative and the Delta Cost Project, the authors provide examples of campuses that have made wise investments developing or scaling particular practices, with positive results for student learning, graduation rates, and the bottom line.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

Assessing Underserved Students' Engagement in High-Impact Practices

Assessing Underserved Students' Engagement in High-Impact Practices
By Ashley Finley and Tia McNair
This report is available for free online at www.aacu.org/assessinghips/.

This publication presents findings from a national study conducted by AAC&U researchers to investigate the impact of engagement in high-impact practices on traditionally underserved populations (defined here as first-generation, minority, transfer, and low-income students).The mixed-method analysis includes student-level data on engaged learning at thirty-eight participating institutions-from the state higher education systems in California, Oregon, and Wisconsin-drawn from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), as well as qualitative data obtained through student focus groups held at nine selected campuses. This report serves as a guide for campus-based inquiry to further our understanding of underserved student engagement with high-impact practices. The publication also includes a toolkit on assessing equity in high-impact practices developed by the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California. This report is available for free online at www.aacu.org/assessinghips/.

Using the VALUE Rubrics for Improvement of Learning and Authentic Assessment

Using the VALUE Rubrics for Improvement of Learning and Authentic Assessment
By Terrel L. Rhodes and Ashley Finley

This publication addresses key elements of, and questions frequently raised about, the development and use of the VALUE rubrics for assessment of student learning. It provides information about rubric-based assessment approaches—including validity, reliability, and rubric modification—and faculty training in the use of rubrics. Specific examples of how campuses are using the VALUE rubrics to improve student learning are also provided. Full case studies from twelve campuses are available online at www.aacu.org/value/casestudies.
Purchase a copy of this report ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)
Also available for puchase in eBook Version (PDF).

Ensuring Quality and Taking High-Impact Practices to Scale

Ensuring Quality & Taking High-Impact Practices to Scale
By George D. Kuh and Ken O'Donnell
With Case Studies by Sally Reed

Building on previous reports, this publication presents research on specific educational practices correlated with higher levels of academic challenge, student engagement, and achievement. The publication features the relationship between these practices and improvements in retention and graduation rates and advice on how to ensure that all students experience multiple high-impact practices. Detailed case studies show how five campuses are providing high-impact practices more pervasively and systematically.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

Peer Review Spring 2013: Models for Student Success: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap

Models for Student Success: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap (Peer Review, Spring 2013)

This issue 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.
Purchase a copy of this issue ($8 members; $10 nonmembers)

Making Progress? What We Know about the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes

Making Progress? What We Know about the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes

This new report provides an up-to-date overview of national data from a variety of studies of student learning, including the NSSE, Wabash National Study, CIRP, PSRI, and others. It presents comparative data on achievement over time across an array of liberal education outcomes—such as critical thinking, writing, civic engagement, global competence, and social responsibility.

The report contrasts the very positive evidence drawn from what students think they have learned with the much more sobering evidence from national tests about what students actually can do in such areas as critical thinking, writing, and quantitative reasoning.  It also reflects the growing evidence that how we construct the learning environment, e.g., by emphasizing  high-impact practices, is a crucial component both in assessing learning and in raising students’ level of achievement.  Making Progress also underscores the educational value of new assessment practices, such as e-portfolios and scoring rubrics, that move students’ actual work—papers, performances, research, etc.—to the center of assessment focus.
Purchase a copy of this report ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

Lessons on Systemic Reform from the LEAP States Initiative (Peer Review, Spring 2011)

Lessons on Systemic Reform from the LEAP States
Initiative (
Peer Review, Spring 2011)

This issue of Peer Review highlights lessons learned from AAC&U's LEAP States initiative. Specifically, it features educational and curricular reform work of institutions and state systems involved in the LEAP States Initiative--focusing on how selected state systems are using the LEAP essential learning outcomes as a shared framework for student achievement, accountability, school-college alignment, and underserved student success. The lessons learned can be useful to those in a wide range of institutions working toward educational reform.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($8 members; $10 nonmembers)

The LEAP Vision for Learning: Outcomes, Practices, Impact, and Employers' Views

The LEAP Vision for Learning: Outcomes, Practices, Impact, and Employers' Views

This new publication outlines the LEAP vision for learning, bringing together multiple strands of LEAP work. It includes an executive summary of College Learning for the New Global Century; summaries of research about high-impact educational practices and learning outcomes; summaries of trends in curricular, assessment, and general education reform; and data about the outcomes that employers value in the college graduates they hire and promote. This summary is ideal as an introduction to AAC&U’s LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) initiative and its research for use with internal and external advocates of educational reform, including with curricular and student success committees, boards of trustees, and regents.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 members; $20 nonmembers)
Download a pdf copy.

What Is a Liberal Education? And Why Is It Important to My Future?

What Is a Liberal Education? And Why Is It Important to My Future?

This brochure serves as an introduction to what a liberal education is—and why it is important to all college students. It is based on research findings from the LEAP initiative and was developed with input from leading employers, recent graduates, economists, and students. This brochure provides a contemporary definition of the term “liberal education,” the most important outcomes of college, and perspectives from recent graduates and employers. It also provides a set of questions designed to help students construct a purposeful pathway through college. Ideal for use in first-year and transfer student orientation, first-year seminars, academic advising, admissions, and career counseling.
This brochure is available for bulk purchase only in increments of 500 copies (1 box). Purchase the brochure online.

Five High-Impact Practices: Research on Learning Outcomes, Completion, and Quality

Five High-Impact Practices: Research on Learning Outcomes, Completion, and Quality
By Jayne E. Brownell and Lynn E. Swaner
With a Foreword by George D. Kuh

This monograph examines what educational research reveals about five educational practices: first-year seminars, learning communities, service learning, undergraduate research, and capstone experiences. The authors explore questions such as: What is the impact on students who participate in these practices? Is the impact the same for both traditional students and those who come from historically underserved student populations? The monograph includes a foreword by George D. Kuh, "High-Impact Practices: Retrospective and Prospective," and recommendations for how to improve the quality of high-impact practices.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

What Will I Learn in College? What You Need to Know Now To Get Ready for College Success

What Will I Learn in College? What You Need to Know Now to Get Ready for College Success
By Robert Shoenberg

This publication is a short guide to college learning designed specifically for the college-bound high school student. It presents, in a concise and compelling way, a picture of college learning that will help students understand what will be expected of them and guides them to seek out high school experiences. The guide also features Advice from Campus - candid recommendations from college students about how to get ready for college success.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 members; $20 nonmembers)

High-Impact Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter

High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter
By George D. Kuh

This publication defines a set of educational practices that research has demonstrated have a significant impact on student success. Author George Kuh presents data from the National Survey of Student Engagement about these practices and explains why they benefit all students, but also seem to benefit underserved students even more than their more advantaged peers. The report also presents data that show definitively that underserved students are the least likely students, on average, to have access to these practices.
Available for purchase in eBook Version (PDF) ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

Electronic Portfolios and Student Success: Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Learning

Electronic Portfolios and Student Success: Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Learning
By Helen L. Chen and Tracy Penny Light

This publication presents an overview of electronic portfolios and ways individuals and campuses can implement e-portfolios to enhance and assess student learning, recognizing that learning occurs in many places, takes many forms, and is exhibited through many modes of representation. It is organized around eight issues central to implementing an e-portfolio approach: defining learning outcomes; understanding your learners; identifying stakeholders; designing learning activities; including multiple forms of evidence; using rubrics to evaluate e-portfolios; anticipating external uses of evidence; and evaluating the impact of e-portfolios. This work is illustrated through multiple campus case study examples.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and Tools for Using Rubrics

Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and Tools for Using Rubrics
Edited by Terrel L. Rhodes

This publication provides practical advice on the development and effective use of rubrics to evaluate college student achievement at various levels. It includes rubrics for fifteen liberal learning outcomes developed as part of AAC&U's VALUE project and which can be adapted to reflect the missions, cultures, and practices of individual colleges and universities and their specific programs. The rubrics included in this publication were tested on more than one hundred pilot campuses and include rubrics for outcomes often neglected in other assessment systems. These rubrics were developed by faculty members and academic professionals who articulated what important liberal learning outcomes look like at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of accomplishment.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($15 members; $25 nonmembers)

Liberal Education and the New Global Economy Package

Liberal Education and the New Global Economy Package

This package contains resources designed to help practitioners communicate the value of a liberal education in the new global century. Contents include:

  • The LEAP Vision for Learning: Outcomes, Practices, Impact, and Employers' Views
  • DVD containing the video program that communicates the advantages of a liberal education
  • Making the Case for Liberal Education
  • Communicating Commitment to Liberal Education

Purchase the package ($15 for members; $25 for nonmembers)

Assessment in Cycles of Improvement: Faculty Designs for Essential Learning Outcomes

Assessment in Cycles of Improvement: Faculty Designs for Essential Learning Outcomes
By Ross Miller

This publication features a series of reports on how selected colleges and universities foster and assess student learning in twelve liberal education outcome areas, including writing, quantitative literacy, critical thinking, ethics, intercultural knowledge, and information literacy. Moving from goals to experiences, assessments, and improvements driven by assessment data, each institutional story illustrates how complex learning can be shaped over time and across programs to bring students to higher levels of achievement of these important outcomes.
Purchase a copy ($15 for members; $25 for nonmembers)

College Learning for the New Global Century

College Learning for the New Global Century

This signature national report from the National Leadership Council guiding the LEAP initiative clarifies the aims and outcomes of a twenty-first-century college education. It is also a report about the promises we need to make--and keep--to all students who aspire to a college education, especially to those for whom college is a route, perhaps the only possible route, to a better future. This report, based on extensive input both from educators and employers, responds to the new global challenges today's students face. It describes the learning contemporary students need from college, and what it will take to help them achieve it.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($15 for members; $25 for nonmembers)
Download a pdf copy.

Communicating Commitment to Liberal Education: A Self-Study Guide for Institutions

Communicating Commitment to Liberal Education:
A Self-Study Guide for Institutions


This publication in the Liberal Education and America's Promise series includes a set of questions designed for campus dialogues that cut across campus divisions and departments. It is designed to help institutions become more intentional about aligning programs and practices with professed goals for liberal education learning outcomes.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 for members; $20 for nonmembers)
Download a pdf copy.

Making the Case for Liberal Education: Responding to Challenges

Making the Case for Liberal Education: Responding to Challenges
By Debra Humphreys

This publication in the Liberal Education and America's Promise series draws on findings from AAC&U-sponsored public opinion research conducted in 2005 and 2006. It presents a set of common challenges to the argument for liberal education's value in today's world and a set of responses that have proven effective with different constituents--including with students, prospective students, and business leaders. Ideal for campuses or individuals who want to become better advocates for liberal education.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 for members; $20 for nonmembers)
Download a pdf copy.

Why Do I Have to Take This Course? A Student Guide to Making Smart Educational Choices

Why Do I Have to Take This Course? A Student Guide to Making Smart Educational Choices
By Robert Shoenberg

This practical guide for undergraduate students is intended to take some of the mystery out of curricular requirements and educate students about what really matters in college -- the broad learning outcomes developed over the entire course of their undergraduate years. It provides specific information on the aims and purposes of general education courses and programs.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 for members; $20 for nonmembers)

Liberal Education Outcomes: A Preliminary Report on Student Achievement in College

Liberal Education Outcomes: A Preliminary Report on Student Achievement in College

This report is designed to provide an overview of national data on the importance of liberal education outcomes and how well college students are achieving these outcomes. It is designed to generate dialogue and spur implementation of more systematic ways to measure student learning outcomes across the curriculum and at incoming, milestone, and capstone levels.
Purchase a copy of this publication ($12 for members; $20 for nonmembers)
Download a pdf copy

For more information about ordering AAC&U publications, including details on shipping, bulk discounts, or returns, see ordering information. For other questions, e-mail pub_desk@aacu.org or call 800.297.3775 (202.387.3760).

 

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