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Liberal Education Spring 2014 cover image

Current Issue:
Spring 2014, Vol. 100, No. 2

Quality, E-Quality, and Opportunity

This issue presents highlights of the 2014 AAC&U annual meeting. Also included are articles on the second iteration of the Degree Qualifications Profile, the relationship between witness and service, divergent traditions of democracy in relation to higher education, and recent Supreme Court rulings affecting diversity efforts.




President’s Message
One Hundred Years!

By Carol Geary Schneider
In 2015 AAC&U will celebrate its centennial, devoting the entire year to a far-reaching exploration of the connections between high-quality liberal learning and Americans’ global future and of the changes needed to drive equitable access to high-quality learning for the millions of students who remain underserved at all levels of our educational system.

From the Editor

News and Information


The Future of Scholarship
By Edward L. Ayers
The threads of scholarship, teaching, and community can be woven together more tightly than even Ernest Boyer could have imagined if we encourage our faculty, chairs, and deans, our librarians and our technology leaders—and ourselves, whatever role we may play—to take advantage of the new opportunities all around us.

Accreditation’s Alchemy Hour: Riding the Wave of Innovation
By Paul L. Gaston
Accreditation can continue to ride the wave of innovation, and by doing so it may be able to avoid the undertow of ill-advised “reforms,” but its “alchemy hour,” that part of a surfer’s day when the waves have the most to offer, will not last for long.

The Teaching Naked Cycle: Technology Is a Tool, but Psychology Is the New Pedagogy
By José Antonio Bowen
At a very basic level, new technologies can increase student preparation and engagement between classes and create more time for the (naked) in-class dialogue that makes the campus experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver.

Cross-Cultural Mentoring: A Pathway to Making Excellence Inclusive
By Betty Neal Crutcher
Cross-cultural mentoring involves an ongoing, intentional, and mutually enriching relationship with someone of a different race, gender, ethnicity, religion, cultural background, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, or nationality. Generally more experienced, the cross-cultural mentor guides the intellectual and personal development of the mentee over time.

The Degree Qualifications Profile 2.0: Defining US Degrees through Demonstration and Documentation of College Learning
By Clifford Adelman, Peter T. Ewell, Paul L. Gaston, and Carol Geary Schneider
In its second iteration, Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile continues to provide a baseline set of reference points for what students should know and be able to do in order to merit the award of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, regardless of their field of study.


Bearing Witness: Seeing as a Form of Service
By Deborah Dunn
We want students to feel compassion, to serve others, to enact certain civic virtues. We require service learning and community engagement courses, as well as international travel programs, in order to cultivate these values and rhythms. As important as these efforts are, however, we would do well to help our students truly to see others.

Three Traditions of Democracy in Relation to American Higher Education
By Robert J. Sternberg
The type of college or university one values most depends, at least in part, upon which of three distinct traditions of democracy in relation to American higher education one espouses.


Behind the Headlines: Remembering the Fundamentals about Diversity
By Arthur L. Coleman
In two recent cases, the US Supreme Court has again spoken on issues of race and ethnicity in higher education. The immediate and operational questions raised by the decisions in these cases—What does this mean for me? What do I need to do differently? How should I proceed in light of these decisions?—should not distract us from the fundamentals associated with educational diversity.