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
Liberal Education Fall 2012 cover

Current Issue:
Fall 2012, Vol. 98, No. 4

Liberal Education for Sustainability

This issue explores how a college or university’s commitment to sustainability can transform institutional practice and help advance the aims of liberal learning. Also included are articles on civic scientific literacy, education for stewardship of the global commons, the role of division I athletics in a liberal education, the value of considering across-the-curriculum initiatives within the context of general education reform, and an approach to creating shared expectations for student achievement within the disciplines.




President’s Message
Is It Finally Time to Kill the Credit Hour?
By Carol Geary Schneider
The credit-hour system and the breadth-depth division of curricular labor built around it are both woefully inadequate to twenty-first-century needs and challenges.

From the Editor

News and Information


Sustainability and Liberal Education: Partners by Nature
By Neil B. Weissman
Sustainability has the potential to vitalize and validate liberal learning in ways that both deepen our practice as teachers and engage us meaningfully with the wider world.

Curricular Innovation for Sustainability:
The Piedmont/Ponderosa Model of Faculty Development

By Peggy F. Barlett and Geoffrey W. Chase
The Piedmont/Ponderosa model is a successful approach to curricular change that has inspired faculty at dozens of colleges and universities around the country to integrate sustainability issues across the curriculum.

Energizing Liberal Education
By Mary Finley-Brook, Megan Zanella-Litke, Kyle Ragan, and Breana Coleman
Renewable energy projects provide important opportunities for advancing liberal education.


What Colleges and Universities Need to Do to Advance Civic Scientific Literacy and Preserve American Democracy
By Jon D. Miller
As educators committed to liberal education, we need to recognize that the advancement of civic scientific literacy is not icing on the cake; it is a basic insurance policy for the preservation of American democracy in the twenty-first century.


An Education for the Twenty-First Century: Stewardship of the Global Commons
By Douglas C. Bennett, Grant H. Cornwell, Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, and Celeste Schenck
Recognizing that the term “global education” has become commonplace but, too often, is put forward without adequate substance, this proposal seeks to envision a foundational
higher education for the twenty-first century.

Beyond Carrots and Sticks: Toward a Transformative Model of Division I Athletics
By Sandy Hatfield Clubb
Drake University is working to demonstrate that NCAA Division I athletics can and should be primarily focused on enriching the educational experience of student-athletes, and that it is possible to do this and still win.

Reforming General Education: Three Reasons to Make Writing Across the Curriculum Part of the Conversation
By Paul Hanstedt
To provide a truly integrated liberal education, we must not only change our curricula—the courses we offer—but we must change what we do in the classroom, the kinds of papers and assignments and labs and projects we assign, and the kinds of test questions we ask.

“Tuning” the Disciplines
By Norman Jones
Tuning is a faculty-led approach that involves seeking input from students, recent graduates, and employers in order to create a common understanding of what students should know, understand, and be able to do when they finish each level of
a disciplinary degree program.


I Got It! The Wipers Are Working!
By Christopher B. Nelson
Before students fix upon a specialty for study or a vocation to pursue, they ought to be asked to spend a little time getting to know themselves and the world about them.