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The Centennial Annual Meeting

LIBERAL EDUCATION, GLOBAL FLOURISHING,
AND THE EQUITY IMPERATIVE

AAC&U Annual Meeting
January 21-24, 2015
Grand Hyatt Hotel / Washington, DC


Registration opens September 15

CENTENNIAL SYMPOSIUM
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
America’s Global Future: Are College Students Prepared?

FORUM ON DIGITAL LEARNING AND E-PORTFOLIOS
Saturday, January 24, 2015


ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

As we stand at the threshold of AAC&U’s Centennial, the need for higher learning has never been more evident.  Economic prosperity, democratic vitality, and global progress all depend on the continued advance of new knowledge, on the full development of human talent from all sectors of society, and on citizens’ capacities and commitment to connect new knowledge with the world’s urgent challenges and problems—economic, ethical, political, intercultural, and environmental.  In the 21st century, human and societal flourishing must be our goals, and to achieve these goals, we will need to significantly expand both our global learning and global partnerships.  College graduates will need more—and more cosmopolitan—liberal learning, not less. 

And yet, ironically, even as the need for expanded learning grows, the perceived benefits of both higher education and liberal education—to individuals and to society—have come under withering scrutiny.  Policy leaders are skeptical, families and first-generation students are anxious.  And—in this era of disruptive innovation—proposals abound for virtually starting over in postsecondary education with reinventions of core practices or for focusing the postsecondary curriculum on job preparation primarily.

Responding to this volatile mix of high stakes and high skepticism, the Centennial Annual Meeting will both highlight and explore the intensity and inventiveness with which educators are working to prepare today’s diverse students for a world of global interconnection—in the economy, society, and their own lives.  We will celebrate the ways that members are using AAC&U’s long-term initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), to drive creative educational change, support greater student success, connect college learning with the wider society, and raise the level of both inclusiveness and quality.

The meeting also will highlight a host of interrelated initiatives—across many disciplines, institutions, and sister organizations—that collectively are working to advance a clearer conception of the learning 21st-century students need, and to ensure the value and transparency of the degrees and credentials we award our students. 

AAC&U’s Centennial Annual Meeting will, in sum, both explore and advance members’ efforts to double down on both quality and innovation to make equity a shared compass, and to document educational success by showing, tangibly and powerfully, what students can successfully do with their learning beyond the classroom.  We will show how educators are both embracing the essential aims and outcomes of a 21st-century liberal education, and fostering these capacities across the entire educational experience, in professional and career programs as well as the liberal arts and sciences.  And we will explore new ways that educators are “making the case” for the necessary connections between liberal learning, the equity imperative, and Americans’ global future.

We invite you to join us this January in Washington, DC.

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