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Making High-Quality Learning Our Priority as Americans Go to College

An Invitational New England Employer-Educator Forum

8:45 am–6:00 pm
Monday, October 28, 2013
Boston Marriott Copley Place
110 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA

Co-sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and LEAP, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education


This Forum brought together educators, employers, policymakers, and civic leaders from the New England region for a day-long working meeting to chart a plan of action to help educators and employers work together to better provide students with the skills and knowledge needed in today’s economy. The event also highlighted promising campus programs and practices in the New England region designed to create more successful pathways from college to career and to connect college with engaged citizenship.

This event was part of AAC&U’s ongoing initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). It was the first in a set of regional forums following on the national release of the LEAP Employer-Educator Compact in April 2013. Through the Compact, hundreds of college presidents have joined with employer partners to promote the learning that students most need for work, life, and civic and global responsibility.

For some of the specific recommendations that emerged from the discussions, please see this link. Additionally, for a PowerPoint version of the recent employer research which was presented at the Forum, you can see this link.

Final Program

8:00–8:45 am Continental Breakfast

Salon F

8:45–9:00 am Welcome and Overview

Salon E

Richard Freeland, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Christopher Anderson, President, Massachusetts High Technology Council

Ronald Crutcher, President, Wheaton College, Chair, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, and Chair, AAC&U LEAP National Leadership Council


9:00–9:30 am Plenary Presentation
Employers are Raising the Bar: What the 21st Century Global Economy Needs from Higher Education and from College Graduates

Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&U

Salon E

9:30–10:45 am Panel Discussion
The Quality Challenge and How We Can Meet It:

Employers and Educators Propose Priorities for Shared Action

Moderator: Debra Humphreys, Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement, AAC&U

Paul Guzzi, President and CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Andre Mayer, Senior Advisor, Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Marcy Reed, President, National Grid, Massachusetts

Keith Peden, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Raytheon Company

Carole Cowan, President, Middlesex Community College

David Angel, President, Clark University

Salon E

10:45–11:00 am Coffee Break

Salon E Foyer

11:00 am–12:30 pm Facilitated Roundtable Discussions
Employers and Educators Craft an Action Agenda for Connecting College, Career, and Community

Salons A, B, C, D

12:30–1:45 pm Luncheon
Higher Learning and Strong Communities:

Higher Education's Civic Mission

L. Lee Knefelkamp, Professor Emerita of Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Salon E

1:45–2:00 pm Break


2:00–3:00 pm Panel Discussion
The Quality Imperative: Right-sizing Regional and National Priorities for Higher Education Policy and Practice

Moderator: Debra Humphreys, Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement, AAC&U

Charles Desmond, Chairman, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education

Richard Doherty, President, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Martin Meehan, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Michael Thomas, President and CEO, New England Board of Higher Education

Salon E

3:00–3:15 pm Coffee Break

Salon E Foyer

3:15–4:30 pm Concurrent Discussion Sessions
LEAP in New England: Learning in the Intersections

*Concurrent Session I:
Scaling Up Integrative and Experiential Learning - Lessons from Clark University and Mount Holyoke College

Mary-Ellen Boyle, Associate Provost and Dean of the College, Clark University

Eleanor Townsley, Associate Dean of the Faculty, Mount Holyoke College

Salon B

*Concurrent Session II:
From College to Career: New Approaches to Internships, Experiential Learning, and Career Planning

Rhona Free, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Eastern Connecticut State University

Linda Eisenmann, Provost, Wheaton College

Lisa Gavigan, Director of Career Services, Wheaton College

Salon C

*Concurrent Session III:
Measuring Student Success: New Approaches to Assessing Student Learning Outcomes

Robert J. Awkward, Professor, Business Administration, Middlesex Community College

Christopher Cratsley, Director of Assessment, Fitchburg State University

Ruth C. Slotnick, Director of Articulation & Learning Assessment, Mount Wachusett Community College

Salon D

*Concurrent Session IV:
E-Porfolios: Tools for Learning and Assessment

Tawnya M. McDonald, Director, Social Work Program, Champlain College

John Regan, Department of Rhetoric, College of General Studies, Boston University

Ellen J. Zeman, Learning Assessment Director, Champlain College

Salon E

Plenary Session
It Takes More Than a Major: Why We Must Come Together to Make Quality a Priority—for Our Students and Our Shared Future

Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&U

Elsa Núñez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University

Salon E


Third Floor Atrium

This program was provided with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Forum Host Committee

  • Christopher Anderson, Massachusetts High Technology Council
  • David Angel, Co-Chair, Clark University
  • Joseph Aoun, Northeastern University
  • Carole Cowan, Middlesex Community College
  • Ron Crutcher, Co-Chair, Wheaton College
  • Richard Doherty, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts
  • Richard Freeland, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
  • Mary Grant, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Gloria Larson, Bentley University
  • William P. Leahy, S.J., Boston College
  • Andre Mayer, Associated Industries of Massachusetts
  • Martin Meehan, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Anthony Monaco, Tufts University
  • J. Keith Motley, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • John O’Donnell, Mass Bay Community College
  • Lynn Pasquerella, Mount Holyoke College
  • M. Lee Pelton, Emerson College
  • John Saltmarsh, New England Resource Center for Higher Education
  • Kumble Subbaswamy, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Michael Thomas, New England Board of Higher Education

For more information, please contact Halim Rizk at (202) 387-3760, extension 810, or email