For Immediate Release

Contact:
Anne Jenkins
Senior Director of Communications
202-387-3760, Ext. 422
jenkins@aacu.org

Association of American Colleges and Universities Launches Online Resource Hub to Support Community Colleges In Advancing Student Success Strategies

LEAP Connections Will Be a Virtual Community Where Educators Can Share Resources and Campus Models, and Participate in Robust Online Webinars and Discussion Forums
Oct 31, 2016

Washington, DC—The Association of American College and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the launch of the LEAP Connections Resource Hub—a new online resource hub and virtual community of practice for community college educators.  The site was developed with support from The Kresge Foundation as part of AAC&U’s Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success initiative. 

LEAP Connections is an open-resource hub providing access to information, templates, campus models, research, online dialogues, and Webinars all designed to facilitate the scaling of evidence-based practices at community colleges that support educational quality and student success. The site is designed for community college faculty as well as other educators, academic administrators, and student affairs professionals.

Advancing Roadmaps includes a family of interrelated projects and a growing network of leading community colleges. Through Advancing Roadmaps, AAC&U is supporting community college leaders and educators as they work to increase student success and achievement of the most important outcomes of high-quality undergraduate education programs.

“Community colleges are more vital than ever to the future of higher education, and we are proud to partner with faculty and administrators across the country in exchanging best practices through the LEAP Connections Resource Hub,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “Our shared objective is to meet the equity imperative, not only by ensuring access, but by inspiring and accelerating educational excellence as a means of enhancing both completion and student success.” 

Through participation in Advancing Roadmaps, community colleges are creating robust and proactive programs of academic support—tied to expected learning outcomes—that engage students at entry and teach them, from the outset, how to become active partners in their quest for educational success. Roadmap builds on the research sponsored as part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative, including research on high-impact educational practices that are proven to increase persistence, completion, and achievement of key learning outcomes, especially for students who have traditionally been underserved in higher education.

While designed with contributions and insights from the community college sector, resources and dialogues on LEAP Connections will also be valuable to all college educators, especially those working to ensure that students succeed—including students who start their educational journeys at community colleges but seek to transfer to four-year institutions.

The site also features resources from other important community college organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges, Jobs for the Future, and Achieving the Dream, Inc.

“AAC&U has provided our team from College of the Canyons with incredible resources and connections that have been invaluable in the work we’re trying to accomplish related to student equity, success, and completion,” said Audrey Green, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of the Canyons.  “The LEAP Connections Resource Hub puts all of these resources and more in one place and allows us to continue the dialogue related to our work and challenges via the Hub. Our team is excited to be active participants on the Hub.”

Visit the LEAP Connections Resource Hub at http://leapconnections.aacu.org/; Learn more about Roadmap at http://www.aacu.org/advancingroadmaps and LEAP at http://www.aacu.org/leap.

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,350 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit kresge.org.