AAC&U's publications cover a range of topics and provide the latest research, analysis, and valuable starting points for campus practitioner and policy leader dialogues. AAC&U monographs, reports, and guides focus on teaching, learning, curriculum, and academic leadership, and shine a spotlight on promising practices at every kind of college and university. See below for all AAC&U publications. Click on titles to purchase or download copies.

AAC&U also publishes three periodicals, Liberal Education, Peer Review, and Diversity & Democracy, and a monthly online newsletter, AAC&U News, to advance the national dialogue about the quality of undergraduate education in the United States.


AAC&U surveyed Chief Academic Officers at member institutions from July-October 2015 concerning priorities related to learning outcomes, assessment, general education design, high-impact practices, and data tracking and goal setting around equity and quality learning. With support from USA Funds, AAC&U conducted structured interviews with 14 of the respondents focusing on minority serving and predominately white institutions and particularly on those who were tracking data in at least some disaggregated ways. For more information, see:

The initial report, “Bringing Equity and Quality Learning Together: Institutional Priorities for Tracking and Advancing Underserved Students’ Success,” highlights findings from both the national survey and from structured interviews related to goal-setting and priorities for diversity, equity, and student success in both...

Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning

Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning articulates a set of principles and practices to guide integrative liberal learning for today's students. The overlapping principles reflect a more holistic concept of undergraduate education that focuses on student empowerment and self-development; intentionally integrated learning opportunities and experiences; and greater clarity and transparency of learning outcomes for students, faculty, and other stakeholders. The publication aims to elucidate the value and use of integrative liberal learning and the best pedagogical and faculty leadership practices to prepare students for applying their learning to complex challenges in life, career, and citizenship. This publication emerges from the work of the Teagle Foundation-supported Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning: Principles and Practices project.

The Quality of a College Degree

This report examines the larger policy environment and how it is and isn’t aligned with current efforts to focus on assessment of key student learning outcomes, especially in the context of transfer. It builds on lessons learned in AAC&U's DQP Quality Collaboratives project.  Authors provide recommendations for framing policy debates about more efficient and effective transfer from two-year to four-year institutions that account for students’ achievement of key learning outcomes articulated in the Degree Qualifications Profile. The publication also provides a framework for better aligning state and campus policies with a twenty-first-century vision of quality learning and with current patterns of student attendance.  Ideal for campus discussions about improving transfer student success and collecting better data on student achievement, the publication also includes case studies from two-year/four-year Quality Collaboratives campus partners.

Assessment That Works: A National Call, A Twenty-First-Century Response

This publication builds on the work of AAC&U’s VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education)—a multi-tiered effort that, in its first stages, harnessed the expertise of hundreds of faculty and other education professionals across American higher education to identify the most commonly agreed upon criteria and standards of judgment to be used in assessing student work.  VALUE has since become a national movement to change the way we envision and approach the assessment of student learning gains and accomplishments in college.  Assessment That Works contextualizes this movement, describes several illuminating case studies of VALUE in action, and exhorts us to maintain the momentum and raise the visibility of this effort.

General Education Transformed: How We Can, Why We Must

This publication calls for a re-envisioning of general education with clear, purposeful pathways for all students, allowing them to actively demonstrate their learning through high-impact practices and teaching strategies that are transferable across disciplines, departments, institutions, and even state systems. Reflecting the core vision articulated in General Education Maps and Markers, it addresses student success in terms of both college completion and achievement of essential twenty-first-century learning outcomes, including those articulated in LEAP and in Lumina Foundation's Degree Qualifications Profile. The publication also addresses how this general education framework helps to foster essential capacities for career, citizenship, and global engagement for today's diverse and mobile students. This is an excellent resource for general education reform and curriculum committees.

Giving California Students a Compass

Final Report of "Give Students a Compass" in California, May, 2015

Too many students who begin college in the California State University (CSU) or California Community College (CCC) systems with the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree don’t make it. Of degree-seeking students who entered a CSU in 2007, just over half graduated six years later (California State University, 2013). Of students who entered a CCC the same year and demonstrated intent to transfer—that is, completed at least 12 units and attempted transfer-level math or English—just over one-third had transferred after six years (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, 2013).

In California and across the United States, there is growing interest in how colleges and universities can improve student success, not only by increasing rates of bachelor’s degree completion but also ensuring high-quality learning for all students. General Education (GE)—the part of the curriculum that all...

Civic Prompts: Making Civic Learning Routine across the Disciplines

Published as part of AAC&U’s ongoing work on “Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement,” Civic Prompts addresses the undergraduate major as the next frontier of civic learning. A practical tool for building faculty capacity meaningfully to embed civic learning in their courses and programs, Civic Prompts represents a first step in investigating a largely unchartered territory. It offers a process, or set of prompts, through which faculty can begin to increase student learning by defining discipline-specific civic lenses that explore the public purposes, civic inquiries, and actions embedded in their fields. Ideal for faculty development initiatives, teaching and learning centers, and anyone interested in providing faculty the tools to embrace and implement effective civic learning....

Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning

Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning provides a framework for needed dialogue, assessment, and action to address inequities in higher education institutions. Focusing on issues of access and success, it can be used as a tool for bringing together campus leaders and practitioners—across divisions and departments—to engage in internal assessment and chart a path forward to improve all students’ success and achievement of key learning outcomes. The Guide is designed with a particular focus on the success of students who come from groups traditionally underserved in higher education.

Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning is recommended for use in combination with AAC&U’s America’s Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education and ...

Step Up & Lead for Equity: What Higher Education Can Do to Reverse Our Deepening Divides

STEP UP & LEAD for Equity: What Higher Education Can Do to Reverse Our Deepening Divides makes the case that America’s persistent gaps in education, income, and wealth are widening, with the fastest growing segments of our population the least likely to have the opportunities they need to succeed.It argues that, to effectively educate today’s students, higher education must focus more urgently on equity—and on bringing together what we know about closing achievement gaps and advancing high-quality learning outcomes for all students. This brochure builds the case for leadership to challenge the status quo and make the most empowering forms of college learning available to all students. STEP UP & LEAD for Equity is a Call to Action, supported by clear and convincing data, for college leaders to accept this challenge and begin this work by examining their own institutions’ history and data to develop an action plan. It is ideal for advancing...

The LEAP Challenge: Educating for a World of Unscripted Problems

The LEAP Challenge builds on a decade of LEAP reform efforts on campus to advance Essential Learning Outcomes and high-impact educational practices for all students. The LEAP Challenge calls on colleges and universities to engage students in signature work that will prepare them to integrate and apply their learning to a significant project.