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.

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...

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.

America's Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education

This publication makes the case for the urgent need to expand access to and success in high-quality educational programs for students traditionally underserved in higher education.  The publication addresses students’ access and success in terms of traditional measures like college completion as well as important indicators of educational opportunity like participation in high-impact educational practices. The authors present an equity-minded guiding framework that can be used throughout higher education.  They suggest principles for evaluating equity and advancing institutional change, with a specific focus on improving outcomes for students affected by stratification in educational opportunity by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class status. Excellent resource for launching conversations among educational leaders and practitioners about diversity, equity, and institutional change.

General Education Maps and Markers: Designing Meaningful Pathways to Student Achievement

Written for faculty members, academic leaders, and policy makers, General Education Maps and Markers: Designing Meaningful Pathways to Student Achievement provides clear principles and guidelines to ensure that general education fosters the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes and key proficiencies important for long-term success and flourishing, enriches students' learning in the major, and prepares college students to successfully tackle the kinds of complex problems they will inevitably confront in work, civil society, and their own lives. General education, invented to help college students gain the knowledge and collaborative capacities they need to navigate a complex world, is today and should remain an essential part of a high-quality college education. And yet, in practice, general education programs too often underperform. The principles and guidelines presented in these pages directly address this long-...

The VALUE Breakthrough: Getting the Assessment of Student Learning in College Right

Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education—AAC&U's VALUE initiative—is a far-reaching effort to focus assessment on the work students produce in their progress toward a degree. By focusing on assignments produced for a degree program rather than on answers on time-limited standardized tests, VALUE has become a national movement to change the way we envision and approach the assessment of student learning gains and accomplishments in college. The VALUE Breakthrough explains succinctly and directly the progress and importance of this movement. Author Daniel Sullivan tells us how VALUE relates both to the larger aims of a quality liberal education, to the capabilities employers seek and reward, and to the public policy pressures of our current environment.