Publications

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.

America's Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education
2015

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
2015

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
2015

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.

Achieving Systemic Change: A Sourcebook for Advancing and Funding Undergraduate STEM Education
2014

The sourcebook is the result of a two-day workshop held in 2013 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The workshop, organized by the Coalition and supported by funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, brought together representatives from foundations with STEM experts and members of key higher education associations to discuss how best to effect systemic change in order to achieve widespread and sustained transformation of undergraduate STEM education. The sourcebook is intended as a useful resource for all who have a stake in creating STEM solutions for US society. It addresses the rationale for investing in systemic change throughout higher education, identifies critical areas for investment, and provides pointers to key reports and current STEM education reform efforts.

Download a copy (pdf)

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Growing Knowledge about What Works for Latino Student Success: Fall, 2014 Newletter
2014

Growing Knowledge about What Works for Latino Student Success is a collaborative initiative between the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and Excelencia in Education to support evidence-driven, campus-based change strategies for improving Latino student success and engagement through high-impact practices. With funding from TG Philanthropy, the project works with faculty and staff members from five Hispanic-Serving Institutions selected from the Excelencia in Action Network and AAC&U’s membership. Leadership teams from the campuses attended AAC&U’s 2013 Institute on General Education and Assessment to examine institutional student success data, to review current research on the relationship between student engagement in high-impact practices and underserved students’ self-reported learning gains, and to create campus action plans for implementing high-impact practices that best fit their respective institutional...

News from AAC&U Initiatives: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap
2014

The Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project (Roadmap Project) was de­signed to help community colleges create robust and proactive programs of academic support— tied to expected learning outcomes—that engage students at entrance and teach them, from the outset, how to become active partners in their own quest for educational success.

The Roadmap Project, funded by MetLife Foundation, began in 2010 with twelve leadership institutions whose programs were poised to become national models of how to support student success and advance student learning. Launched in January 2013, phase two of the project ex­panded its network to include an additional ten community colleges.

Roadmap colleges are creating new capacity to significantly expand high-quality learning in two-year institutions. Using the framework for student success outlined in AAC&U’s signature initiative Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), Roadmap cross-divisional teams are posing...

How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment
2014

Students, parents, and policy makers interested in the "return on investment" of college education tend to place unwarranted emphasis on the choice of undergraduate major, often assuming that a major in a liberal arts field has a negative effect on employment prospects and earnings potential. This new report—which includes data on earnings, employment rates, graduate school earnings bumps, and commonly chosen professions— presents clear evidence to the contrary. It shows not only that the college degree remains a sound investment, especially in these difficult economic times, but also that— as compared to students who major in professional, preprofessional, or STEM fields— liberal arts majors fare very well in terms of both earnings and long-term career success.

 Civic Engagement, Civic Development, and Higher Education
2014

What is, or can be, achieved by using the civic as an agent for change? Civic Engagement, Civic Development, and Higher Education, the fourth monograph in The Civic Series, is composed of fourteen essays written by college and university leaders and practitioners that consider engaging the community to be an intimate and necessary component of learning and knowledge creation for students, faculty and staff, and the community itself.

Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating
2014

Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating is a joint publication of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

The goal of this publication is to provide a definition and rationale for “global learning,” which is a term widely used across higher education, although faculty, staff, and practitioners do not always agree about what it means.  By exploring how the term and the ideas behind it are evolving, global learning is placed in the context of several important overlapping higher education change efforts.  

A shared vocabulary of global learning outcomes can help campus practitioners build valuable alliances that extend beyond those offices, departments, and individuals typically assumed to hold primary responsibility for the global mission of an institution. These expanded alliances can...

Civic Studies
2014

Civic Studies, the third monograph in The Civic Series, is composed of nine scholarly but accessible essays written by scholars from diverse disciplines and nationalities who address such questions as, "What should good citizens know and do? What scholarly knowledge is useful to citizens?" Civic Studies is available as a PDF.

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