What's New

AAC&U Sponsors New York Forum on Equity and Inclusive Excellence, Releases Findings from National Survey of Chief Academic Officers on Assessing and Addressing Equity Gaps

Friday, November 13, 2015 - 10:00

AAC&U announces the release of the first of three planned reports highlighting findings from a national survey of AAC&U member chief academic officers (CAOs) conducted by Hart Research Associates. 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 completing degrees and achieving key learning outcomes. See select findings in the press release and the full report here: http://www.aacu.org/about/2015-membersurvey.

AAC&U President Affirms Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 10:45

Taking note of the spreading protests on campus, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider has issued a message to our members that affirms AAC&U’s mission-level commitment to making excellence inclusive and points to resources institutions can use in advancing educational change. Schneider notes in her statement that, “With a mission to advance liberal education and inclusive excellence, AAC&U is strongly committed to helping its members succeed in the long-term work of educating and graduating students—from all backgrounds—who will be both prepared and inspired to work for a more just and equitable democracy in the United States and for the expansion of human dignity and opportunity around the world.“

AAC&U Refutes the Myth of the Unemployed Humanities Major

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 10:00

The newest LEAP Challenge blog post refutes the myth of the unemployed humanities major. LEAP Challenge Blog Editor Wilson Peden notes that, “We need people studying the humanities, just like we need people studying every other discipline. It’s up to individual students to choose their own educational pathways and majors according to their interests, abilities, and yes, their employment prospects. But they should do so based on accurate information, not myths….We need more and better-educated college graduates in every discipline, and we need all those graduates to be equipped with a broad base of knowledge and intellectual skills that cut across disciplines.”  Follow The LEAP Challenge blog at http://www.aacu.org/blog.

AAC&U Endorses AAUP Statement Opposing 'Campus Carry' Laws

Friday, November 13, 2015 - 07:00

AAC&U’s Board of Directors has joined with AAUP and two other organizations in issuing a strong “Joint Statement Opposing ‘Campus Carry’ Laws.”  The statement, in part, notes that “colleges and universities closely control firearms and prohibit concealed guns on their campuses because they regard the presence of weapons as incompatible with their educational missions.  College campuses are marketplaces of ideas, and a rigorous academic exchange of ideas may be chilled by the presence of weapons.”  This statement is wholly consistent with AAC&U’s earlier Board of Directors statement on “Academic Freedom and Educational Responsibility” which notes further that, “the clash of competing ideas is an important catalyst, not only for the expansion of knowledge but also in students’ development of independent critical judgment….[this] require[s] a safe environment [so that students and faculty] feel free to express their own views.”  The presence of concealed weapons in a college classroom would significantly harm the educationally productive and safe environment necessary to the very mission of higher education.  “There have been unprecedented attacks from many sectors in recent years on higher education institutions and on their authority to create and shape healthy and diverse learning environments, but none is as dangerously destructive than the recent calls to allow concealed firearms on college campuses,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.  “We are proud to endorse the AAUP statement since it is wholly counter to the advancement of liberal learning to legitimate the presence of concealed or visible guns in any educational setting, and especially in settings devoted to the free exchange of ideas, the reasoned debate of contested and controversial issues, and  the larger pursuit of truth.”

Michigan Announced as Twelfth LEAP State

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U and the Michigan Association of State Universities have announced that Michigan is now a state partner in AAC&U’s LEAP initiative.  AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider notes that “AAC&U and the Michigan Association of State Universities share a passion for advocating for liberal education for all students—through studies in science, humanities, the arts, and the social sciences. We are delighted to work with Michigan to ensure that college students throughout the state receive the best possible preparation for purposeful work and citizenship, and flourishing lives.” For information about LEAP Michigan, see: www.aacu.org/leap/states/michigan.

AAC&U Launches New Project to Advance The LEAP Challenge at New England Institutions

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 06:45

AAC&U is pleased to announce a new cohort of eight New England institutions joining The LEAP Challenge initiative. The new cohort will work together to remap curricular pathways and design Signature Work projects to simultaneously support (1) deeper student engagement in learning, (2) higher levels of student persistence and accomplishment, and (3) fuller ways to make students’ accomplishments both visible and valued. For more information, see the press release.

AAC&U Joins with 37 Associations in Support of UT-Austin Before Supreme Court

Monday, November 2, 2015 - 10:30

AAC&U has submitted an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court supporting the University of Texas in the case, Fisher v University of Texas at Austin, which the court will hear on December 9th.  The brief argues for the continuing compelling interest in colleges and universities considering race as part of holistic reviews in admissions.  AAC&U has consistently affirmed the educational value of diversity as a key component of a high-quality liberal education, noting in its 2013 Board Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence that, "In embracing a diversity of ideas and experiences, liberal education likewise embraces a diversity of people, for the opportunity to learn with and from diverse peers is also a critical element of educational excellence. This commitment to diversity and equity in all their forms is what we mean by inclusive excellence."

Excellence in Assessment

AAC&U Joins with Other Higher Ed Organizations to Sponsor Excellence in Assessment Designation

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 08:00

A group of higher education organizations, including AAC&U, has developed new national designation program for colleges and universities that demonstrate excellence at self-assessment to drive internal improvement and advance student success.  The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program recognizes institutions that successfully integrate assessment practices across campus, provide evidence of student learning outcomes, and use assessment results to guide institutional decision making and improve student performance. Institutions working to implement and sustain comprehensive use of assessment of student learning outcomes in written communication and critical thinking are eligible to receive the designations, which will be awarded in two tiers—Excellence Designees or Sustained Excellence Designees—depending on the phase of development. The designations were developed in partnership by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, and AAC&U.  AAC&U also offers a range of assessment resources and tools for colleges and universities, including the VALUE rubrics.

Singapore Embraces Liberal Education

Singapore Embraces Liberal Education

Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 15:30

Yale-NUS College, a new liberal arts college in Singapore, hosted a Symposium on International Liberal Education on October 11 to mark the inauguration of the college. The symposium was attended by leaders in higher education from around the world, including AAC&U president Carol Geary Schneider. Read more about the new college and the growth of liberal education in Asia, with perspectives from President Schneider and others, including National University of Singapore President Tan Chorh Chuan.

Learn How Campuses are Using VALUE Rubrics in New AAC&U Publication

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 09:15

In the latest AAC&U VALUE publication, Assessment That Works, author Peggy L. Maki challenges higher education to make authentic approaches to assessment focused on students’ work a nationally visible and shared core commitment. See how different institutions are using the VALUE approach to assessment in this publication, including a series of case studies.  To purchase, see AAC&U’s online shopping cart. Learn more about the VALUE family of projects and new findings from the VALUE/MSC initiative.


Multi-State Collaboration Releases Initial Findings on Student Achievement of Key Learning Outcomes Assessed Using Common VALUE Rubrics

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 08:15

AAC&U and SHEEO announced today the preliminary findings from the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC) Pilot Study—including data about student’s achievement of three Essential Learning Outcomes: critical thinking, writing, and quantitative literacy.  In the pilot study, faculty used AAC&U’s common VALUE Rubrics to assess 7,000 samples of student work submitted by faculty from 59 institutions in nine states. See the MSC pilot summary slide deck for full information on preliminary results of faculty scoring of student work products, as well as demographics of students whose work was assessed, and rubrics used in the assessments.. See: www.sheeo.org/msc for the full list of participating institutions involved in both the pilot and continuing phases of the MSC work. For more information read the press release, or see also VALUE and Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment. See also articles published by Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

AAC&U President Comments on Release of College Scorecard

AAC&U President Comments on Release of College Scorecard

Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 07:45

President Carol Geary Schneider issued a new statement about the release of the College Scorecard, noting that the Scorecard’s focus on limited data about graduation rates, default rates, and post-graduation salary levels “reinforces the message to students that college is primarily about getting in, getting out, and getting a job….The Department’s energies and resources would have been far better spent supporting efforts to strengthen the quality of college learning and to ensure that all students have equitable access to a liberating education.”  See the full statement and other statements from AAC&U on this topic. See also President Schneider’s Letter to the Editor of The New York Times.

Susan Albertine

AAC&U Vice President Susan Albertine Honored with Award from AGLS

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 06:00

Susan Albertine, AAC&U vice president for diversity, equity and student success, was chosen to receive the 2015 Joseph Katz award by the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS). The award, given every other year, honors someone “whose commitment and activity has contributed greatly to the improvement of the educational experience of students and to the understanding of the theory and practice of general and liberal education at the national level.” Albertine will officially receive the award and deliver a plenary address at the AGLS annual meeting in Milwaukee, WI, September 24–26. Vice President Albertine oversees many projects and programs at AAC&U, including the LEAP States Initiative, and the recently launched Faculty Collaboratives project. 

AAC&U Cosponsoring Goucher College Conference on Issues of Diversity and Equity in A Changing Admissions Environment

AAC&U Cosponsoring Goucher College Conference on Issues of Diversity and Equity in A Changing Admissions Environment

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 09:45

AAC&U is cosponsoring the conference, “Admission: The Road to Higher Education for All,” on September 25-26 at Goucher College. On September 25, Dawn Whitehead, AAC&U’s Senior Director of Global Learning and Curricular Change, is a featured speaker presenting on  “Attaining Inclusive Excellence: Guided by an Equity-Minded Framework.” Register here for the conference and learn more online about AAC&U’s resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence.

Register Now for AAC&U Annual Meeting on Equity, Inclusive Excellence, and Democratic Renewal

Register Now for AAC&U Annual Meeting on Equity, Inclusive Excellence, and Democratic Renewal

Monday, September 14, 2015 - 12:00

AAC&U’s 2016 Annual Meeting, “How Higher Education Can Lead—On Equity, Inclusive Excellence, and Democratic Renewal,” will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC, January 20-23, 2016. Cathy N. Davidson, a distinguished scholar of the history of technology, will kick off the meeting Wednesday night with “Educating Higher: Toward an Equitable, Innovative Future for Higher Education.” Annual Meeting featured events include the Pre-Meeting Symposium on “The LEAP Challenge and the Equity Imperative” and the ACAD Deans’ Institute on January 20; and the 7th Annual E-Portfolio Forum on January 23.  Registration opens September 14.