AAC&U News, August 2018
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Register Now: Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice Conference

Exploring Global Challenges across Disciplinary Boundaries
October 11–13, Seattle, Washington
Register by September 10 for best rates

In today’s interconnected world, place is a crucial point of departure for inquiry, collaboration, and discovery. The Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice conference will consider how educators are using place-based disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry to focus and integrate learning across a variety of geographic, cultural, and philosophical domains to engage students in issues that matter to them and to society.

Register Now: Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

Confirming the Authority of Evidence
November 8–10, Atlanta, Georgia
Register by October 8 for best rates.

Hosted by AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope, this conference’s mission is to chart a daring path toward the reform of STEM higher education by strategically integrating disciplinary introspection, social consciousness, and self-reflection into an unparalleled conference experience that gives deeper meaning and purpose to our way of knowing, understanding, and advancing STEM higher education practice, research, and policy.

Call for Proposals: Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference

Engaged Inclusivity: Perceptions, Realities, and Aspirations
March 28–30, 2019, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Proposals Due September 13

This conference will examine what it means to work toward a campus environment where inclusivity thrives through constant reflection, analysis, and accountability. The conference will provide a forum for educators, students, and community stakeholders to raise critical questions about institutional and external practices, policies, and structures that hinder full inclusion and to identify strategies for improving the educational environment for all participants.

2019 Annual Meeting Focuses on Reclaiming the Narrative

Raising Our Voices: Reclaiming the Narrative on the Value of Higher Education
January 23–26, Atlanta, Georgia

“Raising Our Voices: Reclaiming the Narrative on the Value of Higher Education”—AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting—will highlight innovative practices and programs that demonstrate why higher education is essential for students’ future employability and for democratic vitality. Supported by clear evidence of the power of liberal education and bolstered by strong curricular and cocurricular models that advance student success, we can tell our own stories about the value of higher education for today’s and tomorrow’s students. The meeting will feature a Pre-Meeting Symposium, "Is There a Rubric for That? A Decade of VALUE and the Future of Higher Education,” on Wednesday, January 23, and the 10th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on Saturday, January 26. Registration opens in September.

AAC&U’s 2018 Employer Research Webinar: Liberal Education and the Future of Work

August 28, 1:00–2:00 p.m. (EDT)
Free for AAC&U members; $100 for nonmembers

As part of the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, AAC&U commissions national surveys to examine trends related to college graduates and the most important learning experiences and outcomes they need to successfully navigate the global economy. This webinar marks the release of AAC&U’s latest employer survey, “Fulfilling the American Dream: Liberal Education and the Future of Work,” funded by AAC&U and Newman’s Own Foundation. Lynn Pasquerella, president of AAC&U, will moderate a panel including Ronald A. Crutcher, president of the University of Richmond; Lenore P. Rodicio, executive vice president and provost at Miami Dade College; and C. Edward Watson, chief information officer and associate vice president for quality, advocacy, and LEAP initiatives at AAC&U. Webinar attendees will have access to the full report and companion materials, which they can use to communicate the findings to a variety of audiences including students, parents, faculty, community members, and others. There will be time for Q&A during the webinar, and we encourage participants to send questions in advance to webinars@aacu.org.

Project News

Nominations Due October 1 for K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. Nominees must hold student status in January 2019, and award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. A list of previous recipients is available here.

AAC&U Calls for Colleges and Universities to Promote Diversity and Equity

AAC&U has released a statement calling on colleges and universities to fulfill the promise of American higher education by promoting diversity and equity. "Identifying and overcoming the institutional structures and hidden barriers that undermine diversity is an imperative, not only for delivering a twenty-first-century liberal education that prepares students to thrive, . . . but for carrying out our nation’s historic mission of educating for democracy," the statement says.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Recent Article Offers Active Learning Approach for Media Literacy

Abby Kiesa, director of impact at CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), coauthored “A Civic Imperative for Media Literacy” on the CIRCLE website with D. C. Vito, cofounder of The LAMP. This article “highlights the connections between media literacy and civic education and engagement, and argues for a youth-centered, participatory approach to teaching this vital civic skill.” It also offers two pedagogical approaches that faculty can incorporate to encourage students to use media.

Interactive Tool Explores How College Students Could Impact Midterm Elections

Help your students see that their vote matters. The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) launched a new data tool that offers an interactive look at the potential influence of college student voters in the 2018 US midterm elections, including as a share of eligible voting population by state and, for the first time, by congressional district.

CIRCLE and IDHE are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of twelve leading civic learning organizations convened by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and advances efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college. See the CLDE events calendar for upcoming civic conferences and webinars.

BTtoP News

BTtoP to Establish New Formal Advisory Board

On July 1, David Scobey succeeded Don Harward as director of Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP). As part of the director transition and an effort to build on the achievements of the project’s first chapter, the inauguration of a formal advisory board is designed to provide strategic, intellectual, and programmatic counsel to Scobey and the staff, as well as to amplify work to external partners and the larger public. With voices from long-time BTtoP colleagues, including cofounders Don Harward and Sally Engelhard Pingree, as well as new and diverse perspectives, the board includes a wide range of educators, administrators, association leaders, faculty, and staff from a diversity of fields, backgrounds, academic sectors, generations, and regions. The composition is designed to embody BTtoP’s commitment to both foundational academic values and creative change, which will enable the project to integrate established and emerging priorities.

BTtoP Director David Scobey Interviewed by NPR

BTtoP Director David Scobey was interviewed by NPR education reporter Anya Kamenetz about his previous work with adult learners. The interview, “What Adult Learners Really Need (Hint: It’s Not Just Job Skills),” is posted on the nprEd blog. Before joining BTtoP, Scobey served as a senior scholar for The Graduate! Network, a national initiative supporting adult college completion. The interview discusses his research and his work with the Great Colleges for the New Majority, a network of high-performing colleges and programs that offer a high-quality, engaged education for adult learners. Scobey will attend the summer institute of the Great Colleges Network and explore opportunities for BTtoP to partner with adult-serving colleges and programs.

BTtoP Holds Successful Well-Being Grantee Research Collaborative

Led by BTtoP national evaluator Ashley Finley and BTtoP senior scholar L. Lee Knefelkamp, the Well-Being Research Collaborative, a convening of BTtoP’s 2015–17 Well-Being Research Grants, brought together twenty-two researchers and project leaders from thirteen campus projects for a one-day workshop to discuss the connection between social and emotional learning pedagogies and the related effects on outcomes of well-being and success for traditionally underserved students within higher education. At the workshop, collaborative members developed principles of excellence for research on well-being and student success, conceptualized strategies for conducting multi-institutional research, and established foundations for future collaborative projects. See the agenda from the gathering here.

BTtoP Concludes 2017–18 Campus Dialogue Grants

In 201718, BTtoP awarded Campus Dialogue Grants to thirty-eight institutions out of 232 applications. At up to $5,000 for a single institution or up to $15,000 for consortia, the grant funds totaled $193,436 and were matched by $272,848 from the thirty-eight campuses. Grants went to four community colleges, nine public institutions, two academic consortia, and sixteen private institutions, and each campus dialogue team was designed to bridge silos and include one administrative decision maker working to expand the reach, diversity, and inclusiveness of the grant. Approximately 193 dialogues were held with 2,539 staff, faculty, administrators, and students participating. The dialogue projects concluded this spring. View the grant outcomes infographic here.

Other News

Andrew Flagel Joins AAC&U as Vice President for Advancement and Member Engagement

AAC&U has appointed Andrew Flagel as vice president for advancement and member engagement. In this role, he will help promote the mission of AAC&U by leading strategic advancement and membership growth and development. For more than twenty-five years, Andrew Flagel has served to advance the cause of higher education, inclusion, and access across a range of public and private US institutions.

AAC&U Appoints Ashley Finley as Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary to the Board

AAC&U has appointed Ashley Finley as the senior advisor to the president and secretary to the board. Ashley has been an active AAC&U member and leader during her tenure at Dominican University of California. Ashley currently serves as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Dominican Experience at Dominican University of California. She is also the national evaluator for Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP), a national project dedicated to understanding the intersection of students’ engaged learning, civic development, and well-being. Ashley is a highly sought-after speaker, presenter, and writer on the promotion of best practices for student learning across general education, academic departments, and cocurricular activities.

New Issue of "Diversity & Democracy"

Produced in partnership with the Kettering Foundation, this issue of Diversity & Democracy, “Democracy's Graduates: Reimagining Alumnihood,” explores what alumni are saying about civic engagement in and after college and describes how higher education institutions are building relationships with their civic-minded former students. Contributors to this issue examine how alumni are actively engaging in the places where they live and work and helping to improve the undergraduate experience.

New Issue of “Peer Review”

Supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, this issue of Peer Review presents findings from the eight-campus LEAP Challenge: Engaging in Capstones and Signature Work project consortium. Feature articles present cross-consortium perspectives organized around the five themes that emerged during the project—defining capstones and signature work, curricular change and organizing signature work, student preparedness, institutional readiness, and assessment.

Seeking Submissions for “The Academic Minute”

The Academic Minute, a radio segment hosted by AAC&U president Lynn Pasquerella and produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U, is seeking individual submissions for upcoming segments on any topic, and campuses are also encouraged to submit ideas for “weekly takeovers” featuring five separate research segments from a single institution. Recent weekly takeovers featured research from Whitworth University, Cornell College, Lafayette College, Purdue University, University of Missouri, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In addition to being broadcast widely on radio stations around the country, each segment is posted daily on Inside Higher Ed. Please send submissions to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org, and be sure to tune in daily.

About AAC&U News

AAC&U News is written and edited by Ben Dedman. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter's contents, please e-mail dedman@aacu.org.

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