AAC&U News, January/February 2014
News & Events

January/February 2014

Meetings and Institutes

More than 2,000 Education Leaders Gather in Washington to Address Educational Innovations and America's Global Future

More than 2,000 participants gathered in Washington, DC, for AAC&U's 2014 Annual Meeting (Jan 22-25).  Participants discussed three urgent and intersecting issues: the continuing challenge to define and demonstrate what we mean by high-quality liberal education; attempts to imagine and plan for how technology is changing all aspects of higher education; and the inequality that results when educational opportunity is too closely linked to first-job skills.  Meeting highlights included a Pre-Meeting Symposium on the future of the arts and sciences; an opening plenary featuring E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist for the Washington Post; a special plenary address by Walter Isaacson on “Liberal Education and the Future of Innovation”; and the final plenary by Frank Levy (MIT) on “Technology and the Future of Work and Learning.”  At the meeting, eight graduate students were honored with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, and AAC&U presented the 2014 Ness Book Award to José Antonio Bowen for Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning.  Podcasts of plenary and selected sessions are now online at www.aacu.org/meetings/annualmeeting/AM14/podcasts/.

Learn more about what happened at the Annual Meeting on the AAC&U blog, http://blog.aacu.org. Follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/aacu, #aacu14

Register Now for General Education and Assessment: Disruptions, Innovations, and Opportunities

February 27-March 1, 2014—Portland, Oregon

Attend to share and examine innovations that go beyond a single program or campus, pedagogy or practice, and that show how tenure-track and contingent faculty, other educational professionals, community partners, and students are developing expanded paradigms for general education with outcomes that matter for students, the workplace, and both local and global communities. Speakers include Randall Bass, Sybril Bennett, Adrianna Kezar, Robert Teranishi, and Bret Eynon.

Register by February 5 for reduced rates.

Register Now for Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Policy, Practice, Privilege

March 27-29, 2014—Chicago, Illinois

Attend to learn about the role of diversity and equity in student success and examine—through evidence-based research and model programs—culturally attentive initiatives that increase student persistence while empowering all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in work and contribute to the well-being of our global society. Speakers include Julianne Malveaux, Candace Thille, Sylvia Manning, and Lester Monts.

Register by February 12 for best rates

Send a Team to AAC&U's 2014 Summer Institutes

The Institute on General Education and Assessment will take place June 3-7, 2014, in Burlington, Vermont, and provides campus teams with opportunities to refine and advance general education programs and their assessment. The Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success will take place June 17-21, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee, and is ideal for teams at various stages of work addressing ambitious goals for improving both completion rates and the quality of student learning. The Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments will take place on July 9-13, 2014, in Fullerton, California, and is intended for campus teams seeking to develop leadership for deepening students' integrative capacities across the curriculum and cocurriculum. Complete information about these three institutes, including application materials, is now online.


Indiana and Texas Join the LEAP States Initiative

AAC&U announced that Indiana has officially become a LEAP state partner and LEAP Texas has joined as a consortial partner in AAC&U's signature national initiative, Liberal Education and America's Promise. In becoming a formal LEAP partner state, Indiana is building on prior projects and will be focused on developing a more effective and efficient system of higher education based on learning outcomes and authentic assessments.

LEAP Texas, a collation of more than sixty institutions spanning different state offices and systems, has three main goals: leveraging the newly redesigned State Core Curriculum (largely informed by the Essential Learning Outcomes) to improve undergraduate education; creating a capacity for large-scale, inter-institutional collaboration on assessment; and embedding high-impact practices throughout the undergraduate curriculum. See the LEAP States web page for more details on these new partners.


New PKAL Project to Focus on "Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM"

AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) have received a $4.9 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support TIDES—Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM, a three-year curriculum and faculty development project that will engage at least fourteen competitively selected campuses working to develop models for broad institutional change to advance evidence-based and culturally competent teaching. The initiative will create a national community of faculty leaders committed to developing supportive and empowering environments for students traditionally underrepresented in STEM. See the TIDES web page for more information and to submit an application.                  

PKAL 2014 Summer Leadership Institute

Institute I: July 18–23, 2014
Pendle Hill, Wallingford, Pennsylvania

Institute II: July 25–30, 2014
Baca Campus of Colorado College, Crestone, Colorado

The PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes are designed for both early- and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. Each Institute exposes STEM faculty to the theories and practices required for them to act as agents of change in their home institutions or professional societies. Over 40 percent of institute alumni currently hold positions of leadership on their home campuses. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.                  

Upcoming Regional Network Meetings in North Carolina, Upstate New York

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), AAC&U’s center of STEM higher education reform, invites the entire PKAL/AAC&U community to participate in an upcoming Regional Network Meeting. PKAL North Carolina will host a meeting titled “Active Learning in STEM through Hands-On-Minds-On Pedagogies that Work” on March 28, 2014, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina. This event will take place in conjunction with the North Carolina Academy of Science Annual Meeting. Visit the meeting website for more information. In addition, PKAL Upstate New York will host a meeting on “Improving Student Learning” on April 5, at Monroe Community College, in Rochester, New York. For more information, visit the meeting website.

CLDE Network News

New "Civic Inquiries and Actions across the Disciplines" Project Seeks to Expand the Impact of Civic Learning Within Chicago-Area Colleges and Universities

AAC&U has received a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to expand the work of a “Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Action Collaborative” originally launched in 2012.  The current grant on “Civic Inquiries and Action in the Disciplines” addresses a recommendation in A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future to “define within departments, programs, and disciplines the public purposes of their respective fields, the civic inquiries most urgent to explore, and the best way to infuse civic learning outcomes progressively across the major.” Among other things, this project will involve educators in a summer institute and will develop a set of campus tools to advance and assess civic learning. Through this initiative, AAC&U will also produce a set of disciplinary templates and tools to promote civic inquiries and actions across a range of majors and specializations, available via AAC&U’s online campus toolkit. More information about the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Project is online.

NERCHE Partners with the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement Classification

The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching have entered into a long-term partnership for the continuation of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The Community Engagement Classification is a system of data collection and evaluation that identifies community-engaged institutions. NERCHE will serve as Carnegie's administrative partner to manage and administer the Community Engagement Classification process.

New Publications on Civic Engagement from the Bonner Foundation, Kettering Foundation, BTtoP

Deepening Community Engagement in Higher Education, published by the Bonner Foundation, demonstrates how colleges and universities can enhance the engagement of their students, faculty, and institutional resources in their communities. This volume features strategies to make this work deep, pervasive, integrated, and developmental, qualities recognized by the Carnegie Classification guidelines and others in higher education as best practice. The Higher Education Exchange 2013, published by the Kettering Foundation, serves as a forum for new ideas and dialogue between scholars and the larger public.  The 2013 edition of this annual publication offers readers various essays on public life and civic and democratic engagement. Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) has published Civic Studies, the third monograph BTtoP’s “The Civic Series.” Civic Studies is composed of nine scholarly but accessible essays written by scholars from diverse disciplines and nationalities. The essays address such questions as, “What should good citizens know and do? What scholarly knowledge is useful to citizens?” The volume was edited by Peter Levine and Karol Edward Sołtan.

Bringing Theory to Practice, the Bonner Foundation, the Kettering Foundation, and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) are all members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of thirteen leading civic learning organizations that is coordinated by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and supports efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college.

Project News

AAC&U Global Learning Rubric: Call for Promising Practices

In the spring 2013, AAC&U released the Global Learning VALUE Rubric, which assesses student learning at progressive levels of development across six dimensions of global learning.  Members of the Global Learning Rubric Development Team  are interested in learning more about how campuses are using the rubric and invite institutions to submit examples of their use and/or adaptation of the rubric on their campuses.  If you are interested and would like more information, please contact David Blair, Global Learning Rubric Development Team member and director of institutional assessment at St. Edward's University, at davidab@stedwards.edu.                  

BTtoP Announces $700,000 in Support for Well-Being Initiative

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is pleased to announce over $700,000 in support (including campus matching funds) made to twenty-eight campuses as part of its Well-Being Initiative. Those receiving these grants will form a collaborative learning community working together to gain greater understanding and advance practices and policies that better reflect the transformative promise of higher education for students.

Other AAC&U News

New Report Documents Professional Success of Liberal Arts Graduates

A new report written by Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly and published jointly by AAC&U and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) tracks the long-term earnings and employment rates of liberal arts graduates and counters stereotypes about the value of liberal education.  In addition to providing data on long-term employment outcomes for four-year college graduates with an array of undergraduate majors, the report details how humanities and social science majors, in particular, are flocking to a family of educational and social service professions.  In releasing the report, NCHEMS President Dennis Jones notes that “This report makes a strong case that liberal arts degrees really do prepare their holders for successful careers...[and] reminds us that these degrees also are the primary pathways to careers that society critically needs, but has been unwilling to compensate as well as others.”  See the news release on the report, purchase a print or electronic copy, and download a brochure with select findings about the value of the liberal arts.

An Invitation to Join the Access and Diversity Collaborative

The College Board's Access & Diversity Collaborative (ADC) was established immediately in the wake of the US Supreme Court's 2003 University of Michigan decisions in order to serve higher education institutions in their enrollment policy development efforts. The ADC continues to help institutions advance their goals to create robust postsecondary opportunities for historically underserved youth. The ADC serves as a voice of national advocacy, a resource for pragmatic guidance, and a convener for thought leadership and collective engagement.  A diverse group of leading public and private institutions of higher education and national organizations (including AAC&U) supports the ADC's work as sponsors—and new sponsors are welcome at any time.  Benefits of sponsorship include exclusive access to special ADC events; influence on the ADC agenda and priorities; regular updates on relevant policy, legal, and research developments; and multiple opportunities for recognition.  For additional information, please visit the ADC website or email Brad Quin at bquin@Collegeboard.org.  See also AAC&U's most recent statement on diversity in higher education.

Join AAC&U Member Associates Program

If your institution is a member of AAC&U, you are eligible to become an AAC&U Associate. Associates Program dues are just $60 per calendar year. Associates receive all the benefits enjoyed by their AAC&U Campus Representatives, including subscriptions to all AAC&U's print and online periodicals (Liberal EducationPeer ReviewDiversity & Democracy, and AAC&U News), notice of calls for proposals for institutes and meetings, and invitations to apply for grant-funded projects and to participate in special AAC&U events. Associates now receive an additional 20 percent discount on the purchase of one to ten copies of a single publication purchased via AAC&U's online shopping cart. Learn more about this discount online. For more information, please contact Renee Gamache, membership coordinator, at (202) 884-0809 or memberservices@aacu.org.

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.


Join AAC&U's Associates Program
Please contact Dennis Renner at memberservices@aacu.org for questions about AAC&U membership.