AAC&U News, March 2014
News & Events

March 2014

Meetings and Institutes

Send a Team to AAC&U's Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments

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. The application deadline is March 14, 2014.

Register for AAC&U's Conference on Diversity, Learning, and Student Success

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 approaches 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, Lester Monts, Michelle Asha Cooper, José Moreno, Christi Pedra, and Lon Kaufman.

Registration is available online or onsite at the conference.

Submit Proposals for Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education

The Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference, cosponsored by AAC&U and PKAL, addresses both the importance of increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate degree earners who master complex STEM content and competencies and also the importance of enhancing STEM literacy for all students. Proposals are invited and encouraged to showcase evidence-based practices that reflect any of the themes outlined in the call for proposals, and that are poised for immediate uptake and adaptation in a wide range of institution types, including community colleges and minority-serving institutions.

Propsals are due April 7. Visit the Call for Proposals to find out how to share your work at this conference.

Resources and Podcasts from AAC&U's 2014 Annual Meeting Now Available

AAC&U has posted many PowerPoint presentations and handouts from the 2014 Annual Meeting, as well as links to additional information about projects, programs, and publications.  Resources from the Pre-Meeting Symposium and the E-Portfolio Forum are also available, and we are pleased to note that the International Journal of ePortfolio will publish a special edition in March that features research on e-portfolios presented at the forum. Podcasts of the Annual Meeting's opening and closing plenary sessions, and other featured sessions, are now available on AAC&U's podcast page. We thank everyone who traveled to Washington, particularly those who encountered snow delays, to be part of the 2014 Annual Meeting.


LEAP Campus Action Network Forum Focuses on Faculty Roles and Reward Structures

The ninth Breakfast Forum for the LEAP Campus Action Network (CAN) met at AAC&U's Annual Meeting this January. The invitation-only event, which drew 160 participants, is an opportunity for individuals from LEAP CAN institutions to join in conversation with each other and with AAC&U and LEAP leaders about topics of particular interest to LEAP institutions. This year's Breakfast Forum, titled "Faculty Are the Solution," focused on long-term visions for faculty roles in leading change, short-term steps to achieve positive faculty leadership, and ways to address educational achievement in the context of the changing faculty and the increasing number of faculty on term contracts. As a result of the discussions at the Breakfast Forum, LEAP leaders are looking with a renewed focus at new models for faculty roles and rewards and ways to provide faculty development opportunities within the context of LEAP. Membership in CAN is open to all AAC&U member institutions; in signing up, institutional leaders pledge to use the LEAP framework of learning outcomes, high-impact practices, authentic assessment of student work, and inclusive excellence as the basis for educational reform initiatives on their campus. To sign up for the network, see the LEAP CAN membership page


Apply to Attend the 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.                  

AAC&U Receives 168 Applications for New Initiative on Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM

One hundred sixty-eight institutions have applied to participate in the new intiative TIDES: Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM. From this highly competitive pool of applicants, at least fourteen institutions will be selected to develop models for broad institutional change to advance evidence-based and culturally competent teaching, and to create a national community of faculty leaders committed to developing supportive and empowering environments for students traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields. TIDES is supported by a $4.9 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and will be led by staff in AAC&U’s new Office of Undergraduate Science Education. For more information about this initiative, see the TIDES web page.

Upcoming PKAL 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 two upcoming Regional Network Meetings. PKAL North Carolina will host a meeting titled “Active Learning in STEM through Hands-On-Minds-On Pedagogies that Work” on March 28 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC. 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, NY. For more information, visit the meeting website.

CLDE Network News

Bonner Foundation Initiative Sets Up "Community Information Hubs"

The Bonner Foundation's PolicyOptions.org initiative seeks to establish a network of local "community information hubs" that will make policy information, news, and research available on websites, weekly email news digests, and for policy analysis. PolicyOptions.org is developing websites positioned to fill an important gap in our public life: the availability of accurate, balanced, comprehensive information and analysis about the issues people care about and hope to influence through public policy and civic engagement.

CIRCLE Webinars and Resources on Youth Engagement Now Available

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has hosted a series of free and open online seminars that are now archived and available to those who could not participate. The webinars are designed to engage individuals and groups interested in extending the conversation about the state of youth engagement and future strategies to improve it. This seminar series extends the research and recommendations from the recent report All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement.

Imagining America Explores New Possibilities for University Extension Work

Imagining America has launched a new initiative, Extension Reconsidered, to mark the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, the federal legislation that established the national Cooperative Extension System. The initiative aims to reconsider dominant views of what extension is and what it's for, and to envision what it could and should be in the twenty-first century. This initiative asks how extensions might realize their potential as a force for renewing and strengthening our communities, our democracy, and our civic culture. The Charles F. Kettering Foundation, another CLDE Action Network organization, is one of the several partners with Imagining America in this initiative.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Imagining America, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, and the Bonner Foundation are all members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of thirteen leading civic learning organizations that is convened 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

GEMs Project Launches with Working Groups Meeting to Map Next Generation General Education Pathways

Three working groups and a newly formed Quality Assurance Group began charting a twenty-first-century course for general education and its assessment at a meeting in Washington, DC, on February 10-11.  The Working and Quality Assurance Groups appointed by AAC&U are collaborating as part of an initiative titled GEMs (General Education Maps and Markers), launched with initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2013. GEMs working groups include leading researchers and educators who will lay the groundwork for a cornerstone to capstone “remapping” of general education.  In addition, the Quality Assurance Group will provide guidance both to the GEMs initiative and to AAC&U's ongoing VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) family of projects.  See the news release about the launch meeting for GEMS.

AAC&U Selects Thirteen Scholars to Guide Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills Initiative

AAC&U has chosen thirteen STIRS Scholars to provide leadership for the Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills (STIRS) initiative. STIRS was launched in 2012 to develop the tools to improve the capacity of undergraduate students to use evidence to solve problems and make decisions.  The new STIRS Scholars, chosen through a competitive process, will develop STIRS case studies and draw national attention to evidence-based reasoning and decision making as critical, multifaceted, cross-cutting capacities to be practiced by all undergraduate students in all degree programs. The scholars met together at AAC&U's Network for Academic Renewal Conference on General Education and Assessment in Portland, OR, in late February/early March 2014. A list of the scholars is available at www.aacu.org/stirs/scholars.

Other AAC&U News

Lumina Foundation Calls for Feedback on DQP 2.0

Lumina Foundation is seeking comments from faculty and other interested parties on the second draft of the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP 2.0). The DQP 2.0 is a comprehensive framework describing the knowledge, skills, and applications that prepare graduates to succeed in the economy, civil society, and their own lives. Coauthored by AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, DQP 2.0 incorporates virtually all of AAC&U’s LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. The comment period is open until March 15. Comments on the draft can be submitted through a form on Lumina’s website or e-mailed to dqpcomments@luminafoundation.org

AAC&U and Others Warn US Department of Education about Proposed Ratings System

In November, AAC&U issued a cautionary statement about the US Department of Education's college ratings system, urging that it not be described as metrics for “value” or “worth,” and warning that including salary data as an indicator of “quality” would punish institutions whose graduates flock to public service and teaching. (For more on the salary issues, click here.) Subsequently, AAC&U also signed a community letter, framed by the American Council on Education, which outlined the likely insurmountable problems of any one-size-fits-all ratings system. While the Department of Education has underscored that, given the president's directive, “there will be a new ratings system,” AAC&U is continuing to encourage the department to present its system as “selected indicators,” rather than as an evaluation of institutional worth or value. Deputy Under Secretary of Education Jamienne Studley joined AAC&U presidents for a searching discussion of issues related to the ratings system at AAC&U's Forum for Presidents and Foundation officers.                  

ACAD Releases Third Edition of Resource Handbook for Academic Deans

The American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) is proud to announce the release of the third edition of the Resource Handbook for Academic Deans.  Since the publication of the second edition, higher education has changed significantly and as a result so has the role of the dean. This new edition addresses the work of a dean, from building a relationship with the president to deciding when to leave an institution. Please visit the ACAD website at www.acad-edu.org for information on ordering.

Nominations Now Open for Examples of Excelencia

AAC&U is pleased to announce that Excelencia in Education is now accepting nominations for its Examples of Excelencia initiative. Launched in 2005, the Examples of Excelencia initiative is designed to identify and honor programs and departments at the forefront of increasing academic opportunities and improving achievement for Latino students at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. The initiative is focused on results and disseminating promising practices to others interested in serving Latino students. Nominations for the 2014 awards must be submitted by April 25; selected programs will be recognized at the Celebración de Excelencia on September 30 in Washington, DC. AAC&U has partnered with Excelencia in Education as part of our Making Excellence Inclusive initiative within Liberal Education and America's Promise. Learn more at http://www.edexcelencia.org/examples-of-excelencia/2014.

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.


Please contact memberservices@aacu.org for membership questions.