AAC&U News, May 2020
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

2020 Virtual Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work

July 21–24, 2020
Applications will be accepted until May 30.

The 2020 Institute on integrative Learning and Signature Work will be held virtually from July 21 to 24. The full institute curriculum will be delivered online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats. The transition from an in-person to virtual experience has resulted in additional capacity for campus teams to participate, and it has enabled a substantial reduction in the registration fees. The institute is intended for college and university teams interested in advancing programs aimed at building students’ capacity to integrate learning across the curriculum and cocurriculum, foster learning through community engagement, and capture students’ development through signature work. Institute sessions led by national experts will emphasize the value of leveraging general education, interdisciplinary approaches, and cocurricular experiences to achieve campus goals to expand integrative learning and community engagement. 

New Dates and Application Deadline for Institute on ePortfolios

The inaugural Institute on ePortfolios will provide a year-long engagement opportunity for campus or state-system teams seeking to actualize an ambitious strategy to broaden student engagement with ePortfolios. This institute was scheduled to begin in July 2020, but due to COVID-19, the launch has been moved to January 2021 and will be convened with AAC&U’s Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios. The deadline for applications has been moved as well. The new application deadline is now September 17, 2020. Notifications will be sent by October 1, 2020. More information about the Institute on ePortfolios can be found here.

Save the Date: Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

November 5–7, 2020, Arlington, Virginia

AAC&U remains vigilant in tracking developments related to the spread of the coronavirus as they become available. Currently, plans for the AAC&U Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference are still underway. However, concern for the safety and security of our participants is our chief priority. Efforts are ongoing to ensure that any necessary accommodations related to the programming will be made to make the conference accessible to all who would like to attend. Please email pkal@aacu.org if you have any questions. 

Free Webinar Series: Quality, Equity, and Inclusion during the COVID Crisis

As the higher education community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, AAC&U is offering a series of webinars to support those at the forefront of efforts to maintain the commitment to quality, equity, and inclusion. Thanks to generous support from Microsoft, the webinars are available live and on-demand at no cost. The webinars in this series are presented in two formats:

  • Transformational Tuesdays

Hosted by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, presidents, board members, and national changemakers discuss their responses to the COVID-19 crisis, the tough decisions they are making, and how COVID-19 is transforming higher education.

  • Faculty Fridays 

Hosted by AAC&U leaders and featuring special guests, faculty come together as a virtual community for a weekly “happy hour” conversation with the staff, administrators, and community partners who share and support their commitment student success.

Project News

AAC&U Releases New Vision of Educational Excellence Grounded in Equity and Inclusion

The vision of educational excellence AAC&U works to advance is grounded in equity and inclusion. This vision is presented in full in What Liberal Education Looks Like: What It Is, Who It’s For, and Where It Happens, distilling the principles, practices, and contemporary challenges of liberal education. This signature AAC&U publication clearly describes the learning all students need for success in an uncertain future and for addressing the compelling issues we face as a democracy and as a global community—regardless of where they study, what they major in, or what their career goals are. AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella announced the new vision in this video message.

New Book from AAC&U: Teaching for Liberal Learning in Higher Education

By Mary Taylor Huber

Conversations about liberal education typically focus broadly on mission, goals, curricula, cocurricular educational opportunities, or overall student outcomes. Conversations about teaching and learning, by contrast, are more granular, focusing on what happens in the classroom, the teaching practices that faculty individually or collectively elect to use, or how a course or learning experience is designed, delivered, assessed, and improved. This ebook brings these discourses together to explore what is known about teaching practices that promote liberal learning in higher education.

Nominations Due June 26 for the Frederic W. Ness Book Award

We invite your nominations for the 2021 Frederic W. Ness Book Award. Established in 1979 to honor AAC&U’s ninth president, the annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to the understanding and improvement of liberal education. To qualify for the award, a book must have been published in 2019 and meet certain other eligibility requirements. Nominations must be received no later than June 26, 2020. The 2021 award, which includes a $2,000 honorarium, will be presented at AAC&U’s annual meeting in January.

Tell Us Your Story: When Did a Student Teach You Something in Class?

We want to hear from you! Send AAC&U a story about a time a student taught you something in class. We'll feature responses in an upcoming magazine column. Send responses of less than one hundred words to Ben Dedman at dedman@aacu.org.

Call for Papers: “International Journal of ePortfolio”

The International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP), a publication of AAC&U, is a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open-access journal freely available online. It is published twice a year (typically in April and October). IJeP is now accepting manuscripts for consideration for its Fall 2020 issue. Those wishing to be considered for this issue should submit by June 1, 2020, and can expect the review process to take less than ninety days. The full call for proposals, including submission guidelines, can be found here.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

CIRCLE Launches Interactive Youth Data Tool to Track National Civic Engagement

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has launched an interactive data tool on the civic and political participation of young people and the conditions that may help, hinder, and ultimately shape youth engagement in civic life. Explore data state by state using this tool and compare more than forty measures including youth population, participation, and other demographic and socioeconomic factors. Zoom in on your own community and use this information to advance efforts to strengthen and diversify youth voting and civic engagement in the United States.

Campus Compact Announces Newman Civic Fellows

Campus Compact has announced the 2020–21 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, comprising 290 students from member institutions who act as committed leaders working to solve problems on their campuses. The yearlong fellowship awards these students with access to virtual resources and webinars, networks, and opportunities for civic engagement in higher education as well as postgraduate and scholarship opportunities.

CLDE Member BTtoP Offers COVID-19 Resources on Civic Engagement

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) hosts myriad resources for civic engagement institutions working remotely, students displaced by coronavirus but coming together virtually, and educators dedicated to teaching the whole person in our strange new world. These resources will help guide teachers, administrators, and students in adapting to our new reality within the sphere of higher education.

Campus Compact, Bringing Theory to Practice, and CIRCLE 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

“Virtual Togethering”: Please Share Your Input

In light of COVID-19 and the need to shelter in place, BTtoP has adjusted its approach to community engagement by creating opportunities for “virtual togethering.” One such program area is the PLACE (Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators) Collaboratory, which brings together eleven campuses and their community partners in four cities to collaborate on significant public issues like gentrification, homelessness, and climate change through the lens of the public humanities and cultural projects. As social distancing during the pandemic inhibits in-person community building, BTtoP and its PLACE partners have sustained their work through Zoom presentations on oral history, open-forum check-ins, an active Slack workspace, and a possible virtual convening to be held in summer 2020. Apart from its work with PLACE, BTtoP is considering further virtual programming for its wider audience. All are welcome to complete this quick survey on topics that might inform potential virtual togetherings.

BTtoP Director David Scobey Interviewed by Giving Compass

David Scobey was interviewed by the Milken Institute for Strategic Philanthropy for an article in Giving Compass about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on student, faculty, and institutional well-being in higher education, as well as what philanthropy might do to respond. “Students’ primary connection to their learning communities has been thinned out to screen connections with their course instructors, who are themselves struggling with their personal, family, and financial stressors. And students’ practical anxieties—about immediate finances, access to jobs and pay, academic standing and progress, and future prospects in the face of the pandemic—are all themselves causes of social-emotional distress,” Scobey said. BTtoP would like to thank the Milken Institute and Mali Locke for inviting him to share his thoughts during a time of heightened uncertainty and change.

Other News

Applications Open for 2020 Delphi Award Recognizing Support for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

The annual Delphi Award presents $15,000 awards to two institutions or organizations that have demonstrated effective strategies to support non-tenure-track, contingent, or adjunct faculty in pursuing strategic priorities such as student learning and community engagement. The award is an initiative of the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, an initiative of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California in partnership with AAC&U.

Lynn Pasquerella Delivered Concordia College’s Virtual Commencement Address

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella delivered the commencement address to students of Concordia College during their virtual commencement on May 3. “At times, I’m sure it seems there’s no way forward. Yet for me, even on the darkest days, I feel nothing but a sense of optimism precisely because of a promise of a future shaped by Concordia graduates,” Pasquerella said.

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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