AAC&U News, April 2021
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Apply Now: Institute on Open Educational Resources

Year-Long Institute
Virtual Kick-Off Event on July 26–27, 2021
Applications due April 30, 2021

The Institute on Open Educational Resources (OER) is designed for campuses aspiring to launch or expand initiatives to develop or leverage free and affordable materials in teaching and learning contexts. Utilizing a new institute model, the Institute on OER provides a year-long, online engagement opportunity for teams from campuses or state systems seeking to actualize an ambitious strategy to broaden campus engagement with and adoption of OER. Drawing on research that suggests OER address a number of higher education concerns, including affordability, completion, attainment gaps, and learning, campus teams will develop and enact campus transformation action plans to accelerate OER engagement and adoption within their unique contexts.

Apply Now: Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work

Virtual Learning Experience
July 2023, 2021
Applications due May 10, 2021
The 2021 Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work (ILSW) provides institutions with time, resources, and support to develop and advance institutional efforts to expand integrative learning. Teams will explore and create ways to build students’ capacity to integrate knowledge and skills across disciplines and curricular and cocurricular experiences, transfer learning to complex experiences within and beyond campus, and embed learning into signature work. ILSW is also held in collaboration with the Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-wide Interfaith Excellence, led by Interfaith Youth Core and AAC&U. Teams accepted to the Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work or the Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-Wide Interfaith Excellence have access to sessions and expert faculty from both institutes.

Register Now: AAC&U’s Summer Institutes Symposium

Improving and Accelerating Quality and Equity Initiatives at Scale
June 14, 2021
Virtual Learning Experience

This one-day symposium is designed to bring together teams consisting of state-level leaders and leaders from their campuses who aspire to bring high-impact practices, general education reform, increased equity, or meaningful assessment strategies to scale within and across institutions in their state. The symposium will highlight practices and approaches from diverse state contexts. The symposium is a stand-alone event, but it can also be seen as a companion to either AAC&U’s Institute on General Education and Assessment, which precedes the symposium, or AAC&U’s Institute on High Impact Practices and Student Success, which follows it. The symposium teams will engage in planning activities to foster coordinated, cross-institutional collaboration in the service of improving and accelerating their quality and equity initiatives. Leaders and their members of broad-based consortia and associations are also welcome and encouraged to participate in this event.

Register Now for Upcoming Webinars

AAC&U webinars highlight the work being done at colleges and universities around the country to address challenges and identify best practices for enhancing the teaching and learning experience, demonstrating the value of liberal education, and preparing students to contribute to a diverse democracy and global citizenship. Join us for an array of free webinars this spring:  

Project News

AAC&U Report on Employer Views of Higher Education

How College Contributes to Workforce Success: Employer Views on What Matters Most presents findings from a recent survey of executives and hiring managers. The report explores perspectives on workforce preparedness, the educational outcomes and experiences that affect hiring decisions, and the preparation of recent graduates for short- and long-term career success. Also examined are variations in employer views based on age and level of educational attainment.

New Issue of “Liberal Education”

Amid the pandemic, nearly six in ten students lack basic needs. Students enduring hunger are twice as likely to fail out. More than seven hundred campuses have food banks—but are colleges and universities doing enough? This issue of Liberal Education takes a look at establishing campus food banks and their role during and after the pandemic. Also in this issue: Two policy experts offer their thoughts and assessments about higher education under the Biden administration. Clemson University looks back to move forward on intercultural communication efforts. Faculty deploy a curriculum to combat misinformation. Students learn to map environmental racism. And one solution for tackling student cheating? Rethink assignments.

Call for Papers: “International Journal of ePortfolio”

The International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP), a peer-reviewed journal, is now accepting manuscripts for consideration in its fall 2021 issue. The mission of IJeP is to encourage the study of practices and pedagogies associated with ePortfolios in educational settings. The journal’s focus includes the explanation, interpretation, application, and dissemination of researcher, practitioner, and developer experiences. AAC&U publishes IJeP twice a year, employing a rolling submission process. Those wishing to be considered for the fall 2021 issue should use June 1, 2021, as a submission deadline. The review process generally takes less than ninety days.

AAC&U Launches New Office of Curriculum and Pedagogical Innovation

AAC&U has transformed the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment into the Office of Curriculum and Pedagogical Innovation (OCPI). OCPI will move the field of higher education to even higher heights through its continued focus on faculty development, general education, assessment, and innovative institutes designed to engage campuses and consortia. Please visit the updated website to learn more about OCPI’s initiatives. 

VALUE ADD (Assignment Design & Diagnostic) Tool for Critical Thinking

The VALUE ADD Tools are the latest open educational resource from AAC&U. The tools are designed to help faculty and instructional designers create clear and effective assignments aligned with an essential learning outcome and its corresponding VALUE rubric. The first VALUE ADD Tool, focused on critical thinking, is available to download here.

Call for Resources and Peer-Reviewed Articles

The Office of Curriculum and Pedagogical Innovation has two important initiatives that add publications to the body of literature surrounding ePortfolios and VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education). Please peruse  our web pages and, if you find that we are missing a relevant resource, recommend publications on our collaboration pages for ePortfolios or VALUE.

Application Open for the 2021 Delphi Award

The Pullias Center for Higher Education, in partnership with AAC&U, is accepting applications for the 2021 Delphi Award. The cash prize is awarded to two groups for their work in supporting adjunct, contingent, and non-tenure-track faculty in promoting student success. The award is designed to incentivize assistance for non-tenure-track faculty and to push institutions to support all, not just some, faculty.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

2021 Massachusetts PKAL Network Spring Meeting

Back to Normal? STEM Education and High-Impact Practices Moving Forward
June 3, 2021
Virtual Meeting Hosted by Westfield State University

Please join the Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network for a virtual spring meeting focused on getting back to “normal” in the fall 2021 semester. The meeting will open with a panel of faculty sharing their successes in pedagogy and high-impact practices during the pandemic. The program will consist of workshops, talks, and presentations where presenters can share how remote learning has changed their approach to STEM education, ways to provide students with high-impact practices in a remote environment, and tips for moving forward after a tumultuous time in higher education. The call for proposals deadline is April 22, 2021. The deadline to register is April 26, 2021. Click here for more information and to register.

Other News

Vice President Terrel Rhodes Retires from AAC&U

Terrel Rhodes has retired as vice president of the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment and executive director of VALUE. Since joining AAC&U in 2006, his visionary leadership has led to transformative improvements to higher education pedagogy and assessment. The entire AAC&U community will miss his contributions and companionship.

Kate McConnell Promoted to AAC&U’s Executive Leadership Team

Kate McConnell has been promoted as AAC&U’s vice president for curricular and pedagogical innovation and executive director of VALUE. In this role, she will work to make quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education.

AAC&U’s Magazine Wins Prestigious Print Merit Award

We’re delighted that Liberal Education has won the Society of Publication Designers Print Merit Award. The national award is given to print publications that represent the best editorial creative work. Liberal Education won for the design of the opening spread of the Fall 2020 story “Academic Freedom and the Challenge of Diversity.”

Dawn Michele Whitehead Joins National Academy for International Education

The National Academy for International Education is an honorary society and think tank made up of leaders engaged in shaping international education and advancing the field. AAC&U Vice President Dawn Michele Whitehead is one of twenty-three members of the academy’s inaugural class representing higher education institutions from around the world.

Dawn Michele Whitehead Coauthors White Paper on International Education

AAC&U Vice President Dawn Michele Whitehead is a coauthor of the International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange’s white paper on Advancing Global Stability and U.S. National Security through Peaceful Exchange.

Thank You to Participants of the Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Virtual Conference

Thank you to the more than 1,750 educators and students who joined us for the 2021 Virtual Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success (DESS). Lori Patton Davis kicked off the conference with an insightful keynote titled “Upholding These Truths: Equity, Diversity, and Democracy.” She stated that minoritized communities are placed on the margins of academia and treated as “the help,” referring to the twentieth century Black women who often worked as domestic laborers for wealthy White families. In higher education, minoritized communities are devalued, marginalized, and treated inequitably. The conference concluded with a student panel that shared unique perspectives on how higher education must lean into, learn, and demand change during this moment when the nation is politically and racially divided. The conference not only provided civil discourse on topics within higher education, but also offered a moment of peace in which diverse group of institutions and stakeholders could agree on one thing—the need to uphold equity, diversity, and democracy. We look forward to continuing these conversations and challenging false narratives at our 2022 DESS conference.

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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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