AAC&U News, January/February 2018
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Register Now: 2018 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy Conference

The Inconvenient Truths
Network for Academic Renewal Conference
March 22–24, 2018, San Diego, California

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths” will provide opportunities for participants to explore the inconvenient truths that stand in the way of fresh and critical thinking about how institutions can prepare all students for success in work, in life, and as globally engaged citizens. Jeff Chang, executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, will critique the state of diversity, equity, race, and resegregation in higher education and provide context for campus practitioners, students, and stakeholders to advance the democratic ideals necessary to serve today’s nontraditional, technologically advanced, and equity-focused student population. Together, presenters and participants will examine the inconvenient truths experienced by faculty, staff, and administrators and design learning opportunities that value students’ cultural wealth, recognize their lived experiences, and honor their exploration and critique of current democratic practice. Visit the conference web page to see a full program and to register. For more information, contact Karen Kalla at kalla@aacu.org or 202.884.7417.

Register Now: 2018 General Education and Assessment Conference

Foundations for Democracy
Network for Academic Renewal Conference
February 15–17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Foundations for Democracy” will focus on how educators throughout all sectors of higher education can promote a coherent, seamless undergraduate experience that champions evidence, values integrity, embraces diversity, requires collaboration, and ensures equity in practice and results. Plenary sessions will include “Reimagining General Education: Design Thinking and Intrinsic Motivation Perspectives” featuring Richard K. Miller, president of Olin College of Engineering; “Faculty Innovation and Leadership: Connecting Student Learning Outcomes across General Education and the Majors,” featuring Claire Howell Major, department head and professor of higher education administration at the University of Alabama; “Hallmarks of Assessment Innovation: Flipping the Conversation about General Education and Assessment,” featuring José F. Moreno, associate professor of Latino education and policy studies at California State University–Long Beach; and “Reinventing Employer Engagement to Support Student Learning,” featuring Jason A. Tyszko, executive director of the Center for Education and Workforce at the US Chamber of Commerce. Visit the conference web page to see a full program and to register. For more information, contact Karen Kalla at kalla@aacu.org or 202.884.7417.

Call for Proposals: 2018 Global Engagement Network Conference

"Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice: Exploring Global Challenges across Disciplinary Boundaries"
Network for Academic Renewal Conference
October 11–13, Seattle, Washington
Proposals Due March 6

The call for proposals is now open for AAC&U’s 2018 conference on “Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice: Exploring Global Challenges across Disciplinary Boundaries.” Conference participants will share how they are connecting institutional leadership with curricular and cocurricular options to ensure that all students experience global learning, using place as a lens through which to understand the world. AAC&U invites proposals that describe promising practices in disciplinary and interdisciplinary, curricular and cocurricular approaches that are preparing students to understand the complexity of contemporary global issues from multiple perspectives and to explore problems by drawing on knowledge from traditional and nontraditional spaces. For more information, contact Karen Kalla at kalla@aacu.org or 202.884.7417.

Send a Team to AAC&U’s 2018 Summer Institutes

AAC&U’s team-based summer institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work in support of advancing campus change initiatives, along with a curriculum focused on important trends, research, and best practices delivered by a resident faculty of educational experts and consultants.

  • The Institute on General Education and Assessment will take place June 5–8 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will provide opportunities to refine and advance general education programs and their assessment. Applications were due February 9.
  • The Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success will take place June 19–22 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will help campuses and state systems advance student success by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education. Applications are due March 1.
  • The Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work will take place July 17–20 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is intended to develop faculty and staff leadership to advance programs and curricula that build students’ capacity to integrate their learning across general education, majors, and the cocurriculum, and to connect it to prior professional, academic, and life experiences. Applications are due March 2.

Information about institutes, including application materials, is now online.

WPI’s 2018 Institute on Project-Based Learning: Applications Due February 13

June 20–23, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts

In partnership with AAC&U, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will host and run the 2018 Institute on Project-Based Learning, a two-and-a-half-day intensive program where teams of faculty and administrators from colleges and universities will gain knowledge about project-based learning and make tangible progress toward integrating that learning into their own curricula. The institute will include interactive workshops, consultations with institute faculty, and collaborative teamwork sessions focused on project-based learning. Participants will come to the institute with a proposal outlining a specific goal or project they would like to advance and will leave the institute with an enhanced understanding of project-based learning and a tailored plan to advance work on their own campuses. Randy Bass, vice provost for education at Georgetown University, will be returning as keynote speaker. Applications are open through February 13, 2018. Hear from past participants about the impact of the institute in advancing project-based learning initiatives on their campuses.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in Massachusetts, Southern California, Washington DC Area, and Ohio

PKAL STEM Leadership Institute

Institute I: July 10–15, 2018
Institute II: July 17–22, 2018
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland

The PKAL STEM Leadership Institute—grounded in the theories of leadership studies, adult learning, and social psychology—is designed to offer early- and mid-career STEM faculty a five-day intensive leadership development experience that strategically blends deep reflection and introspection with didactic and experiential learning. The institute has proven effective in promoting leadership self-efficacy among its participants, with more than 65 percent of its alumni noting a significant increase in their ability to (1) facilitate change, (2) effectively respond to problems, and (3) fully consider the effects of diverse cultures on institutional transformation. Application deadline is March 14, 2018.

Project News

AAC&U Launches Five-Year Strategic Plan

AAC&U’s 2018–22 strategic plan, We ASPIRE, outlines goals and strategic initiatives, reclaims higher education’s civic mission of educating for democracy, and reaffirms a commitment to demonstrating the value of liberal education to prepare students for work, life, and global citizenship. Developed through a comprehensive, integrative planning process that engaged a wide range of stakeholders, members, and constituents, We ASPIRE identifies four strategic goals to guide AAC&U’s work over the next five years: (1) champion faculty-engaged, evidence-based, sustainable models and strategies for promoting quality in undergraduate education; (2) advance equity across higher education in service to academic excellence and social justice; (3) lead institutions and communities in articulating and demonstrating the value of liberal education for work, life, global citizenship, and democracy; and (4) catalyze reform in higher education to emphasize discovery and innovation as fundamental aspects of a liberal education.

AAC&U VALUE Rubric Calibration Training Now Open

AAC&U is seeking volunteers to participate in the 2018 VALUE Rubric Calibration Training, which will be held through June. This represents a wonderful faculty development opportunity, as individuals who complete the training and meet our calibration standards will be certified as VALUE Rubric Scorers and may be invited to score student work submitted during the inaugural year of the VALUE Institute. The number of certified scorers selected for each learning rubric depends on the number of student artifacts submitted and the number of scorers available. Every certified scorer who completes scoring of artifacts for the VALUE Institute will receive a stipend for the work. This year, participants will be trained on one of the following VALUE rubrics: critical thinking, written communication, quantitative literacy, civic engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning, and global learning. If you would like to have your name added to the list for participation in AAC&U’s 2018 VALUE Rubric Calibration Training, or need additional information, please email Wende Garrison, director of VALUE Institute training, at garrison@aacu.org. Inclusion in the training will be organized on a first come, first served basis, with preference given to individuals from institutions who have registered to participate in the VALUE Institute.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Civic Learning in the Major by Design: New Case Studies and Issue of Peer Review

With funding from the Endeavor Foundation, AAC&U is thrilled to announce a new issue of Peer Review and a series of case studies that highlight “Civic Learning in the Major by Design.” Working in tandem, these two new AAC&U resources provide conceptual frameworks and specific details about how to design departmental pathways to ensure that civic learning and social responsibility are dimensions of a student’s major.

Higher Education Exchange Seeks to “Distill Kettering’s Understanding of Deliberation”

Educating for citizenship is a key tenet of the Kettering Foundation’s work. In the Kettering Foundation’s recent edited volume, Higher Education Exchange 2017: Deliberation as Public Judgment, contributing authors explore ways higher education can bridge political divides through developing a civic ethos for deliberation as an exercise of the human faculty of judgment.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Spotlights at March National Conferences

Attendees will find sessions on “Civic and Community Change” and “Free Speech on Campus” during the 2018 NASPA Annual Conference to be held March 3–7 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Democracy Commitment is presenting a preconference workshop session, designed especially for community colleges, on “Immersive Civic Learning through Historical Role-Playing Games” at the 2018 Campus Compact National Conference, held from March 25–28 in Indianapolis, Indiana; the conference is focused on enhancing civic learning and democratic engagement. 

The Kettering Foundation, Campus Compact, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and The Democracy Commitment 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-Sponsored Gathering: Building Faculty Capacity to Support New Majority and Underserved Students

April 2018, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

In April of 2018, BTtoP will cosponsor the second of two working group seminars at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor under the guidance of Barry Checkoway, BTtoP senior scholar, and Chad Berry, academic vice president and dean of the faculty at Berea College. Scholars and colleagues will explore how to better shape higher education for the flourishing of new majority students (including first-generation students, adult learners, and students of color), particularly by examining strategies to better prepare faculty involving culturally responsive pedagogies, identity mindfulness, empathy enrichment, new curricula, and reward structures.

BTtoP Well-Being Grantee Research Collaborative

May 2018, Washington, DC

Led by BTtoP’s national evaluator, Ashley Finley, the Well-Being Research Collaborative, a convening of BTtoP’s 2015–17 Well-Being Research Grantees, will bring together researchers and project leaders from fifteen campus projects to discuss the connection between social and emotional learning (SEL) educational practices and the related effects on measures of well-being and success outcomes for students who have been traditionally underserved within higher education. Beginning with two webinars, the collaborative will culminate in an in-person gathering in Washington, DC, in May 2018. The goal of the Well-Being Research Collaborative is to examine effective campus-based models in relationship to empirical findings to identify the most transferable models for linking well-being with underserved student success and campus commitments to equity.

Meeting the LEAP Challenge

New Report on the Future of Undergraduate Education

The Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education was formed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to develop a national strategy in support of the commitment to an inclusive ideal of an educated society. The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America—the final report of the commission—is available online, with options to download the full report, the report brief, and resources from the report.

Other News

Seven Graduate Students Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

AAC&U presents its annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award to 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 in others; and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. The awards honor the work of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California–Berkeley. The 2018 Cross Award recipients are Kelsey Melinda Boyle, Chemistry, California Institute of Technology; Arianna I. Celis Luna, Biochemistry, Montana State University; Tony J. Cunningham, Clinical Psychology, University of Notre Dame; Anahid Ebrahimi, Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware; Darla Ida Himeles, American Literature, Temple University; Rishi R. Masalia, Plant Biology, University of Georgia; and Alexandra B. Reznik, English Literature, Duquesne University. The 2018 recipients were chosen in a rigorous process from a pool of more than two hundred nominations from 119 institutions, with nominations noting the recipients’ demonstrated or potential leadership abilities in teaching and learning and their strong commitment to academic and civic responsibility.

AAC&U Presents Ness Book Award to Beyond the Skills Gap

At the Annual Meeting in January 2018, AAC&U presented the Frederic W. Ness Book Award to Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work for its contributions to the understanding and improvement of liberal education. Written by Matthew T. Hora with Ross J. Benbow and Amanda K. Oleson, Beyond the Skills Gap emphasizes the critical role of educational practice and design in preparing students for the workforce and ensuring that future employees develop robust technical expertise, cultivate problem-solving and communication skills, transfer abstract knowledge to real-world situations, and foster a lifelong aptitude for self-directed learning. 

New Book: Enhancing Assessment in Higher Education

Enhancing Assessment in Higher Education: Putting Psychometrics to Work is a new book from AAC&U and Stylus Publishing that features a chapter written by Terrel Rhodes, AAC&U vice president for quality, curriculum, and assessment and executive director of VALUE. This new book “provides comprehensive and detailed descriptions of tools for and approaches to assessing student learning outcomes in higher education. The book is guided by the core purpose of assessment, which is to enable faculty, administrators, and student affairs professionals with the information they need to increase student learning by making changes in policies, curricula, and other programs.” AAC&U members receive 25 percent off the cost of the book by using the code AACU25.

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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