AAC&U News, August 2017

News & Events, August 2017

Meetings and Institutes

2018 Annual Meeting Focuses on Recapturing the Elusive American Dream

“Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?”—AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting—will be held January 24–27 in Washington, DC. The Annual Meeting will reinforce the alignment of higher education, life, work, and citizenship by highlighting evidence-based educational practices guided by clearly articulated goals for student learning—practices designed for students of all backgrounds and across all disciplines and institution types. A Pre-Conference Symposium, “The Power of Civic Engagement—Across Campus, Within Communities, Beyond Borders,” will be held on Wednesday, January 24, and the Ninth Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios will be held on Saturday, January 27. Registration will open on September 15.

Register Now: 2017 Global Engagement and Social Responsibility Conference

“Higher Education's Role in Addressing Global Crises”
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
October 12–14, New Orleans, Louisiana
Register by September 1 for Best Rates

How can we shift students’ and institutions’ narratives from a focus on self to a focus on others so that all members of our higher education communities can become informed, competent, and responsible world citizens? The conference, “Higher Education's Role in Addressing Global Crises,” will highlight how institutions explore local and global topics, providing students with opportunities to apply new learning in diverse contexts—including through nuanced deliberation about the complexity of the real-world issues of our time.  Join colleagues in New Orleans to examine models, practices, and resources for

  • developing courses, programs, and curricula that put student engagement with real-world issues at the center of the educational experience;
  • assessing global learning, engagement, and social responsibility to ensure that all students leave college prepared to address the issues of their time; and
  • preparing faculty for their multiple roles—including teacher, facilitator of difficult dialogues, and mentor.

Register Now: 2017 Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

“Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence”
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
November 2–4, 2017, San Francisco, California
Register by October 2 for Best Rates

Increasingly, our college and university graduates are called upon to address multiple interconnected challenges—including preserving cybersecurity, mitigating climate change, eliminating health disparities, and guarding the integrity of using proven theories as a precondition for decision making. The conference, “Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence,” will address the importance of STEM proficiency for STEM majors and nonmajors alike, as well as the importance of empowering the faculty on whom we rely to increase the number of competitively trained and liberally educated graduates. We invite scholars from across the nation to come together to understand, appreciate, and articulate—in new ways—the complexities of undergraduate STEM teaching and the most appropriate and culturally relevant mechanisms for improving it.

Register Now: 2018 General Education and Assessment Conference

“Foundations for Democracy”
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
February 15–17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Registration Now Open

The value of general education lies in its centrality within the undergraduate experience as a place where all college students can gain the breadth and depth of integrative learning skills they will need to discern fact from fiction, realize strength in diversity, and become agents of democracy. Join colleagues in Philadelphia for the conference, “Foundations for Democracy,” to discuss how educators can promote a coherent and seamless undergraduate experience that champions evidence, values integrity, embraces diversity, requires collaboration, and ensures equity in practice and results—an experience where students understand that the value and purposes of general education, the major, and learning outside of the classroom are one and the same.

Call for Proposals: 2018 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy Conference

“The Inconvenient Truths”
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
March 22–24, San Diego, California
Call for Proposals Due September 6

In his 2009 article in AAC&U’s Diversity & Democracy, “Another Inconvenient Truth: Capturing Campus Climate and Its Consequences,” the late Eric Dey challenged educators to examine the “real” versus the “ideal” view of our campus environments. This perspective recognizes that only through close examination of these often dissimilar viewpoints can institutions achieve the mission of higher education to prepare students for success in work, life, and citizenship, both nationally and globally. To better serve today’s nontraditional, technologically advanced, and equity-driven student population, AAC&U invites proposals for the conference, which will provide a forum for campus educators to reexamine existing institutional frameworks designed for a bygone era, a different student population, and a very different cultural environment. We encourage proposals for sessions that will engage participants in the difficult dialogues necessary to prepare them to lead discussions on campus to ensure all voices are engaged in transcending campus silos and boundaries to create an inclusive campus environment—and an inclusive democracy.

Project News

Video Resources on Transparency and Problem-Centered Learning

AAC&U has released two video resources that discuss the findings of AAC&U’s Transparency and Problem-Centered Learning study. With funding by TG Philanthropy, AAC&U conducted the study at seven minority-serving institutions in the 2014–5 academic year. In one video, Mary-Ann Winkelmes—AAC&U senior fellow and the coordinator of instructional development and research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas—examines the effects of teachers providing two transparently designed, problem-centered take-home assignments (rather than the unrevised take-home assignments used in a comparison group) on first-year college students’ learning experiences. The findings showed a statistically significant positive impact on students’ academic confidence, sense of belonging, and mastery of skills. In another video, Michael Willard, a faculty member in the liberal studies department at California State University–Los Angeles, defines problem-solving, explains the importance of problem-solving assignments for enhancing student learning, and presents strategies for creating effective problem-solving assignments. 

Nominations Due October 2 for K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes 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 others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. Nominees must hold student status in January 2018, and award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Teagle Foundation Grant Supports the Delphi Award for Faculty Models to Support College Student Success

Beginning in 2019, the award will be presented at the AAC&U Annual Meeting by the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success—a partnership of AAC&U and the Earl and Pauline Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. Adrianna Kezar, professor at the University of Southern California, codirector of the Pullias Center, and director of the Delphi Project, received the grant to provide awards to campuses that create best practices for faculty work that supports student success. AAC&U and the Pullias Center initiated the Delphi Project “to support a better understanding of factors that led to a majority of faculty being hired off the tenure track, the impact of these circumstances on teaching and learning, and potential strategies for addressing issues of rising contingency together.”

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Publications to Support Civically Engaged Higher Education Professionals

Beyond Politics as Usual: Paths for Engaging College Students in Politics, edited by the Kettering Foundation, offers best practices to instill democratic engagement in students. The practices and approaches explored in this volume center around the various angles of deliberative dialogue. The Campus Compact’s publication, Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research, An Organizing Guide, offers “practical guidance and methods for using the Action Inquiry Model (AIM) in engaged research initiatives and community partnerships.”

NASPA’s Lead Initiative Guest Blog Offers Examples and Experiences from Civically Engaged Campuses

NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement offers a selection of recent guest blog posts from two- and four-year campuses that explore the benefits of student civic learning and highlight campus accomplishments and the lessons they learned.

Free Ebook to Foster Web Literacy

AASCU’s American Democracy Project recently shared an update on their Digital Polarization Initiative (#DigiPo) announcing the free ebook, Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, by Michael Arthur Caulfield. This ebook can be used with students to help fact check the news and online stories.

The Kettering Foundation, Campus Compact, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and AASCU’s American Democracy Project 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.

Meeting the LEAP Challenge

WaCLA Announces Winners of the College Liberal Arts Essay Contest

The Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) has announced the winners of the College Liberal Arts Essay Contest for 2017. In 500 words or less, undergraduate students responded to this prompt: “A liberal arts education is characterized, in part, by the idea that understanding many different ways of knowing helps students develop into effective and responsible members of their communities. Choose a current issue in your community and explain how you think about it as a liberally-educated citizen.” Lower division winners (first- and second-year students) were Isabelle Jong, Seattle University (first place); Mirka Mandich, Seattle University (second place); and Katherine Gladhart-Hayes, University of Puget Sound (honorable mention). Upper division (third- and fourth-year) winners included Beth McFadden, Whitworth University (first place); Koby Andrews-Howards, Seattle University (second place); and Karina Dautenhahn, Whitworth University (honorable mention).

Other News

New Book on Teaching the Whole Student

Published by Stylus Publishing in partnership with AAC&U, Teaching the Whole Student: Engaged Learning with Heart, Mind, and Spirit “is a compendium of engaged teaching approaches by faculty across disciplines. These inspiring authors offer models for instructors who care deeply about their students, respect and recognize students’ social identities and lived experiences, and are interested in creating community and environments of openness and trust to foster deep learning, academic success, and meaning-making. The authors in this volume stretch the boundaries of academic learning and the classroom experience by seeking to identify the space between subject matter and a student's core values and prior knowledge. They work to find the interconnectedness of knowledge, understanding, meaning, inquiry, and truth. They appreciate that students bring their full lives and experiences—their heart and spirit—into the classroom, just as they bring their minds and intellectual inquiry.”

Jacinta R. Saffold Joins AAC&U as Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Jacinta R. Saffold will join AAC&U in September 2017 through the Mellon/ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Public Fellows program. She will be a member of AAC&U's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation project team. Prior to joining AAC&U, Saffold was a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellow in the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), where she examined how race—specifically for people of color in urban settings—influences cultural representation and access to social benefits in wider American society. Previously, Saffold helped steer Howard University’s strategic undergraduate recruitment and retention plans as the assistant director of recruitment. Saffold earned a PhD in African American studies from UMass, where she also completed a master of fine arts and humanities degree in African American studies and a certificate in women and gender studies. 


Attention Lead Representatives: Please Revise Your Rosters

Lead representatives should have received a letter within the last two weeks inviting them to review their list of campus representatives. Please take a moment to look over your roster to make sure it is current and complete and return the form to AAC&U Membership Office, 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 or by email to memberservices@aacu.org. If you did not receive the form, please contact AAC&U for another copy 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.


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