AAC&U News, January/February 2017

News & Events, January/February 2017

Meetings and Institutes

Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success: Applications Due March 8

June 2427, 2017, Boston University

Recognizing that equity must be intrinsic to quality, the 2017 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success is designed to help campus- and system-based teams devise equitable, integrative, and learning-centered pathways that deeply connect with the assets that students bring to college. Teams will work with institute faculty to define and develop approaches to learning that are highly engaging to students and that result in more equitable outcomes. Applications must be submitted by March 8.

Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work: Applications Due March 15

July 11–14, 2017, Loyola University Chicago

The 2017 Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work is intended for college and university teams interested in developing faculty and staff leadership to advance programs and curricula that build students’ capacity to integrate learning across general education; majors; cocurricular activities; and prior professional, academic, and life experiences. Today, college graduates must be able to apply knowledge and skills in real-world contexts as they collaborate with diverse groups to develop solutions to complex and urgent problems encountered in globalized workplaces and civic life. Applications must be submitted by March 15.

Wye Faculty Seminar: Applications Due February 15

July 16–21, 2017, Aspen Institute-Wye River Campus, Queenstown, MD 

The 2017 Wye Faculty Seminar, “Citizenship in the American and Global Polity: An Interdisciplinary Seminar for College and University Faculty,” strives to assist professors from colleges and universities in relating their teaching to broad issues of citizenship in the American polity and beyond. Modeled in the tradition of the Aspen Institute Executive Seminars and cosponsored by the Aspen Institute and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), each Wye Faculty Seminar strives (1) to gather a diverse group of thoughtful men and women in intellectually rigorous roundtable discussions, (2) to explore great literature stretching from ancient to contemporary times for the power of ideas on fundamental issues in our society; and (3) to translate ideas into action suitable to the challenges of our age. Applications are due by February 15, 2017; late applications will be accepted until April 15, but late applicants may be placed on a waiting list until the 2018 seminar.

Institute on Project-Based Learning: Applications Due February 13

June 2124, 2017, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts

In partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), WPI will host and run the 2017 Institute on Project-Based Learning, a two-and-a-half-day intensive program where teams 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 bring together teams of faculty and administrators from colleges and universities for 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 return as keynote speaker. Applications are open through February 13. Hear from past participants on the impact of the institute in advancing project-based learning initiatives on their campuses.

“General Education and Assessment: Design Thinking for Student Learning” Conference: Registration Now Open

February 23–25, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona

General education sits at the intersection of an array of demands facing higher education—demands for more intentionally scaffolded, integrated, and engaged approaches to teaching and learning; more campus and community partnerships; more mentoring and advising; more multimodal learning experiences; and, above all, more meaningful assessment of student learning across these efforts. “General Education and Assessment: Design Thinking for Student Learning” will focus on how educators throughout all sectors of higher education can address these and other issues by designing, implementing, and evaluating high-quality general education pathways that are effective for all students—especially those from traditionally underserved groups. Plenary speakers include Helen Chen of Stanford University, Lisa Grocott of Monash University, Peter Doolittle of Virginia Tech, Natasha Jankowski of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment and the University of Illinois, and Catherine Wehlburg of Texas Christian University. The conference also offers a full roster of concurrent sessions and a series of practical preconference workshops. Learn more about this conference, view the conference schedule, and register online.

“Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Voices Leading Change” Conference: Registration Now Open

March 16–18, 2017, Jacksonville, Florida

AAC&U invites you to join with colleagues to explore how the individual and collective voices of students, faculty, staff, and community partners are catalyzing transformative campus and social change needed to create pathways for academic achievement and prepare all students for the unscripted challenges of our global society. “Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Voices Leading Change” will examine strategies for creating (1) inclusive campus dialogues that value diversity of thought, identity, and belief; (2) strategic visioning that embraces diversity and equity as core values of an educated citizenry; and (3) shared and socially responsible learning environments that promote student success and engagement. The keynote address will be delivered by Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America, and the two plenary sessions will be delivered by Becky Wai-Ling Packard of Mount Holyoke College and Felix Braffith and TRiO staff members from the Evergreen State College. Registration now open.

Meeting the LEAP Challenge

Utah System of Higher Education Revises General Education Policy

In September 2016, the State Board of Regents for the Utah System of Higher Education revised their general education policy (Policy R470) to more thoroughly establish LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes in core requirements. The policy also introduces High-Impact Practices and expands distribution requirements to include a greater emphasis on integrative and applied learning. The policy states that general education courses must include “at least four courses in the Core Requirements (Written Communication, Quantitative Literacy, and American Institutions) and at least one course from each of the five Breadth Areas (Arts, Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences). Beginning in their first year, and continuing toward successively higher levels of achievement, students should be able to demonstrate competency in the Essential Learning Outcomes and then continue to gain greater levels of proficiency. Students should optimally complete their General Education prior to the completion of sixty credit hours and be provided learning experiences that include the Essential Learning Outcomes.”

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

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

PKAL STEM Leadership Institute: Applications Due March 14

Institute I: July 11–16, 2017
Institute II: July 18–23, 2017
Institute III: July 25–30, 2017
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.

Project News

Registration Now Open for BTtoP’s National Conference: “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being”

May 24–26, 2017, Chicago, Illinois

Early registration is now open for the Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) national conference, “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being,” to be held May 24–26 in Chicago, Illinois. Discounted rates of $175 for an individual or $125 per person for a team of three or more are available until February 23; regular registration rates will be available until April 6. Facilitated by L. Lee Knefelkamp, BTtoP senior scholar and professor emerita of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, the conference will bring together educators and administrators of all types to focus on the importance of well-being in higher education. Through the lens of intersectionality, conference participants will examine and explore institutional values and campus cultures that acknowledge or contextualize these intersections, support them, and challenge them. This conference takes seriously the commitment to “whole student” development through the exploration of the very elements that make students whole. Participants will be able to attend sessions and workshops that offer new theories, strategies, and evidence-based practices that reflect the integration of the conference topics, embody ways to inclusively engage diverse audience members, and are adaptable to a diverse array of institutional types. BTtoP is interested in encouraging candid conversations and wants to help build and strengthen relationships between and among those at all levels of institutions. Students are welcome and attend free. Learn more on the conference webpage.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Resources to Engage Students in Critically Analyzing Social Media News Content

AASCU’s American Democracy Project has announced a new national initiative on digital polarization. “The Digital Polarization Initiative, or 'DigiPo,' is an attempt to build web literacy by having students participate in a broad, cross-institutional project to fact-check, annotate, and provide context to the different news stories that show up in Twitter and Facebook feeds. If you, your class, or [your] campus project or organization would like to participate, complete this Google Form.”

Panel Presentation and Forum Offer a Critical Look at Civic Education and Engagement

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the director of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), was one of three panelists discussing “What is a Good Citizen?” as part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s #askwith Forums. The “What is a Good Citizen?” panel and discussion was held on December 8, and this video of the presentation is available to share with your students as a starting point to explore citizenship, being an engaged citizen, and the state of civic education in the United States.

AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP) and the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of thirteen 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.

Other News

AAC&U Receives $520,000 Grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

AAC&U has received a $520,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation for a three-year initiative supporting the collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create Centers for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) at higher education institutions across the country. The grant will support a multi-year initiative to implement ten TRHT Centers, which will be designed to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies and create a positive narrative about race in the community. As part of this initiative, AAC&U will create a TRHT Institute, which will assist campuses in the development of transformative action plans to advance racial healing. The goal of the centers, as designed through the institute, will be to empower individuals to live and prosper in a civil and humane society that promotes full inclusion for everyone.

AAC&U Announces New Senior Director for Communications

Anne Jenkins has joined AAC&U as the new senior director for communications. Anne provides strategic leadership for all aspects of AAC&U communications, including messaging and communications strategies to advance AAC&U’s vision, priorities, and activities to both internal and external audiences. Anne oversees media relations, marketing, AAC&U’s website, member communications, and publications development and production. Prior to joining AAC&U, Anne held leadership positions at several strategic communications firms and was most recently Associate Vice President of Higher Education at Communications Strategy Group, where she led the development and execution of strategic communications campaigns on behalf of higher education clients, including colleges and universities, associations, Fortune 500 companies, and start-ups. Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science from Vanderbilt University.

AAC&U President Asks Campus Leaders to Share Statements as Models

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella issued a message, “Deepening Engagement with Diverse Perspectives is Fundamental to a Flourishing Democracy,” on recent events regarding immigration. Her message asks for campus leaders to share statements that may serve as models for others as they seek to communicate with their own campus communities. For a sampling of how campuses are taking action to advance the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity, we invite you to visit our Resources for Campus Leaders Crafting Messages in Response to Issues of Racial and Social Justice. Leaders at member campuses can share their own statements by emailing Ross Berry at communications@aacu.org.

New Publication: Rising to the LEAP Challenge

AAC&U announces the publication of a new bookRising to the LEAP Challenge: Case Studies of Integrative Pathways to Student Signature Work. The book is a series of case studies that reflect the "real-world" application of students' cumulative learning through signature work projects, as put forth in the LEAP Challenge. Such projects focus on complex questions that are meaningful to individual students and to society; require students to integrate, apply, demonstrate, reflect on, and communicate their cumulative learning; and require input from multiple disciplines and perspectives. Colleges and universities can best prepare students to accomplish signature work through guided-pathway curricula and cocurricular experiences in which students can develop and connect their knowledge and skills across broad and specialized study over time. The thirteen case studies included in Rising to the LEAP Challenge demonstrate the variety of forms signature work can take, as well as the institutional contexts and curricular pathways that can effectively support it. The cases are specifically tailored to provide practical advice for campus leaders seeking to design, implement, and assess integrative pathways to student signature work.

AAC&U Promotes National Day of Racial Healing

AAC&U collaborated with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and more than 130 organizations for the first-ever National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. To mark this date, organizations collaborating in WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise carried out a variety of events focused on the TRHT goals of jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value and engaging communities in transforming America’s racial narrative. AAC&U encouraged its members to recognize the National Day of Racial Healing by engaging in efforts to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic, and religious bias and build an equitable and just society where all individuals can thrive. In particular, we encouraged our member colleges and universities to select a manner, unique to each institution’s mission and context, in which to acknowledge the National Day of Racial Healing and to engage in an activity, strategy, or community function that promoted engagement around the issues of racism, bias, inequity, and injustice in our society. To learn more about the National Day of Healing, please visit www.dayofracialhealing.com. For AAC&U resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, please visit our website

AAC&U Selected as Host Organization for the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program

AAC&U is pleased to announce its selection as a host organization for the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, a career-building fellowship initiative designed to expand the reach of doctoral education in the humanities. In 2017, the Public Fellows Program will place up to twenty-two recent PhDs from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year staff positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. Fellows will participate in the substantive work of these organizations and will receive professional mentoring; an annual stipend of $67,500; and health insurance. AAC&U’s Public Fellow will serve as assistant director in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, joining AAC&U’s work with the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise. AAC&U is one of 120 organizations partnering with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT enterprise. Click here for more information about AAC&U’s participation in the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program.

Lingnan Foundation Appoints AAC&U's Lynn Pasquerella Trustee

The board of trustees for the Lingnan Foundation unanimously approved AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella’s appointment as trustee at their December meeting in Hong Kong. The Lingnan Foundation, an American philanthropic organization founded in New York to further the legacy of Lingnan University (now Sun Yat-sen University), has worked since 1893 to advance higher education in South China and encourage understanding and collaboration between Chinese and American scholars through its mission of “supporting scholarly exchange, educational innovation, and service to society.” Board Chairman Chui Lim Tsang and President Ding-Jo H. Currie wrote of Pasquerella’s appointment, “We believe Dr. Pasquerella’s service on the Board of the Lingnan Foundation will further our mission and goals toward stronger and closer collaboration between China and US’s higher education system. . . . We welcome her with great enthusiasm!”

AAC&U Supports Survey on Humanities Education in Community Colleges

Survey Conducted in February 2017

AAC&U is working with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in its important efforts to launch a national survey of humanities education in community colleges in February 2017 to highlight the vitality of the field in this critical sector of higher education. Recognizing that community colleges are vital providers of humanities education in the United States, the American Academy is trying to address the gap in what is now an incomplete picture. Their new survey, which consists of a short questionnaire on the number and type of faculty and students engaged in humanities education, will be sent to the presidents of all public two-year institutions in the United States. With its strong efforts to promote the humanities as a critical dimension of liberal education in two- and four-year colleges, AAC&U seeks the highest response rate possible to the survey and encourages community college members to be sure their institutions are represented in the survey and to advise other community colleges to do the same. If you have any questions about the survey, or would like to be sure your institution is included in the mailing for the survey, please write Robert Townsend, director of the American Academy’s Washington, DC office, at rtownsend@amacad.org. Financial support for the survey is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with earlier work on the project funded under a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning

New book by Bret Eynon and Laura M. Gambino with Foreword by George Kuh

Published by Stylus in association with AAC&U, High-Impact ePortfolio Practice outlines how to deploy the eportfolio as a high-impact practice and describes widely applicable models of effective eportfolio pedagogy and implementation that demonstrably improve student learning across multiple settings. Authors Eynon and Gambino present a wealth of data and revealing case studies demonstrating that, when implemented with a purposeful framework, eportfolios correlate strongly with increased retention and graduation rates, broadened student engagement in deep learning processes, and advanced faculty and institutional learning. The core of the book presents a comprehensive research-based framework along with practical examples and strategies for implementation, and it identifies the key considerations that need to be addressed in the areas of pedagogy, professional development, outcomes assessment, technology, and scaling up. The publication identifies how the eportfolio experience enhances other high-impact practices by creating unique opportunities for connection and synthesis across courses, semesters, and cocurricular experiences, thus enabling students to reflect on and construct a cohesive signature learning experience. The book is available for purchase online

Making the Most of AAC&U Membership

Join AAC&U 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 $70 per calendar year. Associates receive all the benefits enjoyed by AAC&U Campus Representatives, including subscriptions to all AAC&U's print and online periodicals, notices 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 also 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 or from Renée 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.

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