AAC&U News, May 2017

News & Events, May 2017

Meetings and Institutes: Save the Date

AAC&U's 2018 Annual Meeting: January 24–27

Washington, DC

AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting—“Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?”—will be held January 24–27, 2018, in Washington, DC. The call for proposals will be available online at the end of May, with a deadline of July 21, 2017. We invite you to check AAC&U's website later this month for more information.

Meetings and Institutes: Registration

Global Engagement and Social Responsibility: Registration Opens June 1

A Network for Academic Renewal Conference 
October 12–14, New Orleans, Louisiana

Registration opens June 1 for AAC&U’s 2017 Conference on Global Engagement and Social Responsibility: Higher Education's Role in Addressing Global Crises. Conference participants will explore how well-structured global learning practices provide students with opportunities to deeply engage real-world issues—both on and off campus and across disciplines and majors—through classroom experiences, dialogues, and problem solving with community members, peers, and practitioners. Plenary speakers will include Richard Kiely, senior fellow for program evaluation with Engaged Cornell, who will speak about “Exploring the Role of Community-Engaged Learning and Research in Advancing Global Engagement and Social Responsibility,” and Wajahat Ali, creative director of Affinis Labs, whose keynote address will focus on “Millennial Swagger: Promoting Social Entrepreneurship Through Storytelling and Social Media.” Saturday’s closing plenary session, “Politics, Policies, and Global Learning: Implications for Students, Educators, Research, and Innovation,” will feature Kassie Freeman, chief executive officer of the African Diaspora Consortium; David Ware, attorney-at-law at Ware | Immigration; and Yolanda Moses, associate vice chancellor for diversity, excellence, and equity at the University of California Riverside. 

Transforming STEM Higher Education: Registration Opens June 1

A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
November 2–4, San Francisco, California

Registration opens June 1 for AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope’s 2017 Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education: Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence. The conference will address the importance of STEM proficiency for both STEM majors and nonmajors and will highlight the importance of empowering faculty. Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, will open the conference with a keynote address on institutional transformation to advance STEM research, discovery, and innovation. On Friday morning, Timothy A. McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Education and director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse at the University of Michigan, will share insights from his latest research on learning analytics and will describe the data-driven student support tools that he has applied through the Digital Innovation Greenhouse and the REBUILD project

Meeting the LEAP Challenge

Three High School Students Win Essay Award on Liberal Arts Education

Three high school students in Washington State have been awarded scholarships for their submissions to an essay contest moderated by the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA), a member of the LEAP States initiative. WaCLA is an association of public and private higher education institutions, organizations, and individuals promoting the value of a liberal arts education to the people and communities of Washington State. Responding to the question of how a liberal arts education might shape their understanding of a controversial issue, the winners, McKenzie Murray, Willow Cook, and Elliot Grahn, received scholarships of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively, to attend any institution that is a member of the consortium. Their essays can be found here.

University of New Haven Uses LEAP as a Model for Curriculum Reform

The University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut, has updated its core curriculum based on AAC&U’s LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) model. Students will take foundation courses from each of nine categories (which closely align with the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes): written communication, oral communication, mathematical and quantitative literacy, scientific exploration, critical thinking and problem solving, historical perspectives, the individual and society, global and intercultural awareness, and perspectives on creative arts. Students will then choose courses that focus on these categories in greater depth. The changes will apply to new students beginning in the fall of 2017. 

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in North Carolina; Ohio; Puerto Rico; and Massachusetts

Project News

BTtoP’s National Conference: The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being

May 24–26, 2017, Chicago, Illinois

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is grateful for the positive response to its national conference, “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being,” and registration has now reached capacity. Featuring research from emerging scholars around the country and respected voices such as L. Lee KnefelkampLaura Rendón, and Leeva Chung as facilitators, this conference will bring together students, educators, and administrators of all types to focus on the importance of well-being and “whole student” development in higher education. Conference sessions and workshops will offer new theories, strategies, and evidence-based practices that reflect the integration of conference topics, embody ways to inclusively engage diverse audience members, and are adaptable to a diverse array of institutional types. BTtoP is currently exploring ways to capture the energy and conversations created by the conference, including through an upcoming issue of AAC&U’s quarterly, Diversity & Democracy, which will be produced in partnership between AAC&U and BTtoP. A preliminary program that lists the conference schedule and session descriptions is now available on the conference website.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Recent Publications to Support Civically Engaged Higher Education Professionals

Campus Compact recently published two books, one for faculty seeking to build civic capacities across the disciplines and another for community engagement professionals working to employ effective strategies of engagement between their institutions and communities. Civic Education Across the Curriculum provides rationales and concrete examples to assist practitioners across disciplinary areas in connecting service learning with engaged citizenship. The Community Engagement Professional in Higher Education explores the core competencies employed and distinct role played by community-engagement professionals. In addition, NASPA has produced Engagement and Employability: Integrating Career Learning through Cocurricular Experiences in Postsecondary Education to support student affairs and other higher education professionals seeking to highlight the connection between cocurricular activities and career-readiness skills. 

New Report Suggests Living in “Civic Deserts” Affects Millennial Voter Patterns

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) investigates patterns and differentials in youth voting behavior. Their recent analysis, “Study: 60 Percent of Rural Millennials Lack Access to a Political Life,” calls for expanded civic engagement opportunities in civic deserts. Higher education professionals near “places characterized by a dearth of opportunities for civic and political learning and engagement, and without institutions that typically provide opportunities like youth programming, culture and arts organizations and religious congregations,” may find they are well-positioned to foster meaningful civic engagement among young voters.

Opportunities Offered by Members of the CLDE Action Network

Publicly engaged students of photography or digital media from Imagining America member institutions are invited to apply for a tuition award as part of the JGS Fellows Program before May 22, 2017.  Nominate an engaged scholar from a Campus Compact member institution for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award before June 6, 2017. Help the Interfaith Youth Core set benchmarks for interfaith cooperation in higher education by participating in their Campus Interfaith Inventory before June 30, 2017.

Campus Compact, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), Imagining America, and the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (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.

Other News

Newman’s Own Foundation Appoints AAC&U President to Advisory Board

Newman's Own Foundation has appointed Lynn Pasquerella, president of AAC&U, to its advisory board. In January, AAC&U received a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation for a three-year initiative supporting 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 multiyear 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. “We are delighted to have Dr. Pasquerella join the Newman's Own Advisory Board,” Bob Forrester, president and CEO of Newman's Own Foundation and executive chairman of Newman's Own Inc., said in a press release. “Lynn is a distinguished scholar and teacher, whose lifelong commitment to bringing empowerment and opportunity to the least advantaged in our world will make her a valued colleague and advisor.”

Call for Submissions for “The Academic Minute,” Cosponsored by AAC&U

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella is the host of the radio segment The Academic Minute, produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U. The Academic Minute features faculty and researchers from colleges and universities around the world, discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. Producers of The Academic Minute are seeking submissions; please send your submission to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org

A Recording of AAC&U’s Webinar, “Beyond the ‘A’ Word,” Is Available Online

A recording of AAC&U’s April 17 webinar, “Beyond the ‘A’ Word: Assessment that Empowers Faculty to Take Risks with Pedagogical Innovation,” is now available online. The webinar provides practical techniques, strategies, and case studies that demonstrate an innovative approach to assessing student learning. The webinar also highlights AAC&U’s recent report, On Solid Ground, which outlines the first two years of data collection for the VALUE initiative, a nationwide project that examines direct evidence of student learning. 

AAC&U President Issues Statement on Freedom of Expression in Higher Education

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella issued a statement examining freedom of expression in the academy and the role of higher education in preparing the next generation of informed citizens who will shape our democracy. The statement reaffirms AAC&U’s dedication to playing a leadership role in promoting freedom of expression as a hallmark of liberal education within the context of the current landscape and recent events. “As members of college and university communities come together and appeal to their institutional values in determining whether speech is protected, a commitment to respect for others, free inquiry, and inclusivity must be paramount in maintaining an environment in which the free exchange of ideas can thrive,” Pasquerella said. Read the full statement, “Free Expression, Liberal Education, and Inclusive Excellence,” and share it with others in your community.

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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