AAC&U News, November 2016

News & Events, November 2016

Meetings and Institutes

2017 Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network Winter Meeting: Call for Proposals

January 11, 2017, Worcester, Massachusetts
Proposals Due November 11

STEM faculty members and administrators from both public and private two-year and four-year higher education institutions are invited to submit proposals for the upcoming winter meeting of the Massachusetts Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Regional Network: “Best Practices in STEM and Integrating Undergraduates in Research.” Abstracts from STEM Starter Academies and two-year institutions are especially encouraged. The meeting with be held at Worcester State University on January 11, 2017. Deadline for proposal submissions is November 11.

Annual Meeting on Building Public Trust: Preliminary Program Now Online, Early Registration Ends November 18

January 25–28, 2017, San Francisco, California

AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting—“Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence”—will be held on January 25–28, 2017, in San Francisco, California. The preliminary program and a listing of all sessions is now available online. The Opening Plenary—“Always on the Fringe: Closed Futures and the Promise of Liberal Education”—will be an open discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella featuring Sara Goldrick-Rab, Temple University; Michael Roth, Wesleyan University; Jeff Selingo, The Washington Post; and Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College. Jelani Cobb of the New Yorker will deliver the final plenary, “The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today”; and Jaime Casap of Google, Inc., will present the ACAD keynote luncheon on “Iteration and Innovation in Education.” The Annual Meeting will also feature a premeeting symposium on January 25, “Student Activism and Liberal Education: Faculty Engagement in Turbulent Times,” as well as the Eighth Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on Saturday, January 28. Hotel and registration information is available online. More information on the opening night forum appears below.

Annual Meeting Opening Night Forum—Predict the Future by Inventing It: Accelerating the Pace of Change in Academia

January 25, 2017, San Francisco, California

AAC&U’s Annual Meeting’s Opening Night Forum—“Predict the Future by Inventing It: Accelerating the Pace of Change in Academia”—will be held Wednesday evening, January 25, 2017. AAC&U is pleased to welcome Leticia Britos Cavagnaro and Humera Fasihuddin—codirectors of the University Innovation Fellows Program at Stanford University’s “d.school,” the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design—who will lead an interactive talk on innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. These phrases are thrown around increasingly within academic circles, but what do they really mean and why are they important for today’s generation of students? Please join us for the opening event of the 2017 Annual Meeting, followed by AAC&U’s 2017 Welcoming Reception.

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

February 2325, 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-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. Registration is now open.

2017 Southern California PKAL Regional Network Annual Meeting

March 25, 2017, La Jolla, California

The University of California–San Diego, in partnership with MiraCosta College and the University of California–Irvine, will host the 2017 Southern California PKAL Regional Network Annual Meeting: “Broadening Participation and Persistence in College STEM: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” In recent years, a number of comprehensive STEM education reports have highlighted the importance of improving undergraduate education; increasingly, campuses across the country have become more attuned to inclusion, equity, and diversity issues in undergraduate STEM education. This meeting aims to empower meeting participants to develop more inclusive learning environments at local institutions in Southern California.

2017 Ohio-PKAL Annual Conference: Call for Proposals

May 20, 2017, Findlay, Ohio
Proposals due December 16

Ohio-Project Kaleidoscope (OH-PKAL) will hold its 2017 Ohio PKAL conference at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, on May 20, 2017. This year’s conference is entitled “Evidence-Based STEM Education: Teaching and Student Success.” Proposals are invited and encouraged to showcase evidence-based practices that are poised for immediate uptake and adaptation in a wide range of institutional types, including community colleges and minority-serving institutions. Of particular interest are proposals that effectively integrate two or more of the conference themes. Proposals are due December 16.

Meeting the LEAP Challenge

New LEAP Texas Faculty Fellows Announced

Three new LEAP Texas Faculty Fellows have been announced for the 2016–2017 academic year. The LEAP fellows work on the integration of learning outcomes and assessment activities in line with the LEAP Texas goals and mission and help with professional learning and outreach to other educators. Jeanne Tunks, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and director of the core curriculum at the University of North Texas, will focus on Assignment Design and the Texas Core Objectives. Jonathan Leeprofessor of history at San Antonio College, served on the initial Tuning Project of the American Historical Association and will focus on the Degree Qualifications Profile and the Texas Core Objectives. Nakia Pope, associate professor of philosophy and humanities and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at The University of Texas at Arlington, will focus on the Degree Qualifications Profile and the Texas Core Objectives.  


PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

AAC&U STEM Networks Participate in White House Active Learning Day

October 25 was declared Active Learning Day by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. On Active Learning Day, AAC&U and its Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)—along with over four hundred STEM faculty and administrators from institutions of higher education and STEM professional societies—pledged to support the kinds of active teaching and learning strategies in STEM classrooms that are culturally responsive to today’s undergraduate population. Throughout Active Learning Day, STEM faculty and administrators spent at least ten minutes implementing active teaching and learning strategies, identifying innovative ways to deepen and extend institutional commitments to active teaching and learning, sharing best practices with colleagues, and producing videos of active teaching strategies in practice. Over the next few weeks, AAC&U will use its STEM Central web platform as a vehicle for launching an online video library of Active Learning Day activities that occurred. This library will provide STEM faculty with necessary resources for more effectively implementing active teaching and learning methods with fidelity.


Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Now Available Online: The First Two Webinars in the “Clashes Over Citizenship: Promoting Listening, Learning, and Engagement” Fall Series

The first two of three webinars in the fall series “Clashes Over Citizenship: Promoting Listening, Learning, and Engagement” are available online. “From Fractious Differences to Engaged Dialogues” can be accessed here, and “Income Inequality and the Cost of Citizenship” can be accessed here. This webinar series is presented by the Citizenship Under Siege project, which is directed by AAC&U and The Democracy Commitment and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Second Compact Nation Podcast Addresses Community Engagement Professionals

The second Compact Nation podcast is available online now and features a conversation with Lina D. Dostillio, director of the Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research at Duquesne University, and Andrew Seligsohn, president of Campus Compact. Dostillo and Seligsohn discuss professional development for community engagement professionals.

Poll Reveals Millennial Voters Are Engaged with the Presidential Elections

A recent poll by The Center for Information & Research On Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) shows a sustained engagement by students across party lines in political issues at the presidential level.  Fostering discussions on campus and elsewhere can exert a positive influence since “learning about candidates and issues through direct outreach, and by talking with family and friends, increases turnout by giving people information about the election and candidates, as well as reasons to vote.” 

The Democracy Commitment (TDC) , AAC&U, Campus Compact, and 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.


Project News

LEAP Connections Resource Hub Launched

AAC&U has launched the LEAP Connections Resource Hub—a new online resource hub for community college educators. The hub offers a collaborative space for institutions to connect, discuss, share, and advance evidence-based practices, based on the LEAP framework, that support educational quality and student learning and success. The site is designed for community college faculty as well as other educators, academic administrators, and student affairs professionals, and was developed with support from the Kresge Foundation as part of AAC&U’s Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success initiative. Through Advancing Roadmaps, AAC&U is supporting community college leaders and educators as they work to increase student success and achievement of learning outcomes. 

Funding Available: Bringing Theory to Practice Campus Dialogue Grants on Realizing Higher Education’s Greater Purposes

Deadline for grant proposal submission: Friday, December 9, 2016

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is currently accepting proposals for campus dialogue grants of up to $5,000 for a single institution, or up to $15,000 for consortia (with required institutional matching for both), that will provide support for one-year projects (academic year 2017–2018) based around a set of thematically integrated gatherings or “dialogues” involving a core group of diverse campus constituents. Successful proposals should demonstrate how these dialogues will, through the lens of your unique campus culture and the issues that affect it, facilitate the greater purposes of higher education: learning and discovery, well-being, civic engagement, and preparation for living meaningfully in the world. The design of proposed dialogues and the intended participants within the dialogues should reflect each institution’s unique campus culture and attentiveness to current issues being faced. BTtoP’s hope is that these dialogues will lead to a change in the narrative around higher education from one that views a college education primarily as a pathway to a better job to one that views higher education as a pathway to a better life. An informational webinar hosted by BTtoP’s National Evaluator, Ashley Finley, was held as a resource for potential grantees on October 25, 2016; a recording of that webinar is now available, along with the full RFP and additional supporting materials, here.

Save the Date: Bringing Theory to Practice National Conference on “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being”

Deadline for session proposal submission: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its national conference, “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being,” to be held May 24–26, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. 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. BTtoP is currently seeking proposals for presentations and workshops that offer new theory and scholarship, strategy, and evidence-based practices that reflect the integration of the conference topics, that embody ways to inclusively engage diverse audience members, and that are adaptable to a diverse array of institutional types. Registration for the conference will open in December.


Other News

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella Publishes Op-Ed in Washington Post

On October 20, AAC&U president Lynn Pasquerella published an op-ed in the Washington Post titled “Higher Education Should be a Public Good, Not a Private Commodity.” In it, Pasquerella advocates for a national re-envisioning of the purpose of higher education, moving away from the dominant model of a college or university education as a purely private benefit and toward seeing higher education as “a means of strengthening our democracy as well as bolstering our nation’s economy.” Pasquerella also suggests that the next president should devote his or her attention to this issue, working with leaders in higher education to change national thinking about higher education as well as to “pinpoint the costly factors that are driving up prices and crowding out under-served student populations.”

Grant Cornwell Becomes Chair of LEAP Presidents’ Trust

Grant Cornwell, president of Rollins College and a member of AAC&U’s board of directors, is the new chair of the LEAP Presidents’ Trust. The Trust, a leadership group of select presidents from all sectors of higher education who are committed to advocating for the vision, values, and practices of liberal education in the twenty-first century, was founded as part of AAC&U’s LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) initiative in 2008. A philosopher by training and nationally recognized for his work in defining liberal learning in a global environment, Cornwell is an accomplished leader who, prior to coming to Rollins in 2015, served as president of The College of Wooster. Cornwell presently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations' Global Literacy Advisory Board, has chaired the Great Lakes Colleges Association's board of directors, and has served on the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives and the National Advisory Panel for the Association of Governing Boards’ project on Faculty and Institutional Governance. He is a coauthor of “An Education for the Twenty-First Century: Stewardship of the Global Commons” and has written extensively on multiculturalism, freedom, diversity, and global citizenship. Cornwell succeeds Daniel Sullivan, president emeritus of St. Lawrence University, who helped found the Presidents’ Trust and served as its chair for eight years.

Multi-State Collaborative Garners National Attention

An October 16 story in the Chronicle of Higher Education explores the potential of the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Quality Student Learning, a project of AAC&U and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, to have a significant impact on assessment and improvement of student learning outcomes across higher education. Focusing on efforts at Central Connecticut State University, one of eighty public two- and four-year institutions participating in the collaborative, writer Dan Berrett describes how faculty are using AAC&U’s VALUE rubrics to assess students’ learning as demonstrated through authentic student work, and how assessment results can be used to improve teaching and learning. AAC&U and SHEEO are collecting data from faculty at participating colleges and universities to create a national picture of learning in higher education. Read the story here, and learn more about the project on AAC&U’s website.

Penfield College Hosts STIRS Fellows' Workshops

Penfield College of Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted a series of workshops in September led by AAC&U’s Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills (STIRS) Fellows. The workshops focused on creating vertically integrated curricular pathways to promote student signature work, teaching faculty and administration how to create assignments that encourage use of evidence-based reasoning to promote integrative learning, intentionally scaffolding curriculum to enhance students’ capacities to produce signature work in capstone courses, and more. The STIRS initiative develops tools to improve the capacity of undergraduate students to use evidence to solve problems and make decisions; five competitively chosen STIRS Fellows are leading their institutions in an effort to scale up the framework beyond the course level, incorporating it within thematic, scaffolded, four-year curricula capped by longer-term student projects, which can serve as illustrations of the signature work called for in AAC&U's LEAP Challenge.

AAC&U President Emerita Joins Lumina Foundation as Fellow

AAC&U President Emerita Carol Geary Schneider has been appointed a Lumina fellow. See the Lumina Foundation announcement of her appointment. For more information about Dr. Schneider’s work, visit her website.

AAC&U Seeks Senior Director for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives

AAC&U seeks an experienced and talented individual to serve as Senior Director for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives. The Senior Director will have responsibility for leading AAC&U’s national and state-level leadership, advocacy, and policy presence related to issues of quality in undergraduate student learning; and for leading AAC&U’s agenda, grounded in the LEAP initiative, to advance educational quality initiatives within state systems and state-based consortia. Please visit our web site for the full position announcement.

Making the Most of AAC&U Membership

Join AAC&U Member 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, notice 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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