Call for Proposals: 2019 Annual Meeting

Raising Our Voices:
Reclaiming the Narrative on the Value of Higher Education


The deadline for the Call for Proposals was Wednesday, July 25.  We thank those who submitted a proposal for presentation at the Annual Meeting, and—as noted in the CFP—we will notify each Contact Person of the proposal's status by mid- to late September.  If you have questions in the meantime, please contact us at

Thank you for your interest in AAC&U's Annual Meeting, and we look forward to seeing you in January.


Description of the Meeting
Conference Tracks

ePortfolio Forum
Session Formats
Writing a Strong Proposal
Information to Include
How to Submit a Proposal
Early Career Participants
Dates to Remember
If You Have Questions

AAC&U invites proposals of innovative, interactive, and substantive sessions that will raise provocative questions, engage participants with evidence of “what works,” and create and encourage dialogue—before, during, and after the conference itself.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Wednesday, July 25.


About the Meeting

The 2019 Annual Meeting will highlight the innovations of member institutions that have implemented proven practices and programs that demonstrate why higher education is essential for students’ future employability and for democratic vitality. Supported by clear evidence of the power of liberal education and bolstered by strong curricular and cocurricular models that advance student success, institutions of higher education can tell our own stories about the value of higher education for today’s and tomorrow’s students. By raising our voices, we can reclaim the narrative and communicate higher education’s relevance in the workplace and society.



We welcome compelling session proposals in the following key topic areas:

Innovative Teaching and Learning Practices and Assessment

  • How are curricular and cocurricular innovations changing the models and methods of student learning?
  • How are high-impact practices empowering students to gain lifelong learning skills, transferrable skills, and/or experiences with the real world?
  • How does the general education curriculum prepare students for applied learning and more advanced content across majors and disciplines?
  • How do we assess high-impact practices for student learning in general education and the majors? How are students being prepared for life and work?
  • How do we assess student learning across the educational experience to capture content knowledge and broader skills?
  • How can accreditation act as a lever for advancing our goals for student learning?

Institutional Change

  • How can institutions change their curricula and classroom spaces to prepare students for full civic participation and jobs of the future that have not yet been created?
  • How can the overall campus climate shift to meet the demands of life, work, and citizenship for today and tomorrow?
  • How do educators create an institution that is prepared for today’s and tomorrow’s students?
  • Through institutional planning, how does an institution prepare for and implement the changes that are necessary for the coming age of automation and increasing digitization in society and the workplace?
  • What are the elements of successful transformation models for institutions of higher education?

Reclaiming the Narrative: Communicating to Multiple Audiences

  • How do we communicate the benefits and power of a transformed curriculum to students, on-campus educators, employers, state legislatures, employers, and/or the media?
  • How do we communicate the value of higher education within our institutions and to our communities?
  • How do we engage employers in the work of higher education—at the institutional, school, division, and/or departmental level?
  • How do we know high-impact practices have improved student success, and how do we communicate this to different constituents?
  • What is the value of higher education to today’s students, and how have institutions integrated these dimensions into the curricular and cocurricular experiences of students?

Creating a Campus Climate That Prepares All Students for Success

  • How do institutions provide opportunities for all students to have access to and full participation in the activities that are valuable for graduates?
  • How do institutions respond to internal and external barriers to the type of learning that students need for full participation in democracy and the workforce?
  • How do we identify and create structures that could ensure greater participation in high-impact practices for all students?

Preparing Students for Civic Life Locally and Globally

  • How has integration of global and/or civic curricula resulted in stronger student preparation for life and work?
  • How are students prepared for meaningful, ethical experiences in the local community and/or globally?
  • How are community members empowered to participate in co-teaching students?
  • How do we structure curricular global and/or civic experiences to ensure participation by all students in these rich experiences?

Preparing Educators for High-Impact Teaching and Learning

  • How is professional development contributing to a higher quality of curricular and cocurricular experiences for students?
  • How is professional development preparing faculty to translate their curricula and course-based experiences into workplace and civic contexts?
  • How are contingent faculty being integrated into professional development in meaningful ways that fit into their challenging contexts?
  • How has professional development evolved to address the value question for higher education?

Equitable Digital Innovations that Advance Student Learning

  • How are digital innovations providing new majority students with greater access to higher education?
  • How are on-campus digital innovations preparing students for jobs that haven’t yet been created?
  • How are digital pedagogies enhancing the quality of the educational experience?
  • How are ePortfolios providing students with stronger preparation for life, work, and citizenship?



Please note the following:

  • The AAC&U audience continues to appreciate—and request—shorter sessions.  We strongly encourage presentations that are crisp, current, and creative.
  • The AAC&U audience has also requested more sessions focused on discussion and participation, so we strongly encourage you to consider submitting a Seminar or Discussion Session
  • The Annual Meeting will include a series of Roundtable Discussions on Saturday morning. We particularly welcome Roundtable proposals that reflect models of innovative work.
  • All sessions will be 30, 60, or 75 minutes in length.  (HEDs Up sessions will include five 10-minute presentations within a 75-minute session.)  With the exception of the 10-minute presentation, all sessions must include opportunities for dialogue with participants.  Please allow time for participants to share their expertise and experiences and incorporate time for activities such as dialogue, reflection, and sharing.


AAC&U is seeking proposals on ePortfolios for the Annual Meeting proper (for presentation on Thursday, January 24, or Friday, January 25) and for the all-day Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios (for presentation on Saturday, January 26).  You will be able to indicate on the online form if you are submitting your proposal for the Annual Meeting proper or for the ePortfolio Forum.


  • Proposals for the Annual Meeting proper are due on July 25.
  • Proposals for the Saturday ePortfolio Forum are due on August 6.



The proposal process is very competitive, and we offer the following suggestions:

  • All proposals should reflect current work, recent findings, and/ or new perspectives.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that link the work of multiple institutions and reflect diverse perspectives, innovations, disciplines, and programmatic areas.  Joint submissions from across campuses, consortia, and campus-community partners are encouraged, and we particularly welcome student perspectives.
  • The AAC&U audience particularly appreciates sessions that illustrate the perspectives of different organizational roles (e.g., faculty members, department chairs, deans, provosts).
  • AAC&U is committed to presenting an annual meeting at which sessions and participants reflect the pluralism of our campus communities.  Please include presenters who bring diverse perspectives and life experiences to the topic or issue your proposal addresses.
  • Do not read your paper at the Annual Meeting. This is the top complaint from audience members each year.  Proposals that refer to the presentation as “this paper” will not be considered.  Speakers that read papers will not be accepted for future presentations.
  • We encourage proposals that address the challenges and obstacles encountered—not just the successes.  As noted in a meeting evaluation: “I appreciated hearing about how well a new program was working, but I found it more valuable to hear about some of the challenges that were eventually overcome.”
  • Sessions should engage participants in thinking about how they might translate and adapt this research or project/model/innovation to their own institutions or professional settings.   “Show and tell” submissions that have little or no applicability to other institutions will not be considered.  
  • We ask that you present work that has proven effective and is well beyond the planning stages.
  • Please keep in mind the time reserved for dialogue when determining how many speakers you include with your proposal.


Proposals that simply describe the work of one particular program or project, and are not applicable or of interest to a broad audience, are likely to be scheduled as 30-minute sessions or roundtable discussions, rather than as stand-alone sessions.

Proposals that promote products or services available for purchase will not be considered through the regular proposal process, but will be referred to AAC&U’s Sponsorship Program.  More information about sponsorships for the Annual Meeting is available by writing to  (Information about 2018-2019 sponsorships will be available and posted online in June 2018.)



Seminar Session
Seminar Sessions are small group discussions—limited to 25 participants—on topics actively discussed and debated within higher education today.  The Seminar Leader(s) will facilitate discussion and provide opening statements and/or provocative questions to open the discussion.  If the emphasis will be on presenting your own work, but with audience discussion, please see "Discussion Session" below.

“HEDs UP” – Higher Ed Session
HEDs UP is a format in the model of “TED Talks.”  HEDs Up presentations are limited to 10 minutes.  The presentation should focus on an innovative project or program, compelling research, or “lessons learned.”   HEDs Up presentations should be provocative, challenging, and, above all, interesting.   (Bonus points for being entertaining, as well.)  

One moderated 75-minute session will consist of five presentations to ensure that the session is lively and moves quickly to the next speaker.   It is especially important in this format that no papers be read.

Digital Learning and Emerging Technologies
Digital learning presentations will focus on curricular models or innovative programs that use new technologies to enhance teaching and learning.

Discussion Session
The primary focus of these sessions is discussion with or among audience members.

Research Session
Research sessions present findings, works in progress, or new methodologies pertaining to the meeting themes.

Roundtable Discussions
Roundtable discussions will provide opportunities for participants to share strategies and successful examples of academic and institutional leadership at all levels.  These are informal discussions, and participants will be welcome to rotate among several discussions or focus on one. 

ePortfolio Session
EPortfolio sessions should include a demonstration and/or links to student or institutional work, if possible.  We encourage proposals on ePortfolios for inclusion in the Annual Meeting (on Thursday and Friday) and/or for the ePortfolio Forum on Saturday, January 27.

Panel Presentation
This is a traditional format with presentation(s) followed by discussion among the speakers and with the audience.



AAC&U encourages sessions that include early career participants, providing them the opportunity to engage and share with the AAC&U membership.  We welcome innovative research, fresh perspectives, and creative, compelling ideas and approaches in any of the existing conference tracks. Speakers who are early career participants can apply for funding from AAC&U to cover conference registration. AAC&U considers early career participants to be:

  • Graduate students who are within one year of degree completion
  • Recent graduates who are no more than five years beyond degree completion, including post-doctoral researchers/scholars, who are working inside or outside the academy



Annual Meeting participants will have Internet access available at all sessions of the Annual Meeting.  We encourage speakers to take advantage of this opportunity and provide a more interactive experience for the AAC&U audience.

We encourage you to post your PowerPoints and handouts prior to the Annual Meeting so participants can access this information before, during, and after your presentation.

If you have links to such materials at this time, please provide the URL address with your proposal. 



Proposal Abstract (400 words)
The abstract should describe the content and significance of the session, seminar, or roundtable, as well as how it relates to the theme of the meeting.  Participants will be most interested in new information, innovative programs, and proven results. 

Brief Description (150 words)
This description will be used for the Final Program.  Please remember that—should your proposal be accepted—a participant’s decision to attend your session will be based in large part on this description.  We encourage you to make it as accurate, and compelling, as possible.

Expected Learning Outcomes (50-75 words)

Please describe—or list—the outcomes with which you hope the audience members will leave the session—i.e., the “takeaways.”




Electronic Submission:
Please submit your proposal electronically as directed on the form. If you need assistance, please contact Suzanne Hyers at or call 202-387-3760.

Please submit your proposal on or before Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

You should receive an automatic message indicating receipt of your proposal when it is submitted. If you do not receive this message, please send an email to Suzanne Hyers at

Final Confirmation re: Receipt of Proposal:
AAC&U will send an email on or before August 10 to each Contact Person as a final confirmation of receipt of your proposal. Please make a note of this. If you do not receive this email, it is possible that your proposal was lost in the data transfer.

You will be notified via email by September 28, 2018, regarding the status of your proposal.

Registration Fees:
All presenters at the Annual Meeting are responsible for the appropriate registration fees. Please be sure all presenters submitted in your proposal have this information. Registration materials will be available online beginning September 17, 2018.

Final Reminders:

  • Please complete all fields, including information pertaining to all additional speakers.
  • Please include links to supplemental materials, if available.

By submitting a proposal, you agree to:

  • Register and pay fees, if the proposal is accepted.
  • Inform your co-presenters about the proposal’s status and the need for all presenters to register and pay fees.


Dates to Remember:

July 25, 2018
Proposals due to AAC&U

September 17, 2018
Registration materials available online

September 28, 2018
Acceptance (or rejection) of proposals sent to all Contact Persons


If You Have Questions or Need Additional Information

Please do not hesitate to contact us at or to call AAC&U at 202-387-3760. We look forward to receiving your proposal.


Session proposals must be received by July 25, 2018