Forward-looking institutions recognize the value of cultivating leadership capacity among STEM faculty and administrators. To this end, the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute empowers STEM faculty, principal investigators, and administrators to recognize their leadership strengths, navigate the politics of change, address conflicts, and restructure the institutional systems that limit America’s capacity for global competitiveness in STEM fields. Through experiential learning, reflection, and the simulation of diverse lived experiences, participants gain the skills and tools to embrace difference, initiate social change, and guide reform in undergraduate STEM education.
AAC&U Institutes offer opportunities for teams and individuals to develop and exchange best practices in support of advancing campus change initiatives.
Through a focus on curricular and cocurricular alignment, defined learning and skill development, and high-impact experiences, campus teams will engage with experts from both higher education and industry to advance curriculum-based projects that promote equity and student success through meaningful career preparation. The Institute’s approach to innovation emphasizes design-thinking, broad and inclusive interdisciplinary perspectives, collaboration across stakeholders, and systemic commitments to equity that prepare students to seek purpose across an array of career paths.
Today’s college graduates must be able to integrate knowledge and skills, as well as apply them within real-world settings for work, life, and citizenship. AAC&U’s Institute on Engaged and Integrative Learning helps campus teams develop strategies and advance institutional level efforts to embed engaged and integrative learning across student on and off-campus experiences. Teams will explore innovative approaches to community engagement, integrative learning, experiential learning, and global learning.
Open educational resources (OER), such as textbooks freely available through an open license, help narrow performance gaps, reduce failure rates, and level the academic playing field. Through the yearlong online Institute on OER, participating teams gain the skills needed to design, launch, expand, and hasten their own campus OER plans for large-scale engagement and adoption. Teams interact with expert consultants and participate in regular webinars and planning sessions.
In bringing people together across lines of religious difference, a campus serves as both a laboratory and a model for how diverse societies can thrive and as a launching pad for the next generation of leaders who can transform diversity into engaged and productive pluralism. The annual Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-wide Interfaith Excellence focuses on the integration of interfaith cooperation into campus life and on the development of civic interfaith leaders.
ePortfolios—digital repositories of student work—allow faculty and other educational professionals to help students organize, preserve the forms of, and reflect upon their learning. In this yearlong institute, participants discover how to best ideate, design, and implement ePortfolios according to their unique needs. Teams of administrators, educators, and student leaders develop and then actualize an ePortfolio strategy under the guidance of institute faculty, identifying and addressing challenges as they arise. This institute is ideal for any campus, state system, or consortium aiming to redesign learning for students using ePortfolios.
Research shows that students involved in high-impact practices (HIPs) enjoy higher levels of learning success. These evidence-based practices include service learning, undergraduate research, and internships—to name a few. AAC&U’s Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success helps campus teams refine and assess their HIPs with an emphasis on quality, equity, and student engagement. Attendees participate in intentional reflection on institutional outcomes, develop comprehensive action plans, and have individualized consultations with HIPs faculty. The institute helps campus and system-level teams create sustainable student success goals and monitor progress toward achieving equity to improve educational outcomes for all students.
The changing demographic landscape of higher education demands that colleges and universities adapt more daring approaches to institutional change that are equally evidence-based and culturally responsive. This transformative event sensitizes STEM reformers to the ways in which institutional systems and structures disproportionately disadvantage STEM faculty and students of color, and other marginalized groups. It emphasizes accountability through critical questioning, critique, deep reflection, and introspection of self, department, and institution.
The growing division across racial and ethnic identities in America cannot be ignored. How can colleges and universities heal from the legacies and harm of racism and bias? AAC&U is partnering with higher education institutions to develop TRHT Campus Centers to prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and thinkers to promote racial healing and address current inequities grounded in notions of a racial hierarchy. As a part of this national initiative, each TRHT Campus Center prioritizes expansive, community-based healing activities that seek to change collective community narratives and broaden the understanding of our diverse experiences.
With a sharp focus on equal access to excellence in higher education, the Institute on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment helps campus leadership teams reimagine and redesign programming to advance student learning and assessment. Participants explore proven strategies to provide career-relevant experiences, integrate general education within majors, craft programs that link student learning with today’s pressing social issues, and accurately evaluate program efficacy.