LEAP Principles of Excellence

As part of a national report published by AAC&U’s LEAP initiative in 2007, College Learning for the New Global Century, a national leadership council of educators, policymakers, and business and civic leaders developed a set of principles of excellence for 21st century college learning. Informed by a generation of innovation and by scholarly research on effective practices in teaching, learning, and curriculum, the LEAP Principles of Excellence offer both challenging standards and flexible guidance for an era of educational reform and renewal. The Principles of Excellence can be used to guide change in any college, community college, or university. They are intended to influence practice across the disciplines as well as in general education programs.

Aim High—and Make Excellence Inclusive

Make the Essential Learning Outcomes a framework for the entire educational experience, connecting school, college, work, and life

Give Students a Compass

Focus each student's plan of study on achieving the essential learning outcomes--and assess progress

Teach the Arts of Inquiry and Innovation

Immerse all students in analysis, discovery, problem solving, and communication, beginning in school and advancing in college.

Engage the Big Questions

Teach through the Curriculum to Far-Reaching Issues - Contemporary and Enduring - in Science and Society, Cultures and Values, Global Interdependence, the Changing Economy, and Human Dignity and Freedom.

Connect Knowledge with Choices and Action

Prepare students for citizenship and work through engaged and guided learning on "real-world" problems.

Foster Civic, Intercultural, and Ethical Learning

Emphasize personal and social responsibility, in every field of study.

Assess Students' Ability to Apply Learning to Complex Problems

Use assessment to deepen learning and to establish a culture of shared purpose and continuous improvement.