The AAC&U Centennial Symposium

America's Global Future: Are College Students Prepared?

The AAC&U Centennial Symposium

January 21, 2015
Marriott Marquis Hotel
901 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

About the Centennial Symposium

  • What do our students need from their college studies to contribute and thrive in a 21st-century economy?  In a globally engaged democracy?  In a world beset by major challenges in virtually every sphere of life?
  • What does US society need from higher education as we respond to the new realities—exhilarating and daunting—of global interdependence, economic innovation, demographic transformation, digital opportunities, and fiscal constraints?
  • How do we ensure that the choices we make for our institutions are guided by a single societal priority:  the need to provide the most empowering forms of education to all college students whatever their background, whatever their majors, and whatever their career priorities?
  • How do we work with critical partners—employers, trustees, policy, and community leaders—to ensure both educational integrity and new creativity as we move into the era of generative and ultimately transformational change?

In 2015, AAC&U will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding.  To mark this milestone, AAC&U will devote the entire Centennial Year to a far-reaching exploration of the current and future connections between global flourishing, both for individuals and for society, and what we call the “equity imperative”—the need to provide an empowering education to that “new majority” of Americans who now see higher learning as their best pathway to a better future.

These explorations will begin at the Centennial Symposium—a daylong event designed as a “deep dive” for leadership teams—presidents, senior academic leaders, and key partners such as trustees, employers, and policy leaders.

Responding directly to the widespread hope that higher learning will fuel both individual career success and societal economic creativity, the Symposium will probe the kind of learning that prepares students for an era of global interdependence.  And, it will turn a spotlight on the most promising new directions for higher education—interventions that combine the “big picture thinking” of a cosmopolitan liberal education with sought-after skills and real-world experience in putting knowledge to work.

We invite AAC&U members to attend the Symposium in teams of up to five that may include trustees, employers, and other key partners, as well as presidents, chief academic officers, and faculty leaders.