2016 Annual Meeting: How Higher Education Can Lead—On Equity, Inclusive Excellence, and Democratic Renewal

January 20, 2016 to January 23, 2016
Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

We have posted on this page resources and materials we received from speakers at the 2016 Annual Meeting. 


Students of color and students from low-income families will soon form the majority of the nation’s college-eligible learners. Their fortunes will shape—for better or worse—America’s economic and global future. These students are democracy’s hope and America’s future.  They need and deserve the advantages of a horizon-expanding higher education. They need and deserve a twenty-first-century liberal education.

                                                       Carol Geary Schneider, President of AAC&U


Pre-Meeting Symposium
The LEAP Challenge and the Equity Imperative
Wednesday, January 20, 8:30 am4:45 pm

Seventh Annual E-Portfolio Forum
Achieving Equity through Student Success and E-Portfolios
Saturday, January 23, 8:00 am5:00 pm


About the Annual Meeting

The 2016 Annual Meeting will focus on higher education’s most pressing educational challenges—those centered on the intersections of equity and quality. 

  • How can higher education provide equitable access to high-quality liberal education to all students?
  • How do we as a community advance equity-minded practices that provide a liberating educational experience for New Majority students who have been previously underserved and less engaged with high-impact practices and clear learning pathways?
  • How do we ensure that all students are prepared for work and life in a turbulent and globally connected environment?
  • What is higher education’s role in reversing the deepening divides and disparities in our society?

Responding to the changing economic and social landscape in America and the world and to better prepare our increasingly diverse student populations for success locally and globally, the 2016 Annual Meeting will foster discussion and encourage action to address the deepening disparities that endanger America’s economic and democratic future. The gaps are widening despite America's promise of universal educational opportunity, and the inequities challenge American ideals.  America’s future vitality is at stake, and higher education must play a critical role to remedy these imbalances.

The meeting will offer equity frameworks and tools to guide the development of institutional structures and practices that expand access to high-quality, liberal education grounded in high-impact practices and inquiry-based learning. Sessions will focus on evidence-based practices that support broad student success and deep, engaged liberal learning.  The meeting will highlight innovative ways to provide students with clear guided pathways and meaningful learning opportunities to prepare them to tackle complex global problems in the workplace and society.  Our goal is to tap the wisdom of those already working creatively to provide an empowering education—rather than deliberately limited opportunity—to those New Majority students who rightly see higher learning as their best hope for a better future.

The Annual Meeting will share lessons learned from colleges and universities that are:

  • Acting with a sense of urgency to provide equitable access to quality education for all students
  • Developing guided pathways to support students educationally and socio-culturally from first to final year and across transfers
  • Implementing evidence-based educational practices that support student success at all levels
  • Preparing students with a sound liberal education to address the workplace and global challenges identified by employers
  • Integrating global learning and civic engagement into the general education curriculum in a meaningful way to prepare students to address unscripted questions prior to entering the globalized workforce
  • Scaling practices “that work” to increase student persistence and achievement in STEM fields
  • Building effective integrative and interdisciplinary curricular pathways for the humanities and social sciences
  • Using digital and connected learning in meaningful ways to ensure inclusive excellence and expand student participation in high impact educational practices
  • Creating successful institutional models where students from all backgrounds are finding academic and professional success
  • Building educationally generative alliances with employers and policy leaders.