Initiative

Integrative Learning and Signature Work

Solving complex real-world problems often requires a wide knowledge base that connects concepts learned inside and outside the classroom. AAC&U provides resources that help colleges and universities prepare students for such challenges by fostering and assessing integrative learning across courses and beyond the curriculum.

One way today’s student demonstrate their ability to integrate and apply their learning is through Signature Work. Students pursue an individual project related to a significant issue, problem, or question they define for themselves—immersing themselves in exploration, applying what they learn to real-world situations, and preparing to explain the significance of their work to others. Called “Signature Work” to reflect the high level of personalization and individual initiative involved, such a project bears the distinctive imprint of the interests, commitments, and cumulative learning of the student.

Campus Perspectives

CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

Integrative learning is a collegewide competency that’s intentionally mapped to all undergraduate courses.

EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

Signature Work allows students to develop their diverse talents as they prepare for their chosen careers.

QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

Students work on an individual project that examine a complex issue through multiple lenses.

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

As part of a broader effort to scaffold high-impact practices throughout the undergraduate experience, students engage in Signature Work.

Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work

This AAC&U Institute provides campus teams with time, resources, and support to develop strategies and advance institutional-level efforts that help their students integrate knowledge and skills across disciplines and apply them in real-world settings. Teams have support from national experts, who serve as mentors; access to sessions on leveraging interdisciplinary, integrative, and experiential learning approaches—as well as cocurricular experiences—to expand integrative learning and community engagement; and team time to work on an institution-specific action plan for embedding integrative learning and/or Signature Work across the educational experience.