For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-888-0811 (office)

AAC&U Receives Grant from the Teagle Foundation to Guide Faculty-Led Curricular Change and Build Communities of Practice Around Quality and Completion

Jun 15, 2017

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today that it has received a $300,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation for a three-year project to guide faculty-led curricular change and build communities of practice around quality and completion in partnership with the University of Houston–Downtown, Winston-Salem State University, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, and Community College of Philadelphia.

With higher education at a crossroads—amid a changing economy, new technologies, and shifts in enrollment and funding—Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence will re-envision curricular change as a scalable, faculty-led process that engages stakeholders from across an institution to enhance quality in educational design and timely degree completion. Purposeful Pathways will develop resources that help establish broader communities of practice focused on quality and completion by promoting curricula that are efficient, logically and practically coherent, and closely tied to meaningful assessment.

“Faculty play the most critical role on campuses in student success and in curriculum development,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “AAC&U is grateful to the Teagle Foundation for supporting our initiatives to promote faculty leadership in developing comprehensive plans for curricular coherence that combine a commitment to excellence in liberal education and equity.”   

As the leading national association focused on quality in undergraduate education and with extensive experience leading institutional change efforts, AAC&U will facilitate connections and convenings for project teams to build communities of practice through guided discussions on faculty-led curricular change. Project teams comprising faculty and academic leaders will work to create purposeful pathways that guide students to higher levels of learning, intellectual skill development, and practical knowledge, through more coherent and intentional curricula that engage students in high-quality learning experiences (e.g., high-impact practices).

With the support of a previous planning grant from the Teagle Foundation, the four partner institutions designed action plans around priorities unique to their campuses. Project teams analyzed the departments and faculty they would engage and identified performance metrics to measure the impact of their action plans. In Purposeful Pathways, AAC&U will guide teams through the implementation of their action plans and help them better understand how to bring high-impact practices to scale and measure student success.

Project teams will attend AAC&U’s 2017 Summer Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work in July at Loyola University Chicago to refine their respective action plans and to engage with national experts who will provide guidance to enhance implementation strategies.

Through this initiative and with the generous support of the Teagle Foundation, AAC&U seeks to help educate, prepare, and inspire the next generation of leaders by engaging faculty in the process of curricular change that will enhance quality in educational design and timely degree completion.

To learn about AAC&U’s Purposeful Pathways project and resources, see:

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.