For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)

AAC&U Announces Nine Schools Participating in New Initiative to Advance Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning

Grant to the Association of American Colleges and Universities from The Teagle Foundation Will Support The Development of Principles and Practices for Increasing Students' Achievement of Integrative Liberal Learning Outcomes

Aug 27, 2012

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today that it will partner with nine liberal arts colleges in a new initiative called Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning: Principles and Practices.  Supported by a grant from The Teagle Foundation, this initiative addresses the urgent national imperative to provide students with more engaged educational experiences that teach them how to integrate and apply knowledge and transfer what they are learning from one context to another.

This initiative builds on the work AAC&U has begun through its Liberal Education and America's Promise initiative and seeks to generate sustainable models of faculty leadership for integrative curricular and educational designs.  It seeks to model ways to cultivate sustained and self-renewing faculty leadership for the cumulative aims and outcomes of integrative liberal learning across-the-curriculum.

Participating institutions include:

Babson College (MA)
Bard College (NY)
Clark University (MA)
Colgate University (NY)
Mount Holyoke College (MA)
Skidmore College (NY)
Wagner College (NY)
Wellesley College (MA)
Wheaton College (MA)

"Through our LEAP initiative, AAC&U is working on ways to help students integrate and apply what they are learning—what we are calling the 21st century liberal art," said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.  "The institutions participating in this initiative are uniquely positioned to develop replicable curricular and faculty leadership models that ensure students achieve these outcomes so critical to their long-term success in an innovation-driven economy and globally interconnected world."

Working together, faculty from these campuses will address ways to:

  • Articulate principles and practices to guide integrative liberal learning for today's students;
  • Create and strengthen models for faculty leadership and oversight of integrative liberal learning; and
  • Create and strengthen models for socializing newly appointed faculty to institutional goals for integrative liberal learning.

"As faculty members increasingly work with their students to connect their experiences both in and out of the classroom, they are developing new structures to support faculty collaboration and interdisciplinary work," said AAC&U Senior Fellow Ann Ferren.  "Faculty members have long recognized that students need guidance to integrate their learning across courses, and this initiative will develop a set of principles and practices to develop faculty commitment and sustained attention to integrative learning."

This project will make visible the ways in which faculty are collaborating and building on the work of their colleagues to ensure students have the habits of mind, flexibility, and creative thinking essential for 21st century careers.

Project participants will share lessons and models through various AAC&U meetings, Web sites, and publications.  This 30-month initiative will be led by AAC&U Senior Fellow, Ann Ferren and AAC&U Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change, Kevin Hovland.

AAC&U also has received support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster broader engagement both with the innovative practices being advanced through this project and with the principles and practices for integrative liberal learning that the project expects to produce.  Mellon Foundation support will allow AAC&U to advance collaborative faculty leadership for integration at these and other New England colleges. The Mellon grant will further support a public convening in New England that will call attention to liberal education as a necessity both in the global economy and for civic vitality.