For Immediate Release

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

At Meeting in Washington, DC, AAC&U Launches New Project, Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence

Jul 26, 2016


Teagle Foundation Grant Supports Project Designed to Improve Student Success Through Greater Intentionality in Guided Learning Pathways

Washington, DC—July 26, 2016—Supported by a grant from The Teagle Foundation, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announces the launch of a new initiative, Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence. Part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) national initiative and building on AAC&U’s ongoing work related to guided learning pathways, curricular transparency, and intentionality, this six-month planning project will lay the foundation for ambitious faculty-led curricular changes leading to improved student learning and success in earning degrees.

Institutions participating in the planning phase of the project include:

  • Community College of Philadelphia (PA)
  • University of Houston-Downtown (TX)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (NV)
  • Winston-Salem State University (NC)

“We are grateful to The Teagle Foundation for providing the opportunity to work with such vibrant partner institutions in demonstrating our shared commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence through the creation of learning pathways,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.    

At the initial project meeting on July 21st and 22nd in Washington, DC, campus teams began developing action plans to create more coherent and intentional curricula that promote purposeful pathways to student success in both completing degree programs and achieving learning outcomes important for life, work, and citizenship. Project participants are utilizing a cycle of intentional learning originally outlined in AAC&U’s publication, Purposeful Pathways: Helping Students Achieve Key Learning Outcomes, and are developing action plans based on the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) framework developed by Hall & Hard in 2006.

“Clear, integrative, purposeful, and efficient curricular pathways are a key strategy to engage students with liberal learning, keep them on the path to graduation, and strengthen institutions,” said Teagle Foundation President Judith Shapiro. “We are pleased to support AAC&U’s efforts to intertwine excellence with equity in higher education.”

The project is led by Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Tia Brown McNair, and is a collaboration across three of AAC&U’s Program Offices. Other project leaders include Dawn Whitehead, Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change, and Kate McConnell, Senior Director for Research and Assessment. 

For more information, see the project web page:

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 more than 1,350 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.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

About The Teagle Foundation

The Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal arts education, which we see as fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life. Our aim is to serve as a catalyst for the improvement of teaching and learning in the arts and sciences while addressing issues of financial sustainability and accountability in higher education.

Information about The Teagle Foundation can be found at