For Immediate Release

Dawn Michele Whitehead
Interim Vice President of Communications

AAC&U Announces New Project to Support Community College Leadership for Student Success

$290,000 Grant from The Kresge Foundation Builds on Prior AAC&U Work to Develop a Community College Student Roadmap
Oct 1, 2014

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the launch of a new project, Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success. This project is supported by a grant from The Kresge Foundation.  Advancing Roadmaps will disseminate and advance the knowledge and insights from AAC&U’s continuing work with nineteen community colleges participating in the Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project. Led by a set of experienced community college leaders, Roadmap schools have applied AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative practices and principles to bear on efforts to advance community college student learning and engagement. Beginning in September 2014 and through August 2016, Advancing Roadmaps will scale these strategies to support guided learning pathways potentially useful for all students and build national, regional, and state partnerships among organizations committed to improving student learning and success at two-year institutions, including Achieving the Dream, Inc. and Jobs for the Future. 

“AAC&U is committed to making excellence inclusive by improving high-quality learning at two-year institutions in order to increase college completion and student success,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.

The Project Will:

  • Sponsor special programming for community college leaders as part of AAC&U’s January 21-24, 2015 Centennial Annual Meeting, “Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and the Equity Imperative” in Washington, DC;
  • Develop an open source electronic resource hub to scale the use of evidence-based LEAP practices at community colleges;
  • Expand partnerships with national organizations seeking to improve community college student success; publish a special issue of AAC&U’s journal, Peer Review to highlight collaborative efforts in support of community college student success; and
  • Support nine community colleges to continue implementation of campus action plans to advance LEAP purposes and practices developed through the original Roadmap Project.

“We are delighted to support the Community College Leadership Summit at the Centennial Annual Meeting,” said Caroline Altman Smith, Senior Program Officer at The Kresge Foundation. “Inclusive excellence is a key tenet of AAC&U’s mission, and we’re excited that this programming will broaden AAC&U’s engagement in the community college sector.”

For the past two decades, AAC&U has worked intensively with numerous broad-access colleges, universities, and community colleges to advance both high-quality learning and higher levels of persistence and completion for first-generation and low-income students. As AAC&U prepares to commemorate its centennial in 2015, AAC&U is committed to further expanding its work with community colleges. “AAC&U is pleased to continue our work with community colleges to advance student success and to make excellence inclusive. We look forward to developing resources to scale LEAP practices and principles to support guided learning pathways for all students,” said Tia McNair, Senior Director for Student Success.

LEAP Roadmap colleges are led by a set of experienced community college leaders already working with AAC&U’s LEAP initiative. They are bringing LEAP ideas and resources to bear on efforts to advance community college student learning and engagement. More information about the Roadmap Project for Community Colleges is available online here:

For more information about AAC&U’s new project, Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success, 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 more than 1,300 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.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development efforts in Detroit. In 2013, the Board of Trustees approved 316 awards totaling $122 million; $128 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, our Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $17.7 million in 2013. For more information, visit