For Immediate Release

Contact:
Dawn Michele Whitehead
Interim Senior Director for Communications
202-884-7431
whitehead@aacu.org

AAC&U Announces New Project to Build Faculty Leadership and Capacity to Improve Student Learning Outcomes and Collaborate to Advance Large-Scale Student Success Initiatives

$1,200,000 Grant from Lumina Foundation Builds on Prior AAC&U Work with the Degree Qualifications Profile and Collaboration across States and State Systems
Oct 9, 2014

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the launch of a new project supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation. This project will create a multi-state sustainable network of resource and innovation hubs and a national learning community of faculty fellows working to advance student success through large-scale student learning initiatives.  Working in ten states that have formally affiliated with AAC&U’s LEAP initiative, the Faculty Collaboratives project will build the capacity of faculty to apply Degree Qualifications Profile and Tuning principles to the redesign of general education programs and to the assessment and transferability of student learning outcomes or proficiencies.  Resources developed by the project will be available to all faculty members, regardless of field, discipline, or contract type, both within individual institutions and in states and state systems. The resource hubs will provide open education resources and access to the national learning community of fellows.  The project aims to support faculty members as they improve the learning of highly mobile students from a wide array of diverse backgrounds who often swirl among and transfer across multiple institutions.  The project begins in October 2014 and extends through September 2017.

The Project will:

  • Engage faculty in ten state systems and consortia involved in AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) States Initiative;
  • Develop open-source electronic resource hubs and meeting venues and organize learning communities of faculty fellows in five of the participating LEAP States: California, Indiana, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin;
  • Develop leadership networks among the hubs, including shared access to practical tools and methods that can help all faculty to use the DQP and Tuning for general education redesign and assessment of learning outcomes;
  • Integrate the leadership and learning models for faculty into two other national initiatives--AAC&U’s new General Education Maps and Markers project and the AAC&U/SHEEO VALUE Multi-State Collaborative project;
  • In the second and third years of the project, make outreach to five more LEAP States: Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oregon, and Virginia, and design seed projects;

For the past decade, AAC&U has worked in partnership with state and state-system consortia including broad-access colleges, universities, and community colleges, to advance both high-quality learning and higher levels of persistence and completion for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minority students. As AAC&U prepares to commemorate its Centennial in 2015, the association is committed to further expanding its work with faculty.  “AAC&U is eager to scale up our work with faculty to advance our collaboration for student success and inclusive excellence. We want to develop, lift up, and share new models to engage all faculty in new approaches to general education and learning-centered assessment through use of DQP and Tuning practices,” said Susan Albertine, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success.

“AAC&U’s LEAP initiative and Lumina Foundation’s just-issued Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) both aim to provide a high-quality liberal education to all college students and especially to the New Majority students who are now swirling across multiple institutions as they seek an education that will give them a better future.  LEAP articulates key goals for learning; the DQP shows campuses how degree programs can be redesigned to help students achieve those goals.  As the DQP consistently affirms, faculty play a crucial role in mapping the learning pathways and providing the intended learning.  We are delighted that Lumina’s grant moves faculty leadership to the center of AAC&U’s continuing work on quality and inclusive excellence,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.

Schneider is one of four authors of the Degree Qualifications Profile, which was released in beta form in 2011, tested and evaluated on over 400 campuses, and revised in light of feedback from the community. 

More information about the Faculty Collaboratives is available online here: www.aacu.org/faculty.

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.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income, students of color, first-generation students, and adult learners.  Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of American who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.  Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.  For more information, logon to www.luminafoundation.org