Publications

AAC&U's publications cover a range of topics and provide the latest research, analysis, and valuable starting points for campus practitioner and policy leader dialogues. AAC&U monographs, reports, and guides focus on teaching, learning, curriculum, and academic leadership, and shine a spotlight on promising practices at every kind of college and university. See below for all AAC&U publications. Click on titles to purchase or download copies.


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What Liberal Education Looks Like presents a guiding vision of educational excellence that is grounded in equity and inclusion. In distilling the principles, practices, and contemporary challenges of liberal education, this signature AAC&U publication clearly describes the learning all students need for success in an uncertain future and for addressing the compelling issues we face as a democracy and as a global community—regardless of where they study, what they major in, or what their career goals are.

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Conversations about liberal education typically focus broadly on mission, goals, curricula, cocurricular educational opportunities, or overall student outcomes. Conversations about teaching and learning, by contrast, are more granular, focusing on what happens in the classroom, the teaching practices that faculty individually or collectively elect to use, or how a course or learning experience is designed, delivered, assessed, and improved. This ebook brings these discourses together to explore what is known about teaching practices that promote liberal learning in higher education.

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Drawing from campus-based research projects sponsored by the AAC&U and the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk provides practical guidance on the design and application of campus change strategies for achieving equitable outcomes. The authors offer advice on how to build an equity-minded campus culture, align strategic priorities and institutional missions to advance equity, understand equity-minded data analysis, develop campus strategies for making excellence inclusive, and move from a first-generation equity educator to an equity-minded practitioner. Central concepts and key points are illustrated through campus examples.

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High-impact practices—such as learning communities, capstones, undergraduate research, and community-based experiences—are effective pedagogies, and most of these practices have been around for decades. Given the intense focus across institutions of higher education on identifying, tagging, and touting their high-impact practices, assessment is what separates the committed practitioners from the casual adopters. Co-released by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, A Comprehensive Approach to Assessment of High-Impact Practices outlines a process of effectively assessing high-impact practices.

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Tradition Shaping Change: General Education in the Middle East and North Africa

Edited by: Maha Al-Hendawi, Abdelhamid Ahmed, and Susan Albertine

Surveying the landscape of general education and core curricula in the Middle East and North Africa, contributors focus on the indigenous features and boundary-crossing goals and outcomes of specific programs in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Tradition Shaping Change illustrates the ways in which colleges and universities in the region are shaping the agenda for higher education at the global level.

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We Have a Rubric for That

First introduced in 2009 as an alternative to standardized tests, the VALUE rubrics are now at the center of conversations about the quality of student learning within and across higher education institutions. We Have a Rubric for That reports on the first decade of the Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Initiative to present compelling evidence of the effectiveness of AAC&U’s signature approach to assessment.

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A Vision for Equity: Results from AAC&U's Project "Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success"

Presenting findings from a three-year project on Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence led by AAC&U in partnership with the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, A Vision for Equity shares lessons learned about addressing equity gaps at thirteen participating campuses. This publication details evidence-based interventions focused on improving student success and includes practical examples, models, and resources for identifying and addressing disparities in student outcomes. The project and publication were funded by Strada Education Network and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates.

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Models of Global Learning

Global education, or global learning, is not about national borders; it is about sharing problems, knowing that many challenges ultimately affect everyone because of the interconnectedness of today’s world citizens. Models of Global Learning provides a descriptive analysis of the global learning projects at twenty-four institutional participants in the AAC&U Shared Futures Project, General Education for a Global Century. The authors describe the overall results and patterns that emerged during this study, several exemplary practices, and their concluding insights. This report contributes to the qualitative research that provides a synopsis of major trends, discussions, and themes that emerge from efforts to support global learning in academic institutions.

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On Solid Ground

Drawing from the first two years of data collection and analysis for the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) initiative, this national report reveals the landscape of student performance on key learning outcomes—critical thinking, written communication, and quantitative literacy—that educators, employers, and policymakers agree are essential for student success in the workplace and in life. An alternative to standardized testing, VALUE is a rubric-based approach to assessment that uses existing student work to provide direct evidence of achievement.

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Rising to the LEAP Challenge: Case Studies of Integrative Pathways to Student Signature Work

Signature work projects focus on complex questions that are meaningful to individual students and to society; require students to integrate, apply, demonstrate, reflect on, and communicate their cumulative learning; and require input from multiple disciplines and perspectives. This publication presents thirteen case studies that demonstrate the variety of forms signature work can take, as well as the variety of institutional contexts and curricular pathways that can effectively support it. The cases are specifically tailored to provide practical advice for campus leaders seeking to design, implement, and assess integrative pathways to student signature work.

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