Diversity and Democracy

About This Issue

Higher education in the United States is facing a swift current of change that challenges its traditional pedagogical and curricular models. As student populations become increasingly diverse and America faces pressing challenges at home and abroad, American education must reengineer itself to capitalize on the multiple strengths that students bring to campus. Like engineers designing new turbines to harness the wind’s inherent power, higher education must invent new models that channel students’ potential for excellence through excellent design.

In College Learning for the New Global Century, AAC&U identified several such designs, known as effective (or high-impact) educational practices: first-year seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, opportunities for diversity/global learning, service learning, internships, and capstone courses and projects. These practices have been shown to lead to success for all students, and particularly for traditionally underserved students. Drawing on AAC&U’s Making Excellence Inclusive initiative, this issue of Diversity & Democracyexplores how institutions can use high-impact practices to reengineer themselves and harness the power of inclusive excellence for all.

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