Liberal Education

From The Editor

In the winter issue, we presented several perspectives on the ongoing national efforts to increase college completion rates, focusing in particular on the potential negative unintended consequences for educational quality. The issue has drawn an unusually large response from readers. Given the importance of the topic, and in response to the continuing interest in it, we have invited several national educational leaders and practitioners to help us extend this discussion of the completion agenda by contributing to “ nation,” the LEAP blog. As this spring issue of Liberal Education goes to press, we have already posted contributions by Alexander Astin, senior scholar and founding director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California–Los Angeles, and Terry O’Banion, president emeritus of the League for Innovation in the Community College and senior advisor for programs in higher education at Walden University. Others will follow in the coming weeks. We encourage you to visit the blog and join the discussion by adding your comments.

Meanwhile, the current issue is, in a sense, an attempt to keep another conversation going. As Carol Schneider explains in her President’s Message, AAC&U and its members have been working for decades to make diversity and civic learning essential aspects of a contemporary liberal education. The January release of A Crucible Moment, the report of the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, marked a particularly important and promising development in that ongoing work. In the face of a prevailing national dialogue that limits the mission of higher education to workforce preparation and training while marginalizing disciplines basic to democracy, A Crucible Moment calls on the nation to reclaim higher education’s civic mission. The authors in the Featured Topic section of this issue of Liberal Education add their voices to that call.

Special Series of Postings on the Completion Agenda

Sponsored by AAC&U as part of its signature initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), this blog features postings and perspectives on liberal education—how it is changing, why it is so important in today’s world, and what people are saying about it around the country and around the world.

The blog currently features an invited series of postings by national educational leaders and practitioners commenting on issues raised by the completion agenda, the Featured Topic of the winter 2012 issue of Liberal Education.

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