Creating solutions to support the success of our undergraduate STEM students, particularly those who are academically talented and from low-income households, requires intentional exchange – through dialogue and discourse – between teaching and research communities.
Establishing family-friendly workplace environments that are conducive to career-life balance is increasingly recognized as a necessary institutional strategy to recruit, retain, and advance diverse faculty in STEM, particularly women. However, the inherent heterogeneity of women in the academic STEM disciplines demands institutional measures that extend beyond mere institutionalized policies, but also holistically capture and honor the intersectional lived experiences of women of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, age groups, and sexual orientations.
Give Students a Compass (2008-2011) helped institutions in three state systems—California State University System, Oregon University System, and the University of Wisconsin System—build capacity to support academic excellence for all students, emphasizing the success of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. The project took as a guiding framework the challenge of making excellence inclusive across all institutions of higher learning.
AAC&U celebrated its 100th year of service to higher education in 2015. To mark this milestone, the Association devoted the entire Centennial Year to a far-reaching exploration of the connections between high-quality liberal learning and Americans' global future and the changes needed to drive equitable access to high-quality learning for the millions of students who remain underserved at all levels of our educational system.
Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success will disseminate and advance the knowledge and insights from AAC&U’s continuing work with nineteen community colleges participating in the LEAP Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project. Led by a set of experienced community college leaders, Roadmap schools have brought AAC&U’s LEAP practices and principles to bear on efforts to advance community college student learning and engagement.
This LEAP project is designed to further existing knowledge about the relationship between high-impact practices and underserved student success. Funded by TG Philanthropy and part of AAC&U’s Making Excellence Inclusive and The LEAP Challenge initiatives, this campus-based research project provided insights into the effects of problem-centered curricular designs, particularly integrative learning in general education programs, and transparent teaching practices on underserved students’ learning and success.
Core Commitments aims to reclaim and revitalize the academy’s role in fostering students’ development of personal and social responsibility. The initiative focuses national attention on the importance of students exploring their ethical responsibilities to self and others.
Developing a Community College Student Roadmap is designed to help community colleges create robust and proactive programs of academic support—tied to expected learning outcomes—that engage students at entrance and teach them, from the outset, how to become active partners in their own quest for educational success.
AAC&U’s General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) initiative is designed to develop principles through which institutions of higher education can create general education curricula that focus on core proficiencies, intentional educational pathways within and across institutions, and students’ engagement in work that allows assessment of their demonstrated accomplishments in inquiry- and problem-based learning. GEMs principles are designed so that the next generation of general education programs will strengthen and integrate students’ broad learning across the liberal arts and sciences by connecting general education to big questions in society and to students’ major fields.
Our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) continue to graduate African American science and engineering baccalaureates at disproportionately higher rates than all other institutions of higher education (NSF, 2015). Despite a national imperative to diversify the STEM disciplines, however, these institutions continue to be excluded from national STEM education reform efforts.
The goals of the PCFF project were to provide professional and leadership development for women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), or in NSF natural and behavioral science disciplines, and improve undergraduate STEM education at HBCUs and beyond.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is conducting a research project, funded by the TG Philanthropy Program, to examine undergraduate data from universities across the three Compass state systems (California State University System, Oregon University System, and University of Wisconsin System). The project investigates the impact of engaged learning on traditionally underrepresented populations, specifically first-generation, minority, and low-income students.