What's New

Faculty and Administrative Teams from 119 Institutions, 34 States, and 4 Countries to Attend AAC&U 2016 Summer Institutes

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 08:15

AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2016 summer institutes. Teams of five or more participants from a total of 119 institutions will attend the Institute on General Education and Assessment at Boston University (June 4–8, 2016); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at the University of California, Los Angeles (June 21–25, 2016); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at Loyola University Chicago (July 12–15, 2016). These institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus. Watch for announcements later this summer about the 2016 Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM Faculty. The PKAL Institutes are designed to guide early- and mid-career STEM faculty in an introspective exploration of the theories, practice, and art of leadership that is required to effectively manage the politics of institutional change and contribute to national undergraduate STEM reform.

Grieving with and for Our Neighbors and Our Democracy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 15:15

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider released a statement mourning “this weekend’s murderous attack on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people at Pulse in Orlando.” She notes that the AAC&U community “grieve[s] for the tragic loss of so many lives and extend[s] our sympathy to all who are suffering from this act of carnage.” Noting that “we all are harmed by this horrific act of violence against LGBT individuals and their humanity, by this retreat to a culture of gun violence against members of our communities, and by this damaging assault on the core principles of a just and sustainable democracy,” she called on the community and our nation’s leaders to “respond to this sobering moment by recommitting to those core principles, for our nation and for the world.” See the full statement.   

AAC&U to Form and Lead New Commission on Inclusive Excellence in STEM in Partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

AAC&U to Form and Lead New Commission on Inclusive Excellence in STEM in Partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Monday, May 23, 2016 - 14:45

AAC&U and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today the formation of a new Inclusive Excellence Commission chaired by AAC&U Vice President and Project Kaleidoscope Executive Director Kelly Mack.  The Commission is being formed as part of HHMI’s new Inclusive Excellence Initiative. The Commission will include nationally and internationally recognized experts on undergraduate STEM reform, broadening participation, leadership development, educational equity, and organizational change.  Over the next four years, the IE Commission will advance an evaluation of the strategic interventions being supported by HHMI through its new Inclusive Excellence grant program and develop a conceptual realist model for inclusive excellence in STEM.  For more information about the Inclusive Excellence Commission, see: www.aacu.org/commission. For information about the HHMI Inclusive Excellence initiative, see www.hhmi.org/InclusiveExcellence.

Assessment Webinar in June Cosponsored by AAC&U

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 10:15

AAC&U, SHEEO, and Taskstream are cosponsoring a webinar in June as part of the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC)/VALUE Initiative Webinar Series. On Thursday, June 16, the webinar topic is “Data Analysis and Use,” and individuals from participating MSC campuses will share insights on how to use data to inform changes to assignment design. Registration for this webinar can be found on Tasksteam’s website. Learn more about the Multi-State Collaborative and VALUE.

AAC&U President on the Importance of a "Big-Picture Education"

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 08:30

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider was interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s On Leadership video series on the value of college and her  long tenure as president of AAC&U. Schneider noted that, “It's never been more important that students have a big-picture education that prepares them to deal with complexity, and prepares them to take ethical responsibility and civic responsibility for what they're learning …People want today's new students to succeed in higher education. And they're trying everything they can to really help students get the benefit of a good education. So I take energy and confidence from all the commitment I see, across broad-access institutions and selective institutions as well, to try and make our programs work better for students.” See more perspectives from President Schneider at: www.aacu.org/about/cgs_perspectives.

New Statement on Assessing Student Learning

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 10:15

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), an AAC&U partner organization, has released a new policy statement, Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. In this new statement, NILOA argues that improving student and institutional performance must be a national priority. AAC&U President and NILOA Board Member Carol Geary Schneider has stated that “the assessment movement is poised to drive a sea change in what actually counts as meaningful, actionable evidence by putting students’ authentic work at the center of the assessment inquiry.” For more information about this new policy statement, visit the NILOA website,  www.learningoutcomesassessment.org.

Are Faculty Teaching the "Essential Learning Outcomes?"

Monday, April 4, 2016 - 07:15

AAC&U members overwhelmingly embrace the goal of teaching students what the LEAP initiative has termed “the Essential Learning Outcomes,” including the analytical and inquiry skills that are basic to evidence-based reasoning.  But how well are faculty members connecting these goals to student assignments and intellectual tasks?  With the recent AAC&U study of member goals for student learning as backdrop, The Chronicle of Higher Education writer Daniel Berrett explores what it takes to teach student how to generate and evaluate evidence and how to apply it to unscripted questions. AAC&U’s campus-based assessment initiative VALUE also provides answers to these issues, through a new pilot study and other rubrics. See also other perspectives on learning outcomes and their benefit—including a message from AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider published in AAC&U’s periodical, Liberal Education, and Inside Higher Ed essays written by Century Foundation Senior Fellow Robert Shireman, and Peter Ewell, who is the President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).

Register Now for Liberal Arts Illuminated Conference in July

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 10:45

Liberal Arts Illuminated: Pathways, Possibilities, Partnerships,” will be held July 11–13 and is being hosted by the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Central Minnesota. The conference will bring together leadership, faculty, and trustees from liberal arts colleges, as well as public policymakers, for a substantive generative conversation about the future of liberal arts institutions. AAC&U is a sponsoring organization. Register here by June 1 to receive the early bird discount of $50.

Liberal Arts Education and Colleges in East Asia

AAC&U President Contributes Foreword, Afterword to New Book on Global Liberal Arts Education

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 11:45

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider has contributed the foreword and afterword to a new book, Liberal Arts Education and Colleges in East Asia: Possibilities and Challenges in the Global Age. The book shares unique case studies of liberal arts colleges both in and outside of East Asia; examines the differences and similarities between Eastern and Western liberal arts education; and offers practical and sustainable models and guidelines for liberal arts colleges in East Asia and beyond. Learn more online about AAC&U’s resources on liberal education and global learning.


New National Survey of AAC&U Member Chief Academic Officers

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 10:45

AAC&U surveyed Chief Academic Officers at member institutions from July-October 2015 concerning priorities related to learning outcomes, assessment, general education design, high-impact practices, and data tracking and goal setting around equity and quality learning. With support from USA Funds, AAC&U conducted structured interviews with 14 of the respondents focusing on minority serving and predominately white institutions and particularly on those who were tracking data in at least some disaggregated ways. Complete findings from the extensive survey were released in three separate reports.

AAC&U Board of Directors Establishes Lecture on Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence in Honor of Carol Geary Schneider

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 08:00

AAC&U’s Board of Directors has announced the establishment of the “Carol Geary Schneider Lecture on Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence.” This new lecture has been established to honor the legacy of AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, who will retire on June 30, 2016. The lecture is to be delivered by a high-profile thinker who is a leader in helping us understand and engage with issues fundamental to higher education and to our democratic society.  The lecture will be held biennially at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting when it is held in Washington, DC.  

'It Takes Much More Than a Major' to Succeed in This Economy, AAC&U President Tells LEAP State Convenings Across the Country

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 09:00

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider will keynote three LEAP State convenings in the next few weeks. Schneider spoke in Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin on the LEAP Challenge and creating Guided Learning Pathways to increase student success. In Michigan, President Schneider and AAC&U Board Member Richard Guarasci presented on how community engagement can increase both persistence and success.  In Texas, Schneider focused on using the LEAP Challenge to map guided learning pathways that result in deep learning and long-term student success.  President Schneider presented at LEAP Wisconsin’s LEAP Day event on February 29.  Schneider will join colleagues in Wisconsin to celebrate a decade of LEAP WI and reflect on how the LEAP initiative has become a movement to help students blend liberal and pre-professional learning. In addition—in other LEAP States news—on February 26, AAC&U’s Debra Humphreys and Susan Albertine were keynote speakers at the “Supporting Faculty Innovation in the 21st-Century” conference in Indiana and on March 4, LEAP State partners in Massachusetts will sponsor the “Advancing Student Success” conference.

New Resource on "Preparing for Fisher II" from Education Counsel and College Board

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 12:00

The Education Counsel and College Board have released a report titled Preparing for Fisher II that outlines the issues at play in the Supreme Court case, previews possible outcomes, and provides recommendations for developing an institutional action plan. The report also includes an analysis of the amicus briefs filed in this round of Supreme Court litigation, and important insights from oral arguments and the parties' briefs that can help inform institutional dialogue and action.

Candace Thille

AAC&U Board Member Issues Cautionary Notes About Adaptive Learning Technologies

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 09:15

AAC&U Board Member Candace Thille, an education researcher at Stanford, expresses her concerns about adaptive learning technologies in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Thille cautions against outsourcing to for-profit companies the work of developing learning analytics tools before the field has matured, concluding that, “If colleges themselves took up the learning-analytics challenge to ‘co-construct’ learning activities, institutions could both ‘support teaching and learning and help us understand better how learning happens.’" In addition to serving on AAC&U’s board of directors, Thille served on the Digital Working Group formed as part of AAC&U’s General Education Maps and Markers project.  Watch also for forthcoming GEMs report authored by Bret Eynon and Randy Bass and focused on liberal education in the new digital ecosystem of learning—due out this spring.

AAC&U President Calls on Accreditors to Offer Leadership on Quality Learning

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 07:45

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider has authored a blog post calling on regional accreditors to take a stronger role “in defining, clarifying, and advancing quality learning.” Noting that many colleges and universities have reached a consensus on the most important learning outcomes for all students, Schneider asks accreditors to “affirm the leadership that is already coming from their own member institutions” and “adopt and promulgate a shared framework for twenty-first-century learning.” Read the full post here.