What's New

Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe

AAC&U Announces Appointment of Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe as Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U announces the appointment of Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe as the new Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons. Wolfe will begin this position on August 3, 2015, transitioning from her role as an AAC&U Senior Fellow. Dr. Wolfe joined AAC&U’s leadership team during the association’s Centennial Year. In her new role as Vice President, she will work with colleagues to advance The LEAP Challenge, which calls on higher education to prepare students to integrate and apply their learning to complex questions organized as Signature Work. Wolfe also will lead a related effort, General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs), which is advancing a portable and proficiency-based framework for general education that helps all students, and especially those who have been traditionally underserved by higher education, learn most effectively and demonstrate and apply their learning outside the classroom. Dr. Wolfe wrote this article about curriculum revision and adaptive leadership for Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.

Faculty and Administrative Teams from 109 Institutions and 37 States to Attend AAC&U 2015 Summer Institutes

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2015 summer institutes. Teams of five or more participants from 109 institutions will attend these summer institutes: the Institute on General Education and Assessment at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK (June 2-6, 2015); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI (June 9-13, 2015); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE (July 14-18, 2015). These three AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus; for a list of participating institutions, see this press release. AAC&U also will announce soon the faculty members participating in the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM Faculty. The PKAL Institutes are designed to prepare early and mid-career STEM faculty for roles as effective agents of change in transforming undergraduate STEM education at the departmental, institutional, and national levels.

Japan Association for College and University Education Signs Partnership Agreement with AAC&U

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U and the Japan Association for College and University Education (JACUE) have announced that JACUE has become an AAC&U partner organization. A partnership memorandum of understanding, signed at AAC&U's 2015 Annual Meeting, details JACUE's participation in AAC&U's work for college learning in the twenty-first century and interest in the LEAP initiative. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will work with their member institutions to exchange information about the state of liberal and general education in both countries.

 

AAC&U President Schneider Delivers Mt. Holyoke Commencement, Receives Honorary Degree

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 10:30

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree this weekend at Mount Holyoke College, of which she is an alumna. Schneider’s address, “Connecting the Liberal Arts with the World's Important Questions,” praised Mount Holyoke’s Lynk program, which provides support for all students to complete at least one applied learning experience and guides students in connecting those experiences with the college’s liberal arts curriculum.  Schneider also noted that our shared future depends on graduates who have both broad and applied learning—and that employers greatly value this kind of education. “What’s happening at Mount Holyoke right now really is empowering and world-expanding,” Schneider told the graduating students. “Mount Holyoke … has prepared you to take responsibility for our democracy and for that long-term project of creating a more just and sustainable world.” The full text of her address is available online. See also Mount Holyoke’s news story on President Schneider’s address. More information about Mount Holyoke’s 2015 Commencement is online.

AAC&U

AAC&U Hosts LEAP Centennial Forum in Chicago on "Bringing Quality and Equity Together"

Friday, May 29, 2015 - 06:15

AAC&U hosted a forum on “Bringing Quality and Equity Together” in Chicago, IL, on May 29. The forum, the third  in a series of events AAC&U is sponsoring as part of its Centennial Year, brought together teams of educators, as well as policy, civic, and business leaders, to examine the learning all college students need to thrive in a knowledge economy and to participate actively and responsibly in a diverse and global society. Presentations at this third forum centered on emerging evidence of “what works” in supporting higher levels of underserved student success, in particular guided pathways through the curriculum, and discussed new evidence that quality learning is itself a catalyst to increased completion for underserved students.

Washington Announced As 11th LEAP State

Washington Announced As 11th LEAP State

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 14:45

AAC&U and the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) announced that Washington is now a state partner in AAC&U’s initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP).  AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider notes that, “AAC&U and WaCLA educators share a passion for liberal education and a commitment to help all students achieve both broad learning about the world they will inherit—through studies in science, humanities, the arts, and the social sciences—and the critical skills they need to help create solutions for our future.  For more information about LEAP WaCLA, please refer to: www.aacu.org/leap/states/washington. Read more about this partnership in a HuffPost blog post from WaCLA’s Michael Zimmerman.

 

New Case Studies, Inquiry-Based Course Modules from STIRS Initiative Now Available

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 08:45

AAC&U recently released sixteen peer-reviewed case studies as part of the Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills (STIRS) initiative. The STIRS initiative was launched in 2012 to develop curriculum resources to improve the capacity of undergraduate students to use evidence to solve problems and make decisions. The case studies—available at no cost—present adaptable assignments and modules that can be used in a range of undergraduate courses across the disciplines. Each case study includes a student case and a facilitator’s guide, which features suggestions for ways to assess student learning and linkage to AAC&U's VALUE rubrics and STIRS competencies.

Optimistic, but Are They Prepared? AAC&U Releases Findings from New Survey of College Students

Optimistic, But Are They Prepared? AAC&U Releases Findings from New Survey of College Students

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:30

AAC&U releases, Optimistic About the Future, But How Well Prepared? College Students’ Views on College Learning and Career Success,” a report summarizing findings from a national survey and three focus groups of college students commissioned by AAC&U and conducted by Hart Research Associates. The findings suggest that the majority of college students at both two-year and four-year institutions (63 percent) understand what employers have been saying for years--having both field-specific knowledge and a broad range of skills is important for recent college graduates to achieve long-term career success. Students also agree with employers on the most important cross-cutting learning outcomes key to career success.   For the full report and slides from this and other LEAP-sponsored surveys, see www.aacu.org/leap/public-opinion-research.

AAC&U President Comments on Senate Committee White Paper on Accreditation

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 13:00

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider urged in her comments to Senator Alexander and the HELP Committee that the Senate “prioritize first and foremost the goal of ensuring that all college students participate in high-quality programs that are well-designed to advance a set of essential learning outcomes…and that accredited institutions make visible their commitment to these learning outcomes and students’ demonstrated achievement of them.” In her comments, she stresses that “any reforms [of the accreditation process] should keep the role of quality assurance in the hands of institutions of higher education and their membership accrediting organizations” but she affirms the recommendations AAC&U has been making for many years—that institutions and regional accreditors “make good use of…consensus outcomes and…[develop] their own processes for ensuring that students in accredited institutions are provided with clear roadmaps to consensus learning outcomes; that curricula are mapped to a clear set of learning outcomes; and that multiple, proven assessment methods are used…to assess the degree to which students are achieving institutional and major-specific learning outcomes.” Read the Senate HELP Committee White Paper on “Higher Education Accreditation: Concepts and Proposals,” President Schneider’s entire comment, the press release about President Schneider's comment, and the earlier AAC&U Board Statement, “Our Students’ Best Work: A Framework for Accountability Worthy of Our Mission.”

 

Faculty and Administrative Teams from 109 Institutions, 37 States, and 1 Country to Attend AAC&U 2015 Summer Institutes

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 07:00

AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2015 summer institutes. Teams of five or more participants from 109 institutions will attend these summer institutes: the Institute on General Education and Assessment at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma (June 2-6, 2015); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin (June 9-13, 2015); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware (July 14-18, 2015). These three AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus; for a list of participating institutions, see this press release. AAC&U also will announce soon the faculty members participating in the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM Faculty. The PKAL Institutes are designed to prepare early and mid-career STEM faculty for roles as effective agents of change in transforming undergraduate STEM education at the departmental, institutional, and/or national levels.

In Defense of a Liberal Education

Liberal Education in the News

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:15

The Case for Liberal Education made the news on a number of fronts recently, thanks largely to the publication of Fareed Zakaria’s new book, In Defense of a Liberal Education (WW Norton) and his two TV appearances—on ABC’sThis Week”; and on CNN’s “Global Public Square.”  See also: “Frederick Douglass, Defender of the Liberal Arts” in The Atlantic; The Washington Post’s Zakaria’s article, “Why America’s Obsession with STEM Education is Dangerous”; the Wall Street Journal editorial by Christopher J. Scalia on “Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal Arts,”; and Michael S. Roth’s review of Zakaria’s book in The Daily Beast,  “Does College Have a Future After All?” Keep up with liberal education news stories—including at AAC&U's Liberal Education News Watch.

Advancing the LEAP Challenge: Students Take the Lead and Demonstrate the Power of Project-Based Learning

Advancing the LEAP Challenge: Students Take the Lead and Demonstrate the Power of Project-Based Learning

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 09:45

Students at Stanford University have shown that students can take the lead in advancing the LEAP Challenge to make Signature Work expected for all students. Students in the Stanford 2025 project created a web page and video, titled “Purpose Learning,” that imagines a time in the near future when students declare a “mission, not a major.”  Project-based learning is the default form of learning in this future, and students develop the skills to pursue their mission through interdisciplinary coursework and in “impact labs,” in which they collaborate with faculty members on real-world projects. The “history” of Purpose Learning cites AAC&U’s research on high-impact educational practices as one inspiration for the movement. View the Purpose Learning video, or view AAC&U’s Centennial Video highlighting real students pursuing Signature Work today.

AAC&U and LA Chamber of Commerce Host LEAP Centennial Symposium on Diversity, Equity, and Excellence

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 06:00

AAC&U and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce are cosponsoring a forum, titled “Diversity, Equity, and Excellence: College Learning and America's Unmet Promise,” on April 15 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. This forum, the second in a series of events AAC&U is sponsoring as part of its Centennial Year, will bring together educational, policy, civic, and business leaders to examine the learning all college students need to thrive in a knowledge economy and participate actively and responsibly in a diverse and global society. Participants will examine economic trends both nationally and in the state of California and the implications of those trends for educational policy and practice. Central to the forum will be a searching dialogue on “the equity imperative”—the need for stronger leadership to ensure that all students, including those from groups traditionally underserved by our educational systems, receive the kinds of high-impact educational experiences that will position them for success.

AAC&U Remembers Margaret L. 'Peggy' Neal

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 12:30

AAC&U expresses sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Margaret L. “Peggy” Neal, who passed away on March 8, 2015, after a long struggle with a serious illness.  A librarian by training, Neal worked at AAC&U from 1991 to 1998 serving as both assistant to the president and director of membership and external affairs.  During the presidency of Paula Brownlee, Peggy helped to strengthen AAC&U’s outreach to member institutions and was instrumental in setting up AAC&U’s first member database and in developing AAC&U’s early efforts to provide educational change resources to guide member reforms on the World Wide Web. See Paula Brownlee’s comments on Peggy Neal’s passing.

 

AAC&U President Featured in "The Presidency" with article on "Reshaping the Conversation About the Liberal Arts"

AAC&U President Featured in "The Presidency" with article on "Reshaping the Conversation About the Liberal Arts"

Friday, March 20, 2015 - 06:15

In an article in the spring issue of The Presidency, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider notes that “America’s historic strength in higher education has come from its distinctive investment in the combination of both broad and specialized learning.  Yet policymakers…assume that specialized study in a major is the only part of a higher education that really matters.  As a result they see the broad learning component of college as an area ripe for cost savings.” She warns about the dangers of this trend and notes that “Our society needs the full array of liberal arts, sciences, and professional majors…we must ensure that students in every major, whatever its subject matter, finish their degrees with those liberal learning outcomes that best prepare our graduates for career success and democratic responsibility.” See the article here and more on AAC&U’s research on employer views and data on career trajectories for liberal arts majors.

Pages