What's New

Diversity Learning Network 2017

Register Now for Voices Leading Change: Diversity, Learning, and Student Success Conference

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 13:00

March 16–18, 2017, Jacksonville, FL—AAC&U's Diversity, Learning, and Student Success conference will engage participants in exploring how students, faculty, staff, and community partners can be catalysts for transformative campus and social change.


Webinar on Tracking Student Access to High-Impact Practices in STEM

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 08:15

On Wednesday, March 8, from 1 to 2 p.m. (ET), AAC&U will cohost a free webinar with the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities on Tracking Student Access to High-Impact Practices in STEM. Certain High-Impact Practices (such as internships, undergraduate research, capstone courses, and learning communities) help undergraduate students persist and succeed. However, a number of these practices take place beyond the classroom, and universities may not have the capacity to fully track student access to these practices and their impact on learning outcomes. During this webinar, we will explore some of the evidence for High-Impact Practices and learn about innovative efforts to track student participation at California State University, Northridge and the University of South Carolina. Click here to register.

Value Report 2017

VALUE Report Shows It's Possible to Meaningfully Measure Learning for Outcomes that Matter in Work and Life

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 08:30

On Solid Ground shares the results from the first two years of data collection for the VALUE initiative, a nationwide project that examines direct evidence of student learning and performance on key learning outcomes.

C. Edward Watson

AAC&U Announces Appointment of C. Edward Watson as Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 14:30

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the appointment of C. Edward Watson as Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives. Watson will join AAC&U from the University of Georgia (UGA) where he is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Fellow in the Institute for Higher Education. Watson will lead the association’s national and state-level advocacy and policy efforts to advance quality in undergraduate student learning. He also will guide AAC&U’s agenda, grounded in the LEAP initiative, to advance educational quality initiatives within institutions, state systems, and state-based consortia, and will serve as the leader for the LEAP States initiative.

At UGA, Watson has led university efforts associated with faculty excellence and student learning. His areas of responsibility have included faculty instructional development, student learning outcomes assessment, teaching assistant development, learning technologies, media / production services, learning spaces, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He has taught courses on college teaching, student learning, and course design. He is the cofounding Executive Editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio and the Executive Editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He has published extensively about teaching and learning, including his recent book, coauthored with José Bowen, Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes (Jossey-Bass) and his forthcoming book, Playing to Learn with Reacting to the Past: Research on High Impact, Active Learning Practices (Palgrave Macmillan), which will be out later this year. 

Eddie Watson will join AAC&U’s senior leadership team in July 2017. His appointment is located within the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment.


AAC&U Announces New Directors and Officers for Board of Directors

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 15:00

At AAC&U's recent Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the members of AAC&U elected six new directors and selected a slate of new officers for the board of directors.

Ness Book Award Presented to The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice

Ness Book Award Presented to The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 14:30

AAC&U announces the winner of its 2017 Frederic W. Ness Book Award, The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice, a collection of essays published in 2015 by the University of Chicago Press.

High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 15:45

Published by Stylus in association with AAC&U, High-Impact ePortfolio Practice outlines how to deploy the ePortfolio as a high-impact practice and describes widely applicable models of effective ePortfolio pedagogy and implementation that demonstrably improve student learning across multiple settings. Authors Bret Eynon and Laura M. Gambino present a wealth of data and revealing case studies demonstrating that, when implemented with a purposeful framework, ePortfolios correlate strongly with increased retention and graduation rates, broadened student engagement in deep learning processes, and advanced faculty and institutional learning.

The core of the book presents a comprehensive research-based framework, along with practical examples and strategies for implementation, and identifies the key considerations that need to be addressed in the areas of pedagogy, professional development, outcomes assessment, technology, and scaling up. The publication identifies how the ePortfolio experience enhances other high-impact practices (HIPs) by creating unique opportunities for connection and synthesis across courses, semesters, and cocurricular experiences, thus enabling students to reflect on and construct a cohesive signature learning experience.

The book is available for purchase online.

Message on Immigration Issues and Request for Statements

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 13:45

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella issues a message on recent events regarding immigration and asks for campus leaders to share their own statements that may serve as models for others as they seek to communicate with their own campus communities.

2017 Annual Meeting San Francisco

2,000 Higher Education Leaders Gather to Rebuild Public Trust in Higher Education

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 13:45

Two thousand higher education leaders have gathered in San Francisco for AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting, which has been featured in Inside Higher Ed. The Annual Meeting: “Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence” is being held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco from January 25 to 28, responds to the urgent need—expressed by educators from campuses across the country—for more effective approaches to restoring public trust in higher education and improving public understanding of how liberal education and inclusive excellence are valuable “public” and “private” goods. The Opening Plenary, “Always on the Fringe: Closed Futures and the Promise of Liberal Education,” is an open discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella with speakers Sara Goldrick-Rab, author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream; Michael Roth, author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters; Jeff Selingo, author of There Is Life After College; and Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" and Other Conversations About RaceJelani Cobb of the New Yorker is delivering the Final Plenary, “The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today,” and Jaime Casap of Google, Inc., is presenting the ACAD keynote luncheon on “Iteration and Innovation in Education.”

AAC&U Receives $520,000 Grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 13:45

AAC&U has received a $520,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation for a three-year initiative supporting the collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create Centers for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) at higher education institutions across the country. The grant will support a multi-year initiative to implement ten TRHT Centers, which will be designed to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies and create a positive narrative about race in the community. As part of this initiative, AAC&U will create a TRHT Institute, which will assist campuses in the development of transformative action plans to advance racial healing. The goal of the Centers, as designed through the Institute, will be to empower individuals to live and prosper in a civil and humane society that promotes full inclusion for everyone.

Rising to the LEAP Challenge

New Publication: Rising to the LEAP Challenge

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 10:30

AAC&U announces the publication of a new book, Rising to the LEAP Challenge: Case Studies of Integrative Pathways to Student Signature Work. The book is a series of case studies that reflect the "real-world" application of students' cumulative learning through signature work projects, as put forth in the LEAP Challenge. Such projects focus on complex questions that are meaningful to individual students and to society; require students to integrate, apply, demonstrate, reflect on, and communicate their cumulative learning; and require input from multiple disciplines and perspectives. Colleges and universities can best prepare students to accomplish signature work through guided-pathway curricula and cocurricular experiences in which students can develop and connect their knowledge and skills across broad and specialized study over time. The thirteen case studies included in Rising to the LEAP Challenge demonstrate the variety of forms signature work can take, as well as the institutional contexts and curricular pathways that can effectively support it. The cases are specifically tailored to provide practical advice for campus leaders seeking to design, implement, and assess integrative pathways to student signature work. 

2017 Annual Meeting San Francisco

8th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and Eportfolios

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 08:45

The 8th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and Eportfolios will be held all day on January 28 in San Francisco in conjunction with AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting. The Opening Plenary—“High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning”—will be delivered by Bret Eynon (LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York) and Laura Gambino (Stella and Charles Guttman Community College), authors of a forthcoming publication with the same title. The Forum will also preview The Field Guide to Eportfolio (to be released in Spring 2017), which will provide an authoritative account of how and why a community of practice has emerged around eportfolios, deliver information on the most important dimensions of the eportfolio, and feature case studies as examples of eportfolio use. The Forum is jointly sponsored by VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education; the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL), the association of ePortfolio professionals; and the International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP). Registration is now open on AAC&U’s website.

Lynn Pasquerella

AAC&U’s Pasquerella: Help Students “Be Innovators in Their Own Lives”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 16:15

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella was featured on The Bill Newman Show to discuss challenges facing higher education. In her comments, Pasquerella urged higher education institutions not only to provide equitable access to education, but also to work more closely with K-12 communities to provide students with environments that support success. “Access alone isn't enough,” Pasquerella said. “We need to provide students with the skills necessary to thrive.” Pasquerella cautioned against dismissing the very real fears of critics who say that higher education isn’t doing its job in preparing students to enter a rapidly changing workforce where technologies quickly become obsolete. According to Pasquerella, institutions of all types—including public, private, for-profit, and competency-based institutions—must prepare students for the world’s “unscripted problems” by helping them to “be innovators in their own lives.” 


AAC&U Selected as Host Organization for the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program

Friday, January 6, 2017 - 12:15

AAC&U is pleased to announce its selection as a host organization for the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, a career-building fellowship initiative designed to expand the reach of doctoral education in the humanities. In 2017, the Public Fellows Program will place up to twenty-two recent PhDs from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year staff positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. Fellows will participate in the substantive work of these organizations and will receive professional mentoring; an annual stipend of $67,500; and health insurance. 

AAC&U’s Public Fellow will serve as assistant director in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, joining AAC&U’s work with the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise.  AAC&U is one of 120 organizations partnering with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT enterprise. The goal of TRHT is to jettison the belief in the hierarchy of human value and to engage communities in transforming America’s racial narrative. To learn more, please visit www.aacu.org/trht.

The application deadline for the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program is March 22, 2017 (8 p.m. EDT). For more information, please visit http://www.acls.org/programs/publicfellowscomp/

Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows is a fellowship program offered by the American Council of Learned Societies with generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Please direct all inquiries about the fellowship program to ACLS.

National Day of Racial Healing

AAC&U Promotes National Day of Racial Healing

Monday, January 9, 2017 - 12:00

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is proud to collaborate with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and more than 130 organizations for the first-ever National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.                                 

To mark this date, organizations collaborating in WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise will carry out a variety of events focused on the TRHT goals of jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value and engaging communities in transforming America’s racial narrative. AAC&U is a TRHT partner organization.

“Institutions of higher education must play a leadership role in addressing the most pressing ethical, legal and social issues of the day, including racial injustice and the persistence of the color line,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “More than ever, inclusive excellence aimed at eliminating racial inequities must be seen as inextricably linked to the mission of advancing liberal education as a force for public good.”

AAC&U invites its members to recognize the National Day of Racial Healing by engaging in efforts to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic, and religious bias and build an equitable and just society where all individuals can thrive.

In particular, we encourage our member colleges and universities to select a manner, unique to each institution’s mission and context, in which to acknowledge the National Day of Racial Healing and to engage in an activity, strategy, or community function that promotes engagement around the issues of racism, bias, inequity, and injustice in our society. For example, an institution might

  • organize activities particularly related to racial healing connected with already-scheduled Martin Luther King Jr. Day events;
  • invite and encourage faculty members to connect course content to racial healing on that day or during that week;
  • coordinate stand-alone or integrated events on campus that address racial healing;
  • share stories via social media that define “who we are” and address issues related to race, equity, and justice.

To learn more about the National Day of Healing, please visit www.dayofracialhealing.com. For AAC&U resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, please visit our website.

“Communities, organizations and individuals are being asked to acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, senior advisor and vice president for TRHT at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We have to come together to heal and commit to truth telling, engaging representatives from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understandi­ng, communication, caring and respect for one another.”

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.