AAC&U News, April 2017

News & Events, April 2017

Meetings & Institutes: Free Online Webinar

Beyond the "A" Word: April 17

AAC&U invites you to register for the upcoming webinar, “Beyond the ‘A’ Word: Assessment that Empowers Faculty to Take Risks with Pedagogical Innovation,” on April 17 at 2:00 p.m. (ET). The webinar will provide practical techniques, strategies, and case studies that demonstrate an approach to assessing student learning that promotes innovation and enables creative practices for marrying teaching and learning with authentic assessment. The webinar will also highlight AAC&U’s recent report, On Solid Ground, which outlines the first two years of data collection for the VALUE initiative, a nationwide project that examines direct evidence of student learning. There will be time for a Q&A at the end of the webinar; feel free to send questions in advance to Ross Berry at berry@aacu.org. The webinar is free for participants from member institutions and costs $100 for non-members. Register online now.

Meetings and Institutes: Save the Dates

Global Engagement and Social Responsibility: October 12–14

A Network for Academic Renewal Conference 
New Orleans, Louisiana 

AAC&U is pleased to announce its 2017 Conference on Global Engagement and Social Responsibility: Higher Education's Role in Addressing Global Crises. Conference participants will explore how well-structured global learning practices provide students with opportunities to deeply engage real-world issues—both on and off campus and across disciplines and majors—through classroom experiences, dialogues, and problem solving with community members, peers, and practitioners. Plenary speakers will include Richard Kiely, senior fellow for program evaluation with Engaged Cornell, who will speak about “Exploring the Role of Community-Engaged Learning and Research in Advancing Global Engagement and Social Responsibility”; and Wajahat Ali, creative director of Affinis Labs, whose keynote address will focus on “Millennial Swagger: Promoting Social Entrepreneurship Through Storytelling and Social Media.” Conference registration will open in late June or early July.

Transforming STEM Higher Education: November 2–4

A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
San Francisco, California 

AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope are pleased to announce the 2017 Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education: Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence. This year’s conference will address the importance of STEM proficiency for STEM majors and nonmajors alike, as well as the importance of empowering the faculty on whom we rely to increase the number of competitively trained and liberally educated graduates. Plenary speakers will include Timothy A. McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy, Education and director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse at the University of Michigan. McKay will share insights from his latest research on learning analytics and will describe a variety of data-driven student support tools that he has applied through the Digital Innovation Greenhouse and through the university’s NSF-funded REBUILD project. Conference registration will open in late June or early July.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in Washington, DC Area; North Carolina; Ohio; Puerto Rico; and Massachusetts

Gender Values: Meeting the Challenge for STEM Gender Diversity

The Association of American Colleges & Universities and Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) are pleased to announce the new Gender Values Institutional Self-Assessment Tool for Family Friendliness. This project, generously funded by the National Science Foundation, offers a powerful, dynamic instrument designed to assist US colleges and universities in tailoring best practices and resources to meet their own unique institutional goals for diversifying STEM faculty. As higher education institutes across the nation strive to establish family-friendly workplace environments that are conducive to career-life balance, the Gender Values project seeks to facilitate this process by providing an online platform for examining the integrity of family-responsive policies, programs, and practices against an evidence-based framework. As part of our commitment to STEM faculty diversity, AAC&U and PKAL invite all institutions of higher education to join us in this important work by self-assessing campus capacity for family-friendliness as a function of institutionalization, inclusivity, and culture. Read more about the Gender Values project and take the Institutional Self-Assessment online. 

Project News

BTtoP’s National Conference: The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being

May 24–26, 2017, Chicago, Illinois

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is grateful for the positive response to its national conference, The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being, and registration has now reached capacity. If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, a waitlist is available on the conference web page. Facilitated by L. Lee Knefelkamp, BTtoP senior scholar and professor emerita of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, the conference will bring together educators and administrators of all types to focus on the importance of well-being and “whole student” development in higher education. Conference sessions and workshops will offer new theories, strategies, and evidence-based practices that reflect the integration of conference topics, embody ways to inclusively engage diverse audience members, and are adaptable to a diverse array of institutional types. 

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Latest Higher Education Exchange Continues to Explore Principles and Practices of Civic Education

Educating for citizenship is a key tenet of the Kettering Foundation’s work. In Kettering’s 2016 Higher Education Exchange, educators from within and outside the United States wrote articles on deliberation in the classroom, graduate school professionalism, and deliberation in authoritarian environments, as well as a review of the new volume Publicly Engaged Scholars (2016).

Special Journal Issue Seeks Submissions from the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting

If you are presenting scholarship at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) meeting, please consider this call for submissions for a special issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs. The American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and NASPA’s Lead Initiative are partnering on a special issue focused on the scholarship that addresses integrative civic education. Submissions are due September 1, 2017.

The Kettering Foundation, AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of thirteen leading civic learning organizations convened by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and advances efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college. See the CLDE events calendar for upcoming civic conferences and webinars.

Other News

AAC&U President Issues Statement on Freedom of Expression in Higher Education

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella issued a statement examining freedom of expression in the academy and the role of higher education in preparing the next generation of informed citizens who will shape our democracy. The statement reaffirms AAC&U’s dedication to playing a leadership role in promoting freedom of expression as a hallmark of liberal education within the context of the current landscape and recent events. “As members of college and university communities come together and appeal to their institutional values in determining whether speech is protected, a commitment to respect for others, free inquiry, and inclusivity must be paramount in maintaining an environment in which the free exchange of ideas can thrive,” Pasquerella said. Read the full statement, “Free Expression, Liberal Education, and Inclusive Excellence,” and share it with others in your community.

Ness Book Award Nominations Due May 1

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Ness Book Award for books published between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017. The principal theme of the book should contribute to the analysis and/or advancement of liberal education in any setting, and should focus on (1) liberal education as an evolving tradition; (2) the role and value of liberal education in a particular context; or (3) an issue or topic in secondary or postsecondary education discussed substantially in relation to liberal education. We invite you to nominate books that meet the criteria by sending a letter to the Frederic W. Ness Book Award Committee, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, or by emailing your nomination to Halim Rizk. Nominations must be received no later than May 1, 2017. Read more about the Ness Book Award for more information about submission criteria and past winners.

AAC&U Receives Grant to Develop Centers for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

AAC&U has received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to support the initial development of ten Centers for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) at higher education institutions across the country. The Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT enterprise is a comprehensive effort, implemented nationally and in local communities, to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. The contribution of the Centers to TRHT will be to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies, to create positive narratives about all members of the community, and to prepare the next generation of strategic leaders to carry this work forward. Visit AAC&U’s TRHT webpage for more information about our participation in the initiative. 

Videos from 2017 ePortfolio Forum Available Online

Videos from the 8th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios, held in conjunction with AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting, are now available online. The videos include “High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning,” presented by Laura Gambino, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, and Bret Eynon, LaGuardia Community College; “Providing Agency and Voice: Students and the ePortfolio Community,” presented by Mackenzie Hall, a student at Texas Christian University; and “A Portfolio Story of Discovery: Answering a Simple, Powerful Question to Help Heal a People,” presented by Paul Wasko and Eva Gregg, both of the University of Alaska Anchorage. The videos capture inspiring stories that illustrate the significance of celebrating eportfolios as the eleventh high-impact practice. AAC&U is grateful to Digication for sponsoring the filming of these opening, closing, and luncheon plenaries and making them available to our audience.

Participants Needed for a Study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is seeking help with a study to examine whether educational experiences that integrate the humanities and arts with science, technology, engineering, math, or medicine lead to improved educational and career outcomes for undergraduate and graduate students. The committee undertaking this study is chaired by David J. Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and includes Lynn Pasquerella, president, and Susan Albertine, senior scholar and director of the LEAP States initiative—both of AAC&U. The study will end with the publication of a detailed, evidence-based report in Spring 2018. If you or others at your institution have data and information to share, please submit it through this questionnaire by May 1, 2017. For more information on the study, please visit the website or email Ashley Bear at abear@nas.edu.

Call for Submissions for “The Academic Minute,” Cosponsored by AAC&U

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella is host of the radio segment The Academic Minute, produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U. The Academic Minute features faculty and researchers from colleges and universities around the world, discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. Producers of The Academic Minute are seeking submissions; please send your submission to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org

NILOA Advance Alert: National Survey for Learning Outcomes Assessment

AAC&U encourages chief academic officers to participate in a survey conducted by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). NILOA is seeking to reach every accredited two- and four-year college and university in the United States with this effort, and responses from all institutions will be important. Interested parties can preview the survey before it is launched this April and view previous survey reports through this link. The aim of the survey is to gain a clearer picture of the current state of assessing student learning in the United States. It builds on and updates NILOA’s first national survey conducted in 2009 and second survey in 2013. The questionnaire should take only ten to fifteen minutes to complete and will focus on the tools and approaches each campus uses to assess student learning. Responses will remain confidential, but the results will be useful to all those interested in learning outcomes assessment. As a gesture of appreciation for your participation, NILOA will send participating institutions an advance report of the survey results prior to any public release of the data.  

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About AAC&U News

AAC&U News is written and edited by Wilson Peden. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter's contents, please e-mail peden@aacu.org.

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