Trends and Research on Liberal Learning

AAC&U National Survey of Chief Academic Officers

In 2015 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 also 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 (see below).

"Trends in Learning Outcomes Assessment: Key Findings from a Survey among Administrators at AAC&U Member Institutions" (February 17, 2016)

"Recent Trends in General Education Design, Learning Outcomes, and Teaching Approaches" (January 19, 2016)

"Bringing Equity and Quality Learning Together: Institutional Priorities for Tracking and Advancing Underserved Students' Success" (November 16, 2015)

See also 2009 Survey of chief academic officers findings.

Research on High-Impact Practices

Student Focus Groups and Survey

This report summarizes 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.

Optimistic About the Future, But How Well Prepared? College Students' Views on College Learning and Career Success (April, 2015)

Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment Completes Pilot Study Gathering Data from 59 Institutions of Higher Education in Nine Public State Systems (September, 2015)

More Student Research