Featured Articles on Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP)
Launched by AAC&U in 2005, the Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative champions the value of a liberal education -- for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practice on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study.
AAC&U's flagship journal, Liberal Education, periodically features articles on LEAP and the implications of its vision and research for campus practice and policy. See below for featured issues and articles.
Liberal Education and Institutional Identity: The University of Wisconsin–Madison Experience
By the University of Wisconsin–Madison Convergence Group
To effect institutional change, an informal, self-convened group of administrators and faculty leveraged convergences such as that between the University of Wisconsin System’s ongoing efforts to promote liberal education and AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative.
The Clark/AAC&U Conference on Liberal Education and Effective Practice
By Richard M. Freeland
How well do the learning experiences we offer align with our professed goals of preparing engaged citizens, effective professionals, and, more broadly, adults equipped to make significant contributions to society?
Liberal Arts Education and the Capacity for Effective Practice: What’s Holding Us Back?
By Diana Chapman Walsh and Lee Cuba
We offer this brief case study to suggest the complexity of leading a faculty through a process of institutional change.
Liberal Education and Effective Practice: The Necessary Revolution in Undergraduate Education
By Richard Freeland
Campus-level efforts to connect liberal education with practice are designed to nurture engaged, effective, constructive professionals and citizens. And they implicitly question whether learning experiences that cultivate analytic skills in classroom settings constitute the most effective way to enact this traditional mission of liberal education.
College Outcomes for Work, Life, and Citizenship: Can We Really Do It All?
By Debra Humphreys
The Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative addresses the need to transform higher education so that it serves all students—and our society—more effectively. But can we really prepare students for work, life, and citizenship?
Strengthening the Foundations of Students’ Excellence, Integrity, and Social Contribution
By Anne Colby and William M. Sullivan
Colleges should aim to teach students how to use knowledge and criticism not only as ends in themselves but as means toward responsible engagement with the life of their times. This can be accomplished best by addressing key dimensions of personal and social responsibility.
Whose “Greater Expectations” Are They, Anyway? Exposing the Tensions within Educational Reform Rhetoric
By Rosemary J. Cleary and Eve Allegra Raimon
There is a perceived seamlessness in the student learning outcomes desired by business, civic, and educational leaders. But does the focus on these commonly endorsed outcomes undermine the unique and historical role the academy has played in providing a countercultural voice?
Give Students a Compass: Can General Education Rise to the Challenge?
By Carol Geary Schneider
In order to foster intentional and integrative learning in students, we ourselves need to become more intentional in clarifying our shared purposes and designing curricular pathways that support them. AAC&U’s newest national project will test our collective capacity to respond to this challenge.
Celebrating Outcomes and Cultivating Assessments: How the Largest College Found Common Ground
By Eduardo J. Padrón
All stakeholders in the largest and most diverse college in the United States have agreed on a distinctive set of student learning outcomes, an agreement that dovetails with ongoing efforts to identify authentic methods of measuring what graduating students have learned.
A Liberal Education Scorecard
By Michael R. Wick and Andrew T. Phillips
The scorecard is a visual tool that supports both intentionality and accountability in the design of student-centered programs of study. It can be used to guide the evolution of disciplinary experts into liberal educators.
College Learning for the New Global Century: A Report from the National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise
It’s Not Just the Economy…
By Carol Geary Schneider
New surveys of employers and recent graduates reveal strong support for the core LEAP assertion that the skills and knowledge developed through a liberal education are essential to economic success. Yet they also provide further evidence that higher education has failed to establish the essential connections between democratic freedom and college learning.
The University of Wisconsin System Liberal Arts Scholarship Competition: Student Essays
By Heather Damitz, Andrew Myszewski, and Jennifer Urbanek
Three undergraduate students from University of Wisconsin System campuses have won the first annual Liberal Arts Scholarship Competition, established to support and promote
liberal education throughout the state’s public university system. Published here are the winning essays on the value of a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century.
Meeting New Challenges at Home and Abroad: Liberal Education’s New Premium
By Barbara Lawton
With broad commitment and bold leadership, the LEAP campaign can help inform how government and educational institutions evolve to support citizens’ success in this time of flux, drive development of appropriate metrics to measure their effectiveness and assign responsibility for meeting those goals, and invite unprecedented partnerships to sustain them.
Teachable Moments: Advising as Liberal Learning
By Ned Scott Laff
The advising process offers perhaps the best opportunity for helping students become more intentional about their own educations, as well as for helping them to recognize the value of a liberal education. To make the most of this opportunity, advising must be reconceived as liberal learning.
Liberal Education & the Specialist-Rich Workplace
By Lee Dudka
If liberal education is to remain the nation’s premier educational approach, we need a twist of the thinking cap—among administration, faculty, alumni, and “risk-averse” employers who, when solving workforce needs, hire “specialist” graduates without attention to the broader skills a liberal education provides.
What Really Matters in College: How Students View & Value Liberal Education
By Debra Humphreys and Abigail Davenport
The findings from a series of focus groups, held with high school and college students in four locations in different regions of the country, reveal student attitudes toward liberal education.
Liberal Education for the Twenty-first Century: Business Expectations
By Roberts T. Jones
A liberal education is the foundation for success in every growing occupation. Employers do not want, and have not advocated for, students prepared for narrow workforce specialties. But is the traditional framework of liberal education calibrated to the demands of the changing world?
Making Excellence Inclusive: Liberal Education and America’s Promise
By Carol Geary Schneider
AAC&U’s ninetieth anniversary offers an opportunity for reflection. Where are we now in our shared commitment to the values and practices of liberal education, and where do we need to go, within the academy as a whole and within the association itself?
Liberal Education and America’s Promise
By Carol Geary Schneider
AAC&U has begun a decade-long public advocacy and campus action initiative to champion the value of liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) is intended to build new public understanding of the aims of a contemporary liberal education and new capacity within the academy to help all students achieve these aims.