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Asking Big Questions, Engaging Urgent Challenges

Network for Academic Renewal Conference
Omni Providence Hotel | Providence, Rhode Island
October 3–5, 2013

Call for Proposals

Deadline:  The deadline for proposals was Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Late proposals are not being accepted. Please contact Siah Annand at with any questions.

AAC&U invites proposals for concurrent sessions at the 2013 Network for Academic Renewal conference, Global Learning in College:  Asking Big Questions, Engaging Urgent Challenges.

Please note that all session facilitators are responsible for conference registration fees, travel, and hotel expenses. Presentation times range from Thursday, October 3 at 8:30 p.m.  through Saturday, October 5 at 12:00 noon, and presenters are expected to be available at the time they are scheduled for by the conference organizers.

Conference Themes
LEAP Featured Sessions
Session Formats
Developing and Submitting a Proposal
Additional Information

Conference Themes

Please review the themes below and determine if your work might contribute guidance that has proved successful in addressing any of the suggested topics.  The questions that follow each theme are suggestive and are not meant to cover the full range of topics that may be proposed within the theme.

Theme I:  Gathering and Using Evidence to Strengthen Students’ Global Learning

  • What are the best practices for identifying, assessing, and differentiating the many kinds of learning that might occur within global learning?  What are we learning about how to encourage global mind sets and knowledge?
  • What kinds of learning do students need to responsibly and effectively connect their global knowledge and actions?  What kinds of skills do they need to interpret data and weigh choices?  How do we assess these learning outcomes?
  • What evidence do we have that global learning experiences improve students’ abilities to solve complex problems and foster personal and social responsibility?
  • What evidence do we have that links particular pedagogies and practices with particular outcomes?  How do we know that any specific course or approach to global learning contributes to the outcomes that employers want and society needs to address capacious challenges such as climate change, public health, food security, and human rights?
  • How are colleges and universities using portfolios and e-portfolios to capture data about student success and problem-based learning?

Theme II:  Liberal Education, Diversity, and Global Learning

  • How can we ensure that global learning practices are reflective of diverse perspectives, and that all students are cognizant of differential power and privilege?  How can US higher education foster an inclusive conversation and partnerships to define and nurture global learning?
  • How can global learning revitalize the arts and sciences?  How are designs for global learning including the arts and sciences—humanities, sciences, social sciences, arts, mathematics, histories, languages, and interdisciplinary studies?
  • What practices and principles of integrative liberal learning have been shown to foster students’ intellectual rigor and social responsibility for the common good?
  • Where are the opportunities for leadership within an approach to education that crosses departmental, campus, and community boundaries?
  • What are the implications of place-based pedagogies in global learning and how do technology and virtual space come into play?

Theme III:  Engaging Problems/Engaging Projects

  • How does a problems/projects approach to liberal education fit within existing institutional structures?  How is the approach changing existing structures and what else needs to change in order for new projects to evolve?
  • How are campuses using AAC&U’s Essential Learning Outcomes to advance global learning goals?
  • How do problems/projects approaches to learning change the nature of faculty and student affairs work?  What kinds of professional development might we need within and across academic and student affairs?
  • How is public scholarship rewarded?  What models are emerging for fostering public scholarship and global engagement?
  • How do we best leverage the strengths of the various disciplines in creating rich, complex projects?  What is the role of cross-disciplinary or interdisciplinary exploration?  What are the appropriate blends of theory and practice?
  • What examples are emerging from the field that demonstrate the power of global learning to promote both a “cornerstone to capstone” remapping of general education and to catalyse faculty-led innovations that advance cross-disciplinary inquiry, research, and learning across the liberal arts and sciences?

Theme IV:  Civic Engagement, Equity, and the Ethics of Global Learning

  • How might ideas about global learning expand and alter civic, ethical, and cross-cultural learning priorities for every degree program and every student?
  • How are campuses engaging students in the civic questions of their local, regional, and national communities?
  • What is the role of civic learning in addressing global issues?
  • AAC&U has announced its intention to work on “Liberal Learning for the Global Commons.”  What strategies are campuses using to bring a “Global Commons” or civic mind set into global learning studies and experiences?
  • What strategies are campuses using to shape “Global Commons” projects and/or continuing engagement with global challenges and societal needs?  What are promising ways of making such efforts part of all students’ civic and global learning?
  • Does the concept of a “Global Commons” invite utopian thinking and/or political objections—and if so, how can such concerns be allayed?
  • What strategies are campuses using to help students move beyond a US-centric approach to global problems and developments?  What evidence do we have about practices that are educationally powerful in this regard?

LEAP Featured Sessions

Conference sessions designated as LEAP Featured Sessions are intended to highlight the innovative work of colleges and universities that are members of AAC&U’s LEAP Campus Action Network(CAN).  Featured Sessions make explicit links between campus-based educational reform and the essential learning outcomes, principles of excellence, and high-impact practices described in AAC&U’sLiberal Education and America’s Promise(LEAP) initiative.

For more information on applying to have your conference session designated as a LEAP Featured Session, visit

Session Formats


Posters share visual models of curricula, programs, courses, student services as well as strategies, processes, and other practices.  At Network for Academic Renewal conferences, the poster session provides an opportunity to reach a broad audience and initiate conversations with colleagues with similar interests.  Posters are displayed on a 6’x3’ table, which can also be used to display models, a laptop, or other items.

Concurrent Session (60 minutes)

Concurrent sessions are designed to share current work—in research, theory, or practice—related to the conference themes.  The Call for Proposals asks for information on  the outcomes participants can expect from their participation, the content of the session, and the plan for participant engagement.  Concurrent sessions may be organized as panel discussions, analysis of research protocols and findings, or discussion, to give a few examples. 

Concurrent Workshop (90 minutes)

Workshops provide an opportunity for facilitators to significantly engage participants in applying an effective model, practice, or strategy to their own specific campus work.  Workshops should begin with a brief framing of the topic and an overview of intended activities and goals for the session.  Facilitators should provide data/findings related to the topic, milestones for success, common challenges, practical examples, and engage participants in activities related to the session topic.


HEDs Up is a format in the model of “TED Talks” – the Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference that limits each speaker to 18 minutes. The presentation should focus on an innovative model, pedagogy, practice, rubric, strategy, or “the next big idea” – about global learning in college.   HEDs Up presentations should be provocative, challenging, and above all, interesting.  AAC&U will combine your talk with two others to create a moderated 60 minute session. 

Developing and Submitting a Proposal

Proposals are accepted through an online form and must include:

  • Name, title, institution, and email address of each facilitator
  • Session theme and format
  • Session title (100 character limit)
  • Brief abstract to be used in the conference program if accepted(150 words)
  • Statement of intended audience (100 word limit)
  • Participant outcomes (100 word limit)
  • Plan for participant engagement (150 word limit, not required for poster proposals)
  • Background and description of work (150 word limit)
  • Brief abstract that will be used in the conference program if accepted(150 words)
  • Session format (see below) and theme (see above)
  • Name, title, institution, and email address of each facilitator

Reviewers are looking for proposals that:

  • Reflect sound theory, research, strategies, and practical models that have proven effective and reflect compelling visions or models for change. Participants seek successful solutions with clear “how to” guidelines - not works in progress.
  • Provide a clear sense of the intended audience, how the session will unfold, lessons learned, and effective approaches to help participants consider the information in their own context.
  • Include facilitators who bring diverse perspectives to interrogate and inform the proposal topic.  Sessions that include students are especially acknowledged.
  • “Show and tell” submissions without clear applicability to other institutions will not be accepted.

The deadline for proposal submission is Tuesday, February 19.

Upon submission of a proposal, the session contact should receive an automatic message indicating that we have received the proposal.  If the contact does not receive this message, please e-mail Siah Annand at

AAC&U staff will review all proposals and make final selections, with guidance from conference planning committee members.

Additional Information

The session contact will be sent (via email) notification of the decision on the proposal by Friday, March 29.

Expenses and Fees
All session facilitators are responsible for conference registration fees, travel, and hotel expenses. Please be sure all facilitators listed in the proposal have this information and can be available to present throughout the event. Presentation times range from Thursday, October 3 at 8:30 p.m.  through Saturday, October 5 at 12:00 noon.

AAC&U Sponsorship Program
Proposals that promote products or services available for purchase will not be considered through the regular proposal process, but will be referred to AAC&U’s Sponsorship Program. 

2012-2013 Sponsorship Levels (2013-2014 rates will be available summer 2013 and may include a modest increase in rates)

More information about sponsorships is available by writing