Summer/Fall 
2005, 
Vol. 7, 
No. 3/4
Peer Review

From the Editor

Fostering students' abilities to integrate learning--across courses, over time, and between campus and community life--is one of the most important goals and challenges of higher education.

--Statement on Integrative Learning, Association of American Colleges and Universities, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching


Integrative learning opportunities encourage students to make connections between their new and existing knowledge, skills, and experiences, which in turn allows them to respond to the changing needs of society. This issue of Peer Review highlights the work produced by Integrative Learning: Opportunities to Connect, a joint project of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

As part of this project, ten campuses were selected competitively from a pool of 139 applicants to "develop and assess advanced models and strategies to help students pursue learning in more intentional, connected ways." The ten schools selected to participate--Carleton College, College of San Mateo, LaGuardia Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Michigan State University, Philadelphia University, Portland State University, Salve Regina University, State University of New York at Oswego, and University of Charleston--were encouraged to develop new networks, models, and evidence-based arguments to provide students with challenging integrative learning opportunities.

This edition of Peer Review also draws richly on the work of the Greater Expectations Forum on Twenty-First-Century Liberal Arts Educational Practice Working Group on Integrative Learning (see below).

In addition to the various perspectives on integrative learning provided in the articles in this issue, I want to draw attention first to the delightful cover art, created by Dave Cutler. For each issue of Peer Review, we collaborate with Dave to find the right visual metaphor that will effectively convey the issue's theme. In the process of coming to the final idea for this edition's cover, we explored the ideas of using puzzle pieces, connected dots, or tapestries to represent the ideals of integrative learning. Finally we agreed on a concept that symbolizes the essence of integrative learning--a student using the threads from the many components of an undergraduate education to knit those experiences into the cap and gown of an integrated liberal education. The final artwork truly captures the spirit of the Integrative Learning Project--students who are able to integrate their learning to make informed personal, professional, and civic decisions throughout their lives.


Greater Expectations Forum on Twenty-First-Century Liberal Arts Educational Practice

Working Group on Integrative Learning

  • Deborah DeZure, Michigan State University
  • Scott Evenbeck, Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • Roy Garcia, South Grand Prairie High School
  • Helen F. Giles-Gee, Rowan University
  • Lynne Gilli, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Debra Humphreys, AAC&U
  • Julie Thompson Klein, Wayne State University
  • Ross Miller, AAC&U
  • Richard Vaz, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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