What's New

Rebecca Dolinsky Graham Appointed Director for Student Success

Rebecca Dolinsky Graham Appointed Director for Student Success

Monday, October 3, 2016 - 04:45

AAC&U is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rebecca Dolinsky Graham as director for student success in AAC&U’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success (DESS). Most recently, Graham served as research analyst and program manager in AAC&U’s Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, where she contributed research expertise and high-level coordination to a variety of AAC&U projects, including the Quality Collaboratives, Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE), General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs), and Faculty Collaboratives. Graham has broad and deep experience with diversity and equity issues in higher education and specific expertise in advancing LGBTQ student success. She is currently cofacilitating a national research study on campus practitioner engagement in retention efforts for LGBTQ students, within the curriculum and cocurriculum and across students’ various intersecting identities. She has authored and coauthored articles on LGBTQ student success, contingent faculty issues, and sustainable campus change efforts for Diversity and Democracy, Peer Review, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and has cofacilitated workshops on LGBTQ student success. In her new role, Graham will direct qualitative and quantitative research efforts; provide support for new and continuing initiatives, including by codirecting AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success; and conceptualize, generate, and direct sponsored projects related to change efforts at the state and campus levels. 

Third LEAP States Summit Held, Resources Online

Friday, September 16, 2016 - 14:30

Teams of educators and leaders from twenty states, state systems, and consortia gathered for the third LEAP States Summit, held Sept. 13–15, 2016, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The summit invited participants to connect quality of student learning with equity in student learning outcomes and to grapple with challenges to liberal education and inclusive excellence at the systems level. AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella delivered opening remarks offering historical perspective on education as a public good and emphasizing the importance of developing educational systems that advance the pursuit of that good. Resources from the summit are available here, and more information on the LEAP States Initiative is available here.

New Publication on the Digital Learning Ecosystem

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 12:30

Despite the transformative potential of the ongoing digital revolution, the digital ecosystem has so far had less of an impact on formal education than on other sectors of our society. In Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the New Digital Ecosystem, authors Randy Bass and Bret Eynon explore the implications of emerging digital capacities and culture for higher education, arguing that any discussion to reinvent higher education that begins with technology is doomed to a diminished vision of learning. Bass and Eynon begin instead by asking: What is the role of the digital ecosystem in making a quality liberal education available to all, equitably? This publication includes examples of digital innovations that advance liberal education outcomes and is ideal for campus discussions on using digital technology to improve undergraduate teaching and learning. Open and Integrative is available for purchase here

Registration for AAC&U Annual Meeting Now Open

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 12:30

AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting—“Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence”—will be held January 25–28 in San Francisco, California. The opening plenary will be an open discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella on the challenges and realities of advocating for liberal education and inclusive excellence in our current political, economic, and social environment. Speaking at the opening plenary are Sara Goldrick-Rab, author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream; Michael Roth, author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters; Jeff Selingo, author of There is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow; and Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" and Other Conversations About Race. At the final plenary on Saturday, Jelani Cobb of the New Yorker will speak on “The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today.” The ACAD Luncheon speaker will be Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist at Google, Inc., on “Iteration and Innovation in Education.” The Annual Meeting will also feature a premeeting symposium on Wednesday, January 25, “Student Activism and Liberal Education: Faculty Engagement in Turbulent Times,” and the Eighth Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on Saturday, January 28. Register for the Annual Meeting here.

Register Now for Best Rates: "Global Learning and the College Curriculum"

Register Now for Reduced Rates: "Global Learning and the College Curriculum"

Monday, August 29, 2016 - 11:45

October 6–8, 2016, Denver, Colorado
AAC&U invites you to join with colleagues at “Global Learning and the College Curriculum: Nurturing Student Efficacy in a Global World” to learn how educators are placing real-world problem solving at the center of the undergraduate curriculum. Many of the challenges facing our nation and the world in the twenty-first century are global in nature, and students need to be prepared to solve these problems with an ethical global mindset. Conference participants will discuss how global learning can be mapped equitably across the institution to chart a new course for inclusive curricular change. Learn more about this conference and register by September 21 for reduced conference rates.

Excellence in Assessment Designees Announced

Excellence in Assessment Designees Announced

Monday, August 22, 2016 - 15:00

Ten colleges and universities have been named as the first class of Excellence in Assessment designees. The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program, cosponsored by AAC&U, recognizes institutions’ commitment to the comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success. The EIA program highlights institutions successfully integrating assessment practices across campus, providing evidence of student learning outcomes, and using assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance. The ten institutions in the inaugural class are Cameron University, Capella University, the Community College of Baltimore County, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Kansas State University, Mills College, Mount St. Joseph University, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Zayed University. AAC&U has joined with the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), a public college and university transparency initiative led by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), to sponsor the EIA. For more on assessment, see AAC&U’s VALUE Rubrics and other assessment resources.

New Book from BTtoP: Well-Being and Higher Education

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 12:45

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP), an independent national initiative operating in partnership with AAC&U, recently released a new book titled Well-Being and Higher Education: A Strategy for Change and the Realization of Education’s Greater Purposes, featuring thirty-five essays from recognized scholars. Edited by BTtoP Director and President Emeritus of Bates College Don Harward, the volume provides a thorough discussion of well-being in the context of higher education. Essays focus on topics ranging from what well-being means, both in the hedonic and eudaimonic traditions, to how well-being is linked to the core purposes of an institution of higher education, to how campuses can facilitate and manifest this connection in realized ways—for the greater good of students and of the world in which we expect students to thrive and that we expect them to shape. The volume is available for purchase through AAC&U’s online store in print and as an eBook (PDF). For more information about BTtoP, visit http://www.bttop.org.

New Book Offers Guidance on Becoming a Student-Ready College

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 08:00

Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success, published by Jossey-Bass in partnership with AAC&U, is now available for purchase. By prompting readers to ask what their institutions can do to support incoming students, the book shifts the conversation about student success from a focus on student preparedness to a focus on institutional preparedness. The book’s coauthors include AAC&U Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Tia Brown McNair and AAC&U Senior Scholar Susan Albertine, writing with Michelle Asha Cooper of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, Nicole McDonald of Lumina Foundation, and Thomas Major Jr. of Lumina Foundation.

 Amy E. Jessen-Marshall

AAC&U Announces Appointment of Amy E. Jessen-Marshall as Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 13:15

AAC&U announces the appointment of Amy E. Jessen-Marshall as the new vice president for integrative liberal learning and the global commons. Jessen-Marshall serves as an AAC&U leader for the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) Pathways Project, is a member of the advisory board for AAC&U’s quarterly periodical Diversity & Democracy, and serves as a faculty member for AAC&U’s Institute on Liberal Learning and the Departments. She has been an active AAC&U member and leader over the years, including during her tenures at Sweet Briar College and Otterbein University. The Office of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons, which Jessen-Marshall will lead beginning on August 8, 2016, is the home of AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments as well as several projects including The LEAP Challenge, General Education Maps and Markers, Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility, and Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills.

Register Now for Best Rates: Global Learning and the College Curriculum

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 11:00

AAC&U invites you to join with colleagues at the “Global Learning and the College Curriculum: Nurturing Student Efficacy in a Global World” conference on October 6–8 in Denver, Colorado, to learn how educators are placing real-world problem solving at the center of the undergraduate curriculum. Many of the challenges facing our nation and the world in the twenty-first century are global in nature, and students need to be prepared to solve these problems with an ethical global mindset. Conference participants will discuss how global learning can be mapped equitably across the institution to chart a new course for inclusive curricular change. Learn more about this conference and register by September 7 for the best conference rates.

Georgia Announced as Thirteenth LEAP State

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 09:00

AAC&U and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) have announced that Georgia is now a state partner in AAC&U’s LEAP initiative. LEAP Georgia is a partnership of the University System of Georgia and a recently formed LEAP State Georgia Collective comprising more than twenty colleges, community colleges, and universities. “AAC&U is very pleased to welcome Georgia to the national LEAP initiative,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We are eager to collaborate in support of the state of Georgia's commitment to excellence in higher education as a force for public good.” See more about LEAP States online.

New Project Supports Faculty in Advancing Greater Intentionality, Curricular Coherence

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 07:00

With Teagle Foundation support, AAC&U announces the launch of a new initiative, Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence. Part of AAC&U’s LEAP national initiative, this six-month planning project will lay the foundation for ambitious faculty-led curricular changes leading to improved student learning and success in earning degrees. The project held a launch meeting July 21–22 in Washington, DC, and is led by AAC&U Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Tia Brown McNair with participation from the Community College of Philadelphia (PA); University of Houston-Downtown (TX); University of Nevada, Las Vegas (NV); and Winston-Salem State University (NC). For more information, see the project web page or the press release.

Presidents Respond to Issues of Racial and Social Justice

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 08:15

AAC&U is pleased to share statements and letters from several college and university presidents in response to recent current events regarding issues of racial and social justice. We hope you will use these letters as resources as you craft your own responses to these important issues. See related AAC&U resources on diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence, including a video of Lynn Pasquerella’s recent interview on Difficult Dialogues.   

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella Addresses Donald Trump's Proposal on Student Loans and the Liberal Arts

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella Addresses Donald Trump's Proposal on Student Loans and the Liberal Arts

Friday, July 29, 2016 - 07:30

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella has written an Op–Ed, published by Inside Higher Ed, in which she responds to Donald Trump’s proposal for the future of higher education. Pasquerella states, “In order to restore public trust in higher education and destabilize the cultural attitudes at the basis of Trump’s policy proposal, we need to demonstrate in a more compelling way to those outside of the academy, Democrats and Republicans alike, the extent to which we actually are teaching students twenty-first-century skills, preparing them to solve our most pressing global, national, and local problems within the context of the workforce, not apart from it. Our shared commitments to equity, democratic and economic vitality, and inclusive excellence demand nothing less.” Read the Op–Ed online, and learn more about AAC&U’s commitment to undergraduate liberal education.

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella Signs Letter Urging Prompt Action on Gun Control Legislation

Monday, July 18, 2016 - 10:15

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella signed a letter urging members of the US Congress to pass legislation that expands background checks and closes loopholes in our laws that make it easier for dangerous people to purchase guns. The letter was submitted to Congress on July 13 by the Women’s Coalition for Common Sense and notes that, “As we continue to mourn the losses from gun violence everywhere, we urge [Members of Congress] to give voice to the concerns of your constituents and honor the memory of the 33,000 Americans killed by gun violence every year and enact real, meaningful, and responsible solutions that can help prevent gun tragedies, and make our communities safer places to live.” On November 12, 2015, AAC&U also signed a joint statement opposing “campus carry” laws issued by the American Association of University Professors, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

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