AAC&U News, June 2014
News & Events

June 2014

Meetings and Institutes

Submit Proposals Now for AAC&U’s 2015 Centennial Annual Meeting—Join Us to Celebrate 100 Years of Leadership for Liberal Education

AAC&U will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2015, and we warmly invite your participation. The meeting—“Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and the Equity Imperative”—will be held in Washington, DC, January 21–24, 2015. The Annual Meeting will explore higher education’s role in engaging students with the world’s urgent problems and, ultimately, in helping to create a more just and sustainable global future.  We will explore the kinds of learning—combining high touch and high tech—that Americans need now from postsecondary education. The Annual Meeting will feature a special Centennial Symposium on January 21—“America's Global Future: Are College Students Prepared?”  We also welcome your participation—and proposals—for a Forum on Digital Learning and E-Portfolios, which will be held all day on Saturday, January 24.

Proposals are due Monday July 14. Please visit the call for proposals for more information on how to share your work at the Annual Meeting.

Submit Proposals for Network Conference on General Education and Assessment

February 19–21, 2015—Kansas City, Missouri

AAC&U invites session proposals for the conference Mission to Action to Evidence: Empowering and Inclusive General Education Programs. The conference will be organized around five stages typical of the process of general education revision: conceptualization, design, support and approval, implementation, and assessment. Proposals are invited for sessions that address work that has proven effective in reframing general education in each of these stages. More specifically, we invite proposals that reflect efforts to raise the bar for all students and to assure that all students achieve the Essential Learning Outcomes necessary to compete and succeed in an information-rich, technologically advanced global society.

Proposals are due Monday, July 14. Visit the call for proposals to find out how to submit a proposal to share your work at this conference.

Register Now for AAC&U’s Conference on Global Learning

October 16–18, 2014—Minneapolis, MN

Global Learning in College: Cross-Cutting Capacities for Twenty-First-Century College Students will feature sessions on the knowledge and skills students need in an increasingly globalized world and efforts to design educational experiences—across the curriculum and in the community—to help students develop these cross-cutting capacities. Registration is open now.

LEAP News

AAC&U and WaCLA Co-Host Seattle Employer-Educator Forum with more than 200 Participants from across Washington State

AAC&U and the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) co-hosted "Higher Education as Collaboration: Partnering for Work, Leadership, and Life" in Seattle on May 20. Representatives from more than forty colleges, universities, and community colleges participated in the program, along with legislators and policy makers, representatives from the business community, and other educational and community leaders. This forum is part of a series of similar programs being held across the country in 2014 as a way for higher education institutions to engage in purposeful dialogue with local and regional employer representatives and policy leaders about creating more intentional partnerships that give college students hands-on learning experiences that will be useful for their careers. The event builds on the 2013 release of AAC&U’s Employer-Educator Compact and a national survey of employers.

AAC&U Cosponsors Inaugural LEAP Texas Forum on Assessment

LEAP Texas, a coalition of more than sixty institutions spanning different state offices and systems, will hold its Inaugural LEAP Texas Forum, “Assessing Core Objectives…Together!”, on June 26 and 27. The forum, hosted by Brookhaven College in Dallas, will feature sessions on assessing both statewide and institutional learning objectives. AAC&U is a cosponsor of the event, and AAC&U Vice President Susan Albertine will serve as a featured speaker.

PKAL—Undergraduate STEM Education News

STEM Faculty Selected for 2014 PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), AAC&U's center for STEM higher education reform, received nearly 100 applications from qualified STEM faculty from a diverse set of institutions, including minority-serving institutions and community colleges. Among these, sixty early- and mid-career STEM faculty members were selected to participate in a week-long, intensive leadership development opportunity designed to build their capacity as effective agents of change in transforming undergraduate STEM education at the departmental, institutional, and national levels. Now in their sixteenth year of existence, the PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes have achieved a rich legacy of success marked by 40 percent of their participants ascending to academic leadership positions.For a complete list of participating campuses, see the press release.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Network

New Publications to Enrich Campus-Community Partnerships

Two Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Action Network members have released new publications on community-engaged learning. Edited and published by the Minnesota Campus Compact, Asset-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education is a collection of essays and case studies that addresses both the potential and the challenges of asset-based community engagement in higher education. Imagining America, meanwhile, has published the second issue of Public: A Journal of Imagining America. This online issue, “A Future-Oriented Democratic Revival,” draws on past sources of creative and intellectual grounding, as well as ideas and practices that consciously break from traditional approaches, to imagine and create a future expressive of the deep cultural and political ideals of a diverse people.

CIRCLE Releases New Data on Youth Voter Turnout and Political Engagement

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has launched an Interactive State-by-State Map of Youth Voter Turnout, Voter Registration, and Youth Demographics that includes historical trends and state-level data to inform those interested the electoral engagement of citizens aged 18-29, and for those 30 years old or more.

Campus Compact, Imagining America, and CIRCLE are all members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of thirteen leading civic learning organizations that is coordinated by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and supports efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college.

Project News

AAC&U Announces Partnership with Taskstream to Create New VALUE Rubrics Database

As part of the next phase of the VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education), AAC&U is partnering with Taskstream to create a database of student learning artifacts, collected from a range of institutions across the country regardless of their local platform, that can be assessed using the VALUE rubrics. This comprehensive database will allow for the development of national and statewide benchmarks for student learning achievement. AAC&U is also partnering with the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment, the State Higher Education Executive Officers, and an additional set of independent colleges and universities to advance this next phase of the VALUE initiative.

Other AAC&U News

AAC&U Releases Statement on Providing Better Evidence on College Learning and Completion

Responding to the calls for better information about how well colleges and universities are serving today’s students, AAC&U’s Board of Directors has released a statement urging institutions to take the lead in framing these debates around appropriate metrics that focus on what students learn in college, as well as completion rates.  AAC&U applauds the measures being taken by sister organizations and institutions to assess the quality of student learning, and to collect better data on the complicated educational pathways of today’s students. AAC&U also encourages member institutions to explore whether participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability, the U-CAN initiative, or the Voluntary Framework of Accountability would be useful to them in presenting a more accurate picture of their own institutional results.

AAC&U Vice President Debra Humphreys Featured on Radio Program on the Value of College and Proposed Federal Ratings System

AAC&U Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement Debra Humphreys was one of three guests on WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show on May 7, 2014. The show, titled “Measuring the Value of a College Degree,” was a panel discussion that addressed the value and costs of a college degree, future employment prospects for graduates, and President Obama’s proposed ratings system. Humphreys argued that the value of a college degree is about more than just earnings and noted that “nearly all employers recently surveyed by AAC&U say that ‘a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.’” Humphreys also noted some of the problems with President Obama’s proposed rating system and responded to questions about AAC&U’s 2014 report, How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment. See AAC&U’s most recent statement on the proposed federal ratings system.

Submit Nominations by October 1 for K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. All doctorate-level graduate students who are planning a career in higher education are eligible, regardless of academic department. Graduate students in fields where the master’s is the terminal degree, such as art or music, are also eligible. Nominees must hold student status in January 2015. Award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, in January 2015. See the Cross Award Web page for a list of previous recipients. Information about how to submit a nomination for the 2015 award is available here.

About AAC&U News

AAC&U News is written and edited by Ben Dedman. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter's contents, please e-mail dedman@aacu.org.

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