AAC&U News, August 2016

News & Events, August 2016

Meetings and Institutes

Global Learning and the College Curriculum Conference: Registration Now Open

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 7 for the best conference rates.

Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education Conference: Registration Now Open

November 3–5, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts
AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope invite you to join with colleagues at the conference “Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education: Implications for 21st-Century Society” to share and examine evidence-based models, practices, and strategies to provide high-quality undergraduate STEM teaching and learning and increase the number of students majoring, completing baccalaureate degrees, and pursuing careers in STEM fields. This year’s conference will deepen our understanding of “what works” in STEM higher education reform and provide attendees with the opportunity to rethink curricular designs and teaching approaches in ways that will maximize learning. Learn more about this conference and register by October 5 for the best rates.

AAC&U 2017 Annual Meeting to Focus on Restoring the Public Trust

January 25–28, 2017, San Francisco, California
“Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence”—AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting—will be held January 25–28 in San Francisco, California. The Annual Meeting will respond to the urgent need, expressed by educators from campuses across the country, for more effective approaches to restoring public trust in higher education and improving public understanding of how liberal education and inclusive excellence are valuable public and private goods. A pre-conference symposium on “Student Activism and Liberal Education: Faculty Engagement in Turbulent Times” will be held on Wednesday, January 25; the eighth annual ePortfolio Forum will be held on Saturday, January 28. Registration will open on September 15.


Meeting the LEAP Challenge

Georgia Announced as Thirteenth LEAP State

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 among AAC&U, the University System of Georgia, and a recently formed LEAP State Georgia Consortium 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

The First LEAP State, Wisconsin, Issues Assessment Report

LEAP Wisconsin, representing the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, has published LEAP Wisconsin Assessment: A Decade and Counting of Statewide Engagement with Liberal Education and America’s Promise. Beginning in 2015, the LEAP Steering Committee was charged by UW System President Ray Cross with evaluating the system’s LEAP Wisconsin initiative, now more than ten years old. To meet this charge, the committee conducted an extensive review—using interviews, mixed-methods data collection and analysis, and self-study—of the influence LEAP has had on UW System institutions and the UW System as a whole. The report is available here, and information on LEAP Wisconsin is available here.

LEAP States Leader Receives the 2016 Jerry G. Gaff Award

Larry R. Peterson of North Dakota State University (NDSU) was named the recipient of the 2016 Jerry G. Gaff Award for Faculty Excellence in General and Liberal Studies. Peterson is director of assessment and interim dean of libraries at NDSU. The Gaff award honors AAC&U Senior Scholar Jerry Gaff and is given annually by the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS). In his nomination, Peterson was described as “the key driving force for general education at NDSU, chairing its general education committee for 16 years (and serving on it for more).” Peterson also serves on the state general education council and in that capacity has helped to lead the North Dakota LEAP activities since 2009. Read more about LEAP in North Dakota here


PKAL—Undergraduate STEM Education News

AAC&U Releases New PKAL Report, Increasing Student Success in STEM

AAC&U has published Increasing Student Success in STEM: A Guide to Systemic Institutional Change, a publication for faculty, administrators, and other academic leaders who are poised to mount comprehensive STEM reforms to improve student learning and success, particularly for students from underrepresented minority groups. Based on the experiences of teams at eleven colleges and universities in the Keck/PKAL STEM Education Effectiveness Framework project, the guide contains advice on getting started, team and leader development, project management, and sustaining change. It also includes benchmarks, key questions for analysis, timeline information, challenge alerts to help anticipate common roadblocks, and a rubric to help campus teams gauge their progress.

AAC&U Leaders Join National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella and AAC&U Senior Scholar and Director of the LEAP States Initiative Susan Albertine have joined a committee on Integrating Higher Education in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee will focus on issues including strengthening access to STEM degrees among traditionally underserved students, transforming graduate education to reflect the changing nature of the science and engineering workforce, and improving the integration of STEM, humanities, and the arts in higher education. 


Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Network News

CLDE Action Network Partners Offer Resources to Engage College Students in the Election

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) offers data and analysis of current and historical youth voting patterns that can be shared and used in the classroom to support civically engaged discourse during the 2016 presidential election campaign cycle. Complementing this, the American Democracy Project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) offers a series of Electoral Engagement Resources, as well as a focused set of activities organized in partnership with The Democracy Commitment called Engage the Election

Imagining America’s e-Journal Public Explores Global Civic Engagement

The current issue of PublicImagining America’s e-journal, “focuses on implications and mechanics of civically engaged research, teaching, and creative practice across national boundaries and explores many ways it means to be ‘globally engaged.’” Imagining America has also announced a call for submissions for a special issue of Public, “Digital Engagements – When the Virtual Gets Real.”

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and Imagining America are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of thirteen leading civic learning organizations convened by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and advances efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and to make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college. See the CLDE events calendar for upcoming civic conferences and webinars.


Project News

New Project Supports Faculty in Advancing Greater Intentionality, Curricular Coherence

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 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 (Pennsylvania); University of Houston-Downtown (Texas); University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Nevada); and Winston-Salem State University (North Carolina). For more information, see the project web page or the press release.

BTtoP Case Studies from Seven Grantee Campuses Now Available

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP), an independent national initiative operating in partnership with AAC&U, recently released case studies from BTtoP grantees describing stories of campus theory and practice related to student learning, civic engagement, and well-being. Each case study offers insights from individuals directly involved in campus activity, who share their thoughts on how their grants affected their programs, students, and relationships with other faculty and staff, as well as their own perspectives on their work. Read the case studies here


Other News

AAC&U Joins Coalition on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

AAC&U has announced that it is joining with more than seventy diverse organizations and individuals as partners in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative, launched in January 2016. The enterprise was launched to help communities embrace racial healing and uproot conscious and unconscious beliefs in the hierarchy of human value. AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella will serve on the Racial Healing and Relationship Building Design Team, and AAC&U Vice President Tia Brown McNair will serve on the Separation Design Team as part of this coalition. See related AAC&U resources on diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence, including a video of Pasquerella’s recent interview on Difficult Dialogues.   

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

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, “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.

AAC&U Cosponsors The Academic Minute

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella is host of the radio segment The Academic Minute, produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U. The Academic Minute features faculty and researchers from colleges and universities around the world, discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. On a recent episode, John Henderson, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, explains how the brain recognizes the words we read, and why the answer might help people who have difficulty reading. Subscribe to The Academic Minute here, or contact the production team if you are interested in sharing your research with listeners.

New Book Offers Guidance on Becoming a Student-Ready College

Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success, published in July 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. 

Submit Nominations by October 3 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 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 2017. Award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, in January 2017. See the Cross Award Web page for a list of previous recipients. Information about how to submit a nomination for the 2017 award is available here.

AAC&U Remembers Alison Bernstein

AAC&U mourns the loss of Alison R. Bernstein, a longtime leader in higher education and philanthropy who passed away on June 30, 2016. Bernstein was an especially gifted scholar and liberal educator, a tireless promoter of diversity and inclusion, an early champion of the field of women’s studies, and a strong supporter of this association. AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella noted that “Alison had a profound impact on higher education. Her lifelong commitment to liberal education, equity, and social justice resulted in enhanced access to higher education for those at the lowest socioeconomic rungs and to new models for ensuring that the contributions of women and people of color are not consigned to the lower shelves of history. Her legacy will continue to shape the next generation of global women leaders, and we are so grateful to have been beneficiaries of her wit, wisdom, and passion.” Read AAC&U’s full statement here.


Making the Most of AAC&U Membership

Join AAC&U Member Associates Program

If your institution is a member of AAC&U, you are eligible to become an AAC&U Associate. Associates Program dues are just $70 per calendar year. Associates receive all the benefits enjoyed by AAC&U Campus Representatives, including subscriptions to all AAC&U's print and online periodicals, notice of calls for proposals for institutes and meetings, and invitations to apply for grant-funded projects and to participate in special AAC&U events. Associates also receive an additional 20 percent discount on the purchase of one to ten copies of a single publication purchased via AAC&U's online shopping cart. Learn more about this discount online or from Renée Gamache, membership coordinator, at (202) 884-0809 or memberservices@aacu.org.

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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