Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia Announce Georgia As 13th Partner State in AAC&U’s LEAP States Initiative
Washington, DC—July 20, 2016—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) announced today that Georgia is now a state partner in AAC&U’s national initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP).
“Georgia is delighted to become a LEAP state partner,” said Micheal Crafton, Interim Chief Academic Officer for the University System of Georgia. “We have been working on LEAP projects and initiatives for a few years now and the disparate efforts are coalescing brilliantly into a network of dedicated faculty and administrators who see applying the fundamentals of LEAP as a preferred path for comprehensive student success.”
LEAP Georgia is a partnership of the University System of Georgia and a recently formed LEAP State Georgia Consortium (LSGC) comprising more than twenty colleges, community colleges, and universities across the state of GA. A LEAP Georgia Steering Committee has worked collaboratively over the last several years leading to creation of the LSGC and their application to become an official LEAP State partner. The Steering Committee proposed a statewide agenda for developing and assessing the LEAP vision for student success through a focus on purposeful pathways that lead to Essential Learning Outcomes for all students. In applying to become an official LEAP State partner, the LSGC steering committee noted that institutions across the state are united in joining AAC&U in its advocacy for the “central position that the values of liberal education must take in undergraduate college degree programs in order to properly address the needs of the 21st century.” The steering committee noted further that liberal education values are “essential for the development of professionals, of citizens, and of the leaders upon whom the future of our country depends.”
The LSGC Steering Committee will continue to guide the effort. It includes at least one faculty member and one administrator from each of the participating member institutions and will provide oversight for the statewide initiative and campus action projects. All provosts in the USG endorsed the effort to create the collective as the entity joining LEAP States.
The LSGC has identified several key initial goals for their LEAP work. In becoming a LEAP state, they are seeking to:
- Strengthen ongoing work related to Georgia’s participation in Complete College America showcasing Georgia’s commitment to equity, access, and academic achievement;
- Develop new academic programming and a pathways approach to the USG Core Curriculum;
- Share resources and build campus capacity to implement high-impact educational practices and more integrated designs for general education; and
- Build common standards for student achievement connecting the USG’s existing stated learning outcomes with the broader national framework of LEAP’s Essential Learning Outcomes and its accompanying assessment rubrics developed as part of AAC&U’s VALUE initiative (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education.)
“AAC&U is very pleased to welcome Georgia to the national LEAP initiative. 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,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.
Launched in 2005, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) is a national public advocacy and campus action initiative of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). LEAP champions the importance of a twenty-first-century liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. LEAP responds to the changing demands of the twenty-first century—demands for more college-educated workers and more engaged and informed citizens. Today, and in the years to come, college graduates need higher levels of learning and knowledge as well as strong intellectual and practical skills to navigate this more demanding environment successfully and responsibly. Through LEAP, hundreds of campuses are making far-reaching educational changes to help all their students—whatever their chosen field of study—acquire the broad knowledge, higher order capacities, and real world experience they need to thrive both in the economy and in a globally engaged democracy.
AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,350 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.
AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.
Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.
About The University System of Georgia
The University System of Georgia is comprised of 29 public colleges and universities, Georgia Archives and the Georgia Public Library Service. Learn more online at www.usg.edu.