Publications

AAC&U publications cover a range of topics and provide the latest research, analysis, and valuable starting points for campus practitioner and policy leader dialogues. AAC&U monographs, reports, and guides focus on teaching, learning, curriculum, and academic leadership, and shine a spotlight on promising practices at every kind of college and university. See below for all AAC&U publications.

General Education Maps and Markers: Designing Meaningful Pathways to Student Achievement

General Education Maps and Markers: Designing Meaningful Pathways to Student Achievement

A resource for faculty members, academic leaders, and policymakers, this publication provides clear principles and guidelines for ensuring that general education fosters essential learning outcomes and key proficiencies important for long-term success and flourishing; that it enriches student learning in the major; and that it prepares students to tackle the kinds of complex problems they will inevitably confront in work, civil society, and their own lives.

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The VALUE Breakthrough: Getting the Assessment of Student Learning in College Right

The VALUE Breakthrough: Getting the Assessment of Student Learning in College Right

Focused on assignments produced for a degree program, rather than on answers on time-limited standardized tests, AAC&U’s Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) initiative represents a national movement to change the way assessment is envisioned and approached. This publication explains the importance of this movement and how VALUE relates to the aims of liberal education, to the capabilities employers seek and reward, and to the public policy pressures facing higher education.

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How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment

How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths

Students, parents, and policymakers interested in the “return on investment” of college education tend to place unwarranted emphasis on the choice of undergraduate major, often assuming that a major in a liberal arts field has a negative effect on employment prospects and earnings potential. This report—which includes data on earnings, employment rates, graduate school earnings bumps, and commonly chosen professions—presents clear evidence to the contrary.

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Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating

Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating

Although the term “global learning” is used widely across higher education, faculty, staff, and other practitioners do not always agree about what it means. Published jointly by AAC&U and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, this publication defines global learning outcomes, explores how the ideas behind the term “global learning” are evolving, and places global learning in the context of several overlapping higher education change efforts.

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Investing in Success: Cost-Effective Strategies to Increase Student Success

Investing in Success: Cost-Effective Strategies to Increase Student Success

This publication provides sound advice and practical planning tools for educational leaders who seek to invest in innovation, despite budget constraints. The authors present and discuss several campus examples of wise investment in the development or scaling of particular practices that have yielded positive results for student learning, graduation rates—and the bottom line.

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Assessing Underserved Students' Engagement in High-Impact Practices

Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices

This publication presents findings from a national study of the impact of a defined set of educational practices on traditionally underserved student populations (defined here as first-generation, minority, transfer, and low-income students). Drawing on the National Survey of Student Engagement and qualitative data obtained through student focus groups, the mixed-method analysis includes student-level data on engaged learning at thirty-eight institutions. A toolkit for assessing equity in high-impact practices is also included. 

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Using the VALUE Rubrics for Improvement of Learning and Authentic Assessment

Using the VALUE Rubrics for Improvement of Learning and Authentic Assessment

Responding to common questions about the development and use of the rubrics created through AAC&U’s Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) initiative, this publication provides practical information about rubric-based approaches to the assessment of student learning. The authors address issues of validity, reliability, rubric modification, and faculty training. Specific campus examples are discussed.

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Ensuring Quality & Taking High-Impact Practices to Scale

Ensuring Quality and Taking High-Impact Practices to Scale

This publication presents research on specific educational practices that correlate with high levels of academic challenge, student engagement, and achievement. Focused on the relationship between these practices and improvements in retention and graduation rates, the author offers advice on how to ensure that all students experience multiple high-impact practices. Campus case studies are included.

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Making Progress? What We Know about the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes

Making Progress? What We Know about the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes

 

Comparing data from a variety of sources—including the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Wabash National Study, the CIRP Freshman Survey, and the Personal and Social Responsibility Inventory—this report examines student achievement across an array of learning outcomes. It contrasts the very positive evidence drawn from what students think they have learned with the more sobering evidence of what students actually can do in such areas as critical thinking, writing, and quantitative reasoning.

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A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future

A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future

Commissioned by the US Department of Education, this major report responds to a national discourse that effectively limits the mission of higher education to workforce preparation and training, while marginalizing disciplines basic to democracy. The task force exhorts educators and public leaders to advance an educational vision that would make civic learning and democratic engagement an expected part of undergraduate education. The report documents the nation’s anemic civic health and includes recommendations focused on campus culture, general education, and civic inquiry.

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