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A Newcomers Welcome and Introduction to LEAP Presented by Bethany Zecher Sutton, Chief of Staff and Coordinating Director, LEAP.

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Presentation on theme: "A Newcomers Welcome and Introduction to LEAP Presented by Bethany Zecher Sutton, Chief of Staff and Coordinating Director, LEAP."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Newcomers Welcome and Introduction to LEAP Presented by Bethany Zecher Sutton, Chief of Staff and Coordinating Director, LEAP

2 About AAC&U AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality of student learning in college More than 1,300 institutional membersincluding accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size, including community colleges A network of more than 35,000 faculty members, academic leaders, presidents, and others working for educational reform We provide our members with opportunities to learn, connect, and apply theory to practice

3 AAC&Us Strategic Goals for 2013-2017 1. LEAP: Liberal Education as a Global Necessity Build shared commitment to provide ALL college students with the high-quality learning they need for an era of global interconnection and rapid societal and economic change. 2. Quality: 21 st -Century Markers for the Value of U.S. Degrees Promote a clear, contemporary, and capacious framework for high-quality learning and students demonstrated achievement, providing an educationally meaningful compass to guide students pathways to degrees. 3. Equity: Innovation, Inclusive Excellence and Student Success Accelerate broad-scale systemic innovation to advance educational practices that engage diversity and challenge inequities in order to make excellence inclusive. 4. Social Responsibility: Integrative Liberal Learning for the Global Commons Advance big questions/global commons inquiry and innovation across the liberal arts and sciences and through cornerstone-to-capstone designs for general education that foster civic learning, ethical reasoning, and engagement with diversity, both U.S. and global.

4 AAC&Us Strategic Goals: LEAP How can we align educational outcomes, practices, and policies with the demands of the economy – both local and global – and our need for more engaged public servants and citizens? What key areas of skill and knowledge should all students develop in college? (Essential Learning Outcomes)

5 AAC&Us Strategic Goals: Quality How should we define quality in the context of the push for degree completion? What specific competencies should be developed by students at different degree levels? (the Degree Qualifications Profile as a framework for quality in associates, bachelors, and masters degrees) What educational and pedagogical practices have the most impact on student learning (High-Impact Practices)? How do we know whether students are achieving competence in the learning outcomes (the VALUE rubric approach to assessment using student work)

6 AAC&Us Strategic Goals: Equity How can institutions scale up high-impact educational practices so that all students have the opportunity to participate in them? How can we provide students with roadmaps that engage them in their learning and teach them to become active partners in their quest for educational success? (The Roadmap project) How can we define quality and design curricula in ways that dont reinforce inequities? Could general education, for example, be designed based on the achievement of learning outcomes rather than a set number of course credits?

7 AAC&Us Strategic Goals: Social Responsibility An approach to liberal education that is framed by students engagement with real-world, complex, big questions that have actual meaning in their lives and also have application to our world (the global commons). For example – STIRS (Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills) is developing a framework for teaching evidence-based reasoning across both general education and the major

8 Clarifying Terminology AAC&U traditionally –and particularly through LEAPhas advocated for all students to receive a powerful and horizon-expanding liberal education Liberal Education: An approach to college learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It emphasizes broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g., science, culture and society) as well as in-depth achievement in a specific field of interest. It helps students develop a sense of social responsibility as well as strong intellectual and practical skills that span all areas of study, such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and includes a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings. Liberal Arts: Specific disciplines (e.g., the humanities, sciences, and social sciences) General Education: The part of a liberal education curriculum shared by all students. It provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines and forms the basis for developing important intellectual and civic capacities.

9 About LEAP Launched in 2005, Liberal Education and Americas Promise (LEAP) is a national advocacy, campus action, and research initiative that champions the importance of a twenty-first- century liberal educationfor individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality.

10 LEAP Promotes Essential Learning Outcomes A Guiding Vision and National Benchmarks for College Learning and Liberal Education in the 21 st Century High Impact Practices Helping Students Achieve the Essential Learning Outcomes Authentic Assessments of Student Learning Probing Whether Students Can APPLY Their Learning – to Complex Problems and Real-World Challenges Inclusive Excellence Diversity, Equity, Quality of Learning for All Groups of Students

11 The Goals of LEAP Spark public debate about the LEAP educational vision and about what learning outcomes are essential for all students; create more informed public support for higher education and for changes to improve the quality of student learning Challenge the belief that students must or should choose either a liberal education or a practical education Help all students understand, prepare for, and achieve essential learning outcomes in college Document national, state, and institutional progress in student achievement of essential learning outcomes

12 How is LEAP Organized? National Leadership Council and Presidents Trust - Providing advocacy and leadership to promote the value of liberal education; building the economic case Campus Action Network - Individual institutions seeking to align their undergraduate educational experience with the LEAP vision for student learning LEAP States Initiative - State systems and consortia of institutions seeking to implement systemic reform, particularly around general education and transfer Grant-funded initiatives - Roadmap, Quality Collaboratives, VALUE, etc.

13 Why LEAP? The World is Demanding More: There is a demand for more numbers of college educated workers There is a demand for engaged and informed citizens There also is a demand that those educated workers and citizens have higher levels of learning and knowledge, as well as new and different skills and abilities.

14 14 Key Findings from 2013 Survey of Employers Innovation a Priority: 95% of employers say they give hiring preference to college graduates with skills that enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace. It Takes More than a Major: 93% of employers say that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidates undergraduate major. More than 75% want higher education to place more emphasis on: critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge. Broad Learning is Expected: 80% of employers agree that, regardless of their major, all college students should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences. Students Need Liberal and Applied Learning: Employers strongly endorse educational practices that involve students in active, effortful workpractices including collaborative problem solving, research, internships, senior projects, and community engagements.

15 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for Our company puts a priority on hiring people with the intellectual and inter-personal skills that will help them contribute to innovation in the workplace Candidates demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, & solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major Our company is asking employees to take on more responsibilities and to use a broader set of skills than in the past Innovation is essential to our company/organizations continued success The challenges employees face within our company are more complex today than they were in the past Consensus among employers is that innovation, critical thinking, and a broad skill set are important for taking on complex challenges in the workplace. Strongly agree with this statement about employees/future hiresSomewhat agree 95% 93% 92% 91%

16 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for Having both field-specific knowledge and skills AND a broad range of skills and knowledge Having a range of skills and knowledge that apply to a range of fields or positions Having knowledge and skills that apply to a specific field or position A majority of employers agree that both specific knowledge and a broad range of skills are necessary for advancement and long-term career success. Which is more important for recent college graduates who want to pursue advancement and long-term career success at your company?

17 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for 17 Ethical judgment and integrity Comfortable working with colleagues, customers, and/or clients from diverse cultural backgrounds Demonstrated capacity for professional development and continued new learning Interest in giving back to the communities in which our company is located or those that it serves Knowledge of global cultures, histories, values, religions, and social systems Very important that our employees have this quality/skillFairly important 96% 94% 96% 71% 55% Employers value cross-cutting skills and qualities when hiring.

18 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for 18 All students should have educational experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different from their own All students should learn about ethical issues and public debates important in their field All students should have direct learning experiences working with others to solve problems important in their communities All should take courses that build knowledge, judgment, commit- ment to communities, ensure integrity/vitality of democracy All students should acquire broad knowledge in liberal arts and sciences All should learn about societies and cultures outside the U.S. and global issues and developments Employers are in agreement with a broad set of college learning goals that extend beyond workplace preparation. Strongly agree with this statement about the aims of college learningSomewhat agree 91% 86% 87% 82% 78% 80%

19 It Takes More Than A Major – January 2013 – Hart Research for 19 Expecting students to develop the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analyses Students complete significant project before graduation, demonstrating knowledge in major & analytical, problem-solving, communication skills Students complete internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences Expecting students to develop the skills to conduct research collaboratively with their peers Students acquire hands-on experience with the methods of science to understand how scientific knowledge is developed Expecting students to work through ethical issues and debates to form their own judgments about the issues at stake Will help a lot to prepare college students for success after graduation Will help a fair amount 83% 78% 79% 74% 69% 66% Employers believe a variety of emerging educational practices have the potential to help graduates succeed.

20 Employer Voices Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) – 2014

21 To Learn More To find out more about the LEAP Campus Action Network, visit To see the LEAP Campus Toolkit, visit

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