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					Changing Understandings of
Liberal and Liberal Education

    COPLAC Summer Meeting
      Keene, New Hampshire
          June 20, 2009

      Carol Geary Schneider
     The Emerging National
 Dialogue on American Capability

Two Locations:
         Campus Faculty and Leaders

AAC&U – Connecting Educators with
             Preparing Students for
          Twenty-First Century Realities

      2000-2005 – Greater Expectations
                   A National Dialogue About Goals and
                   Effective Practices in College Learning

2005-2015 – Liberal Education and America’s Promise
                   A Ten-Year Effort to Make
                   Excellence Inclusive
                             The Essential Learning
         Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical
          and Natural World
          Focused on engagement with enduring and contemporary big
Intellectual and Practical Skills
    Practiced extensively across the curriculum, in the context of progressively
    more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance

Personal and Social Responsibility
    Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and
    real-world challenges
Integrative Learning
    Demonstrated through the application of knowledge,
    skills, and responsibilities to new settings and
    complex problems
               The World is
             Demanding More

There is a demand for more numbers of
college educated workers.

There is also a demand that those
educated workers have higher levels of
learning and knowledge.
        Why Is There a Need for
       Higher Levels of Learning?
In a globalized knowledge economy, the
 capacity to drive innovation is the key
 strategic economic advantage
Rapid scientific and technological
 innovations are changing the workplace and
 demanding more of all employees
Global interdependence and complex cross-
 cultural interactions increasingly define
 modern society and the workplace and call
 for new levels of knowledge and capability6
                       Productivity Is Now
                       Tied to Learning…
           Half Life of Industries, Companies, Jobs, and
            Skills Decreasing

           Today's Students Will Have 10-14 Jobs By the
            Time They are 38
           50% of Workers Have Been With Their
            Company Less Than 5 Years
                 25% Less than 1 Year

           Breadth, Depth, & Application of
           Academic Preparation is Expanding
        Key Capabilities Open the
        Door for Career Success
             and Earnings

“Irrespective of college major or
institutional selectivity, what
matters to career success is
students’ development of a broad
set of cross-cutting capacities…”
          Anthony Carnevale, Georgetown University
             Center on Education and the Workforce
The Growing Demand for Higher Order Skills
  Source: Council on Competitiveness, Competitiveness Index
In a Knowledge Economy,
  Liberal Education Has
Become the Key to American
  Capability and Student
 Employers Strongly Endorse
the LEAP “Essential Learning
        Outcomes” –
 And They Urge New Effort to
  Help All Students Achieve
                 National Surveys of Employers
                   on College Learning and
                  Graduates’ Work Readiness
  AAC&U commissioned Hart Research Associates (first in
   2006 and next in 2007) to interview employers (C-level
    suite executives) whose companies report that 25% or
  more of their new hires hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

     Findings are summarized in the following reports:
How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in
    Today’s Global Economy? (AAC&U, 2007)
 How Should Colleges Assess and Improve Student
 Learning? Employers’ Views on the Accountability
            Challenge (AAC&U, 2008)

        Balance of Broad Knowledge and
            Specific Skills Preferred

Source: How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed inToday’s Global
Economy? (AAC&U, 2007)
                      How important is it for colleges
                     and universities to provide the type
                       of education described below?
         This particular approach to a four-year college
         education provides both broad knowledge in a
         variety of areas of study and more in-depth
         knowledge in a specific major or field of interest. It
         also helps students develop a sense of social
         responsibility, as well as intellectual and practical
         skills that span all areas of study, such as
         communication, analytical, and problem-solving
         skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply
         knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
Source: How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Today’s
Global Economy? (AAC&U, 2007)
    How important is it for colleges and
universities to provide this type of education
             (see previous slide)?
                                            Not sure
      Less/not important              1%

                                                               69% Very important
  Fairly important

                                      Business Leaders
        * 76% of employers would recommend this type of
        education to a young person they know.
Source: How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Today’s Global
Economy? (AAC&U, 2007)
                        The Salary Premium for
                      Liberal Education Outcomes
          From a federal database analyzing qualifications for
          1,100 different jobs, there is consistent evidence that the
          highest salaries apply to positions that call for intensive
          use of liberal education capabilities, including (random
                     Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
                     Judgment and Decision Making
                     Problem Solving
                     Social/Interpersonal Skills
Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
                            Liberal Education and
                               Career Success

        Students need to know that the marketplace richly
        rewards graduates who possess high levels of
        competence in key liberal learning outcomes.

        Moreover, students who lack the hallmarks of a
        liberal education will not gain access to paths that
        require these high level capabilities.

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
 Employers Seek Evidence that
   Graduates Can Apply Their
Learning to Real-World Problems
Employers Advise on Where to Focus Assessment Resources
                 One/Two Practices to Which Colleges Should Devote Resources

Source: How Should Colleges Assess and Improve Student Learning? AAC&U/
Peter D. Hart Research, 2008
Implications for COPLAC
1. Give Students a Compass –
     and Educators Too

SHARED Responsibility for
Essential Learning Outcomes
             Goals/Outcomes for All Students’
                    College Learning
Among respondents from campuses WITH campus-wide goals, percent saying
their institution’s common set of learning goals/outcomes addresses each area of
knowledge/intellectual skills & ability
    Areas of Knowledge                                   Intellectual Skills/Ability
Humanities                                 92%   Writing skills                               99%
Science                                    91%   Critical thinking                       95%
Social sciences                            90%   Quantitative reasoning                 91%
                                                 Oral communication                     88%
Global/world cultures                     87%
                                                 Intercultural skills             79%
Mathematics                               87%
                                                 Information literacy            76%
Diversity in U.S.                   73%
                                                 Ethical reasoning               75%
Technology                    61%
                                                 Civic engagement           68%
U.S. history            49%
                                                 Application of learning   66%
Languages            42%                         Research skills           65%
ability        24%                               Integration of learning   63%
                           But Many Students Do Not
                            Understand the Expected
                              Learning Outcomes
       How many of your students understand your institution’s
       intended goals or outcomes for undergraduate
                Not many                     Almost all



* Among members at institutions with learning outcomes
for all undergraduates
                          Current Strategies for
                       Helping Students Understand
                        Intended Learning Goals
            In which of these ways does your institution explain
            intended learning goals or outcomes to students?*
              Institutional catalog                    86%
              Course syllabi                           74%
              Web site                                 68%
              Faculty advisors                         64%
              Orientation program                      63%
              Student advising system                  62%
              Institution’s view book                  22%
              First-year seminar/course                3%
* Among members at institutions with learning outcomes for all
      2. Engage the Departments

General Education – Necessary But Not

Every Major Plays a Crucial Role in
 Students’ Achievement of the Essential
 Learning Outcomes
   3. Embed High Impact/
High Effort Practices WITHIN
   General Education AND
          the Major
                High Impact Practices
 First-Year Seminars and Experiences
 Common Intellectual Experiences
 Learning Communities
 Writing-Intensive Courses
 Collaborative Assignments and Projects
 “Science as Science Is Done”/Undergraduate Research
 Diversity/Global Learning
 Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
 Internships
 Capstone Courses and Projects
        4. Show What Students Can
         Do With Their Knowledge
The Proof is In the Portfolio

Our Students’ Best Work MUST Provide
 the Best and Most Compelling Evidence –
 of Students’ Achievement and Americans’
           A New Framework for
              Student Success
Shared Goals – That Build American
High Impact Practices that Support Essential
 Learning Outcomes
Disaggregated Data – That Shine a Light on
 Underserved Students’ Progress and
Students’ Best Work – Sampled and
 Synthesized For Public Reporting
           In Sum:
    We Need Campus-Wide
Commitment—and Capacity—to
   Foster Essential Learning
Outcomes and Liberal Education
 This is a Defining Moment…
And Making Excellence Inclusive is
Absolutely Fundamental to Our Future

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