Skip to Main Content

Events Calendar

AAC&U: Creating a 21st-Century General Education

Westin St. Francis
San Francisco, CA
February 14-16, 2019

"Responding to Seismic Shifts"

There is an emerging—and necessary—revolution occurring within general education. This revolution is led not by higher education “disruptors” intent on breaking apart existing systems, but by innovators creating intentional, coherent, engaging, and integrated educational experiences. College and university faculty, cocurricular professionals, and other academic leaders are leveraging research on what facilitates and strengthens liberal learning for all students seeking the benefits of higher education. Their revolution is based on the recognition that twenty-first-century general education

  • must be a central mechanism for integrating knowledge and developing higher-order learning skills and abilities rather than a set of unconnected introductory courses;
  • must connect with the learning goals of the major, the work of student affairs, and the goal of preparing students for lifelong learning;
  • is the foundation for equity in preparing current and future civically engaged graduates;
  • is a potentially powerful tool for retention and completion; and
  • provides valuable and enduring professional development for the current and future workforce.

In the context of urgent social challenges such as growing economic and demographic segregation and a breakdown of public trust in higher education at large, general education must prepare students to

  • create meaning and sense in the face of the active denigration of reason, evidence, and facts;
  • use critical thought, reflection, and considered judgment to countervail a culture defined by snap decisions, distrust, and division;
  • value difference and diverse viewpoints as the cornerstone of a thriving democracy.

AAC&U’s 2019 Network for Academic Renewal conference on General Education and Assessment invites colleagues from all areas of the higher education landscape to join us in sharing efforts to create intentional and integrated programs, to assess our current practices, and to generate evidence of high-quality learning within our educational experiences for all students.