Educational Effectiveness

Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)

Greater Expectations is AAC&U's multi-year initiative to articulate the aims of a 21st century liberal education and identify comprehensive, innovative models that improve learning for all undergraduate students. At the center of Greater Expectations is an analysis of the challenges facing higher education and an honest appraisal of our successes and failures in meeting them.

A broadly constituted National Panel was appointed to this task. The panel was charged with informing itself thoroughly and listening to many voices in conducting the analysis. Their deliberations, summarized in this report, have led to a recommendation to rethink what we should expect from, and how we should provide, college education in the twenty-first century. The report challenges all stakeholders to unite for collective action, creating a coherent educational system designed to help all students achieve the greater expectations that are the hallmark of our time.

Taking Responsibility for the Quality of the Undergraduate Degree

This is a report from AAC&U's Greater Expectations Project on Accreditation and Assessment.  As a follow-up to the Greater Expectations report, it provides additional guidance to the specific challenge of revitalizing of liberal education in preparing the next generation of college graduates. It also highlights the need for all faculty and academic administrators to take collective responsibility for this worthy objective.

Our Students' Best Work: A Framework for Accountability Worthy of our Mission

This statement, framed and approved by the AAC&U Board of Directors, is designed to help universities as they continue to improve upon strategies of assessment and accountability appropriate to their own missions. It is also intended to assist institutions as they respond to questions about accountability from both policy makers and members of the general public.

Liberal Education Outcomes: A Preliminary Report on Student Achievement in College, AAC&U, January 2006

This report on liberal education outcomes provides a wide-ranging and thought-provoking overview of student achievement in college. It examines a set of outcomes that are highly prized both by the academy and by employers, which include critical thinking, quantitative literacy, communication skills, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement. Drawing together research from diverse sources and studies, this report examines what we know - and how much we still need to find out - about student achievement on these and other important learning outcomes across the several years of college.

Council for Higher Education

Statement of Mutual Responsibilities for Student Learning Outcomes: Accreditation, Institutions, and Programs

This statement, adopted by the Board of Directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), lays out the "big picture" of why and how this movement for assessment has taken center stage in higher education now.

The Business-Higher Education Forum

Public Accountability for Student Learning in Higher Education: Issues and Options

This is a position paper from the Business-Higher Education Forum, an organization of prominent leaders in higher education and the business community. It provides a broad contextual framework for understanding the relation between assessment of educational programs and accountability, by which it means the process of communicating to the public the goals and accomplishments of those programs.

Building a Nation of Learners

In this report, the Business-Higher Education Forum communicates a heightened sense of urgency in addressing the "skills deficit" and argues that to better prepare for the challenges of the high-performing jobs of the future, higher education must transform the teaching and learning process to build a nation of learners equipped with the key skills needed to succeed in a global, networked economy. It also reports on several innovations underway across U.S. higher education.