Association of American Colleges and Universities and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education have announced Kentucky as the seventh official state partner in Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College.
Utilizing LEAP resources and frameworks, Kentucky colleges and universities have begun working on clarifying learning outcomes and how to demonstrate that all Kentucky two-year and four-year college students are receiving quality undergraduate degrees.
"The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education sought to become a LEAP partner state because the goals of LEAP are so congruent with our new 2011-15 strategic agenda for Kentucky postsecondary and adult education, Stronger by Degrees," said Robert L. King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
"The assessment strategies and development of high-impact educational practices we will be developing and testing as a part of our involvement with the LEAP initiative will be critical to meeting our goal of increasing high-quality degree production and completion rates at all levels."
Kentucky is one of eight states involved in AAC&U's new Quality Collaboratives Initiative, which is funded in part by the Lumina Foundation. Through the initiative, states work together to learn from one another and develop consensus frameworks that measure college students' level of competence and achievement in five areas: broad and specialized knowledge, intellectual skills, applied learning, and civic learning.
Using this framework, the states test various approaches that assess learning demonstrated in samples of students' actual work, helping campuses develop educational practices that:
- Ensure that students achieve essential outcomes at appropriately high levels
- Document students' attainment of outcomes
- Facilitate students' transfer of courses and competencies from two-year institutions to four-year institutions on their way to completing college degrees
"Colleges and universities across the state of Kentucky already are working to ensure that graduates achieve the kinds of learning that will best position them for success in today's turbulent global environment," said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.
"AAC&U is pleased to partner with these institutions to accelerate their learning improvement efforts and shine a national spotlight on the high-impact educational practices Kentucky colleges and universities already are developing."