Mount Union Faculty and Staff Selected to Attend AAC&U Summer Institute on General Education Reform

June 11, 2010

Five faculty and staff members from Mount Union College  will travel to the University of Vermont this summer to attend the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Institute on General Education and Assessment. Mount Union was selected along with 36 other institutions from across the country including Stanford University, Texas A&M University and Zayed University.

The Mount Union team will include Dr. Mandy Capel, assistant professor of education; Dr. Fang Du, director of assessment and program development; Dr. Jim Kadlecek, associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business; Dr. Andrew Price, dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, the Mary W. and Eric A. Eckler Chair in American Literature and Drama and professor of English; and Dr. Sarah Torok, assistant professor of psychology.

While at the institute, team members will learn vital information about how to revise a general education program and how to build a general education assessment system that encourages both curriculum creativity and accountability.

For 20 years, AAC&U’s Institute on General Education and Assessment has provided hundreds of colleges and universities with the formative and collaborative space to advance general education reform and its assessment on their campus.  Campus teams come to this institute to develop, refine and advance intentional curricula, engaging pedagogies, effective assessment and long-term sustainability of efforts. The Greater Expectations Institute will mark the tenth anniversary of AAC&U’s intensive five-day program specifically designed for campuses working to build their institutional capacity and collaborative leadership to increase the inclusion, engagement and high achievement of all their students, especially those historically underserved.

“Our faculty and administration have identified the development of an innovative and meaningful general education curriculum as a high priority,” said Kadlecek. “With that comes the responsibility and challenge of measuring its effectiveness.  The institute will be extremely beneficial in providing guidance and expertise to develop a strong assessment framework for our general education curriculum.  Being one of only 37 institutions selected will provide our team with a terrific opportunity to interact with a variety of schools that are at various stages in the same process we are going through.  We expect to come back with a lot of good ideas that will benefit the students and faculty of Mount Union.”

“AAC&U’s 2010 summer institutes are designed to address in a variety of ways the central challenge facing higher education – ensuring that all students achieve the high quality liberal education they need and deserve,” said Carol Geary Schneider, president of AAC&U. “Each year, we are inspired by the exciting and innovative ways these institutions are tackling the challenge of improving liberal learning outcomes for all their students.”

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,200 member institutions –including accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local levels and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Mount Union College is a private college located in Alliance, Ohio.  Established in 1846, the College offers 55 major fields of study to its more than 2,200 students. For more information about Mount Union, visit

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