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New innovation hub to aid UW System faculty

December 12, 2014

The UW System is partnering with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) on a new initiative that will create a state-based, faculty-led “innovation hub” focused on advancing curricular reforms that lead to deeper student engagement, retention and graduation.

AAC&U’s new Faculty Collaboratives project more specifically aims to support faculty members through a multi-state network as they improve the learning of highly mobile students from diverse backgrounds who often transfer across multiple institutions in their college careers.

The UW System will receive $117,800 over two years to support the innovation hub, which will build faculty capacity for leadership and engagement with proven practices and frameworks focused on general education reform, as well as the assessment and transferability of student learning outcomes and proficiencies. The initiative also focuses on achieving higher levels of retention and graduation for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented minority students.

Supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation, the project is part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise, or LEAP Campaign, a national public advocacy and campus action initiative promoting student learning outcomes that both educators and employers endorse.

The UW System is part of the first cohort of states and systems, along with LEAP partners in California, Indiana, Texas and Utah. Another five states will join the project’s second cohort.

In 2005, the UW System became the pilot partner with AAC&U on the LEAP Campaign. Since then, LEAP Wisconsin has become synonymous with the UW System’s quality agenda, providing a blueprint for the essential learning that UW System students need as they prepare to take their places in the twenty-first century knowledge-based, global society.