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The New American Colleges and Universities is a national consortium of selective, small to mid-size independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement.
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Integrating Liberal Arts, Professional Studies, and Civic Responsibility


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New! University of New Haven Becomes Newest NAC&U Member

Photo of UNH campusThe University of New Haven, West Haven, Conn., recently joined The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), a consortium of colleges and universities that purposefully integrate liberal education, professional studies and civic engagement.

“We are excited to welcome the University of New Haven as an NAC&U member,” said Nancy Hensel, president of NAC&U. “The University’s strength in combining experiential education with a strong liberal arts foundation makes them a valuable addition to our current membership.”

Although regionally diverse, NAC&U members Photo of Steven Kaplanare like-minded peers in terms of size and mission and therefore can come together to collaborate on projects and share best practices in a warm, collegial manner.

“I am thrilled that NAC&U recognized that UNH is a university on the move and thus voted to include us,” UNH President Steven H. Kaplan said. “We will benefit a great deal from this affiliation as the current members are what we would consider role models in the area of engaged learning.  All of these schools rank among the very best in their respective regions and our interactions with them will strengthen us as we continue the transformation of UNH.” Read more

New! NAC&U Publication Aims to Increase Student Learning by Restructuring Faculty Workloads, AssessmentsPhoto of book cover

Read "Redefining the Paradigm..."

When the New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U) meet next week for the consortium’s 20th anniversary and annual Summer Institute they will discuss findings from a two-year Teagle Foundation-funded project on forming holistic departments and updating methods used to evaluate faculty. The project team, including 16 of NAC&U’s members, has created  “Redefining the Paradigm: Faculty Models to Support Student Learning” – a monograph that encourages colleges and universities to more effectively structure departments to address changes in higher education and better support student learning.

“Colleges and universities haven’t really changed the way departments are structured and the way faculty are evaluated despite major shifts in pedagogy and faculty responsibilities over the past few decades,” said the monograph’s co-editor David Salomon, professor of English and director of undergraduate research at The Sage Colleges. “We need to move away from viewing professors as the ‘sage on the stage’ and instead focus on the various activities – inside and outside of the classroom – that they do to foster student learning and advance the institutional mission.”

In the monograph, NAC&U outlines a new way of organizing departments and programs as “holistic departments” and recommends a new process for faculty evaluation called “the learning-centered paradigm.” Traditionally faculty have been evaluated on scholarship, teaching and service, but this monograph addresses the reality that faculty are engaged in many activities that cannot be easily separated into those categories. Instead, it argues for a holistic view of a department’s collective workload and seeks to achieve fluid, equitable workloads that can change as the department’s and faculty members’ needs change. Read more

New! Notable Quotations from NAC&U Member Commencement Ceremonies

Congratulations to the Class of 2015! Below are a few memorable quotations from commencement speeches.

Photo of graduation at HamlineHamline University

"In a way, each of us will walk away from Hamline with a degree in global citizenship. And when asked “so what are you gonna do with that?,” we can confidently respond: 'Make a difference.'"

—Andrew Brady, Hamline University Class of 2015

Drury University

“The quality of education you’ve had here at a small liberal arts university will serve you well for the rest of your life. All you need to do is leave Drury University with your degree in one hand and your self-esteem in the other – and look out, world.”

—Dr. Will Keim, motivational speaker and author

Wagner College

“I finished my undergrad experience 13 years ago, and the truth is, no one ever asks me anymore, ‘So, Wes, what did you major in in college?’ ... The question that will never fade for you is, ‘Who did you choose to fight for? Who did you choose to stand up for when it wasn’t easy? Who did you choose to advocate for when it wasn’t convenient? Who did you choose to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with when it might have been just you two standing there, but you did it because it was the right thing to do?’ What you study will fade. Who you fight for will not.”

—Wes Moore, authorPhoto of King Harald

Pacific Lutheran University

"When the Queen and I visited PLU 20 years ago, she received an Honorary Doctorate – of which I have been informed quite a few times. I am therefore particularly proud to have been awarded an Honorary Doctorate myself. Finally, the Queen and I are equal – at least on your campus."

—His Majesty King Harald V of Norway, who received a Doctor of Laws jure dignitatis, an honor his wife, Queen Sonja, received 20 years ago

Read more

New! Westminster Students Bring an Analog Relic into the Digital Age

Photo of MyriadRotary phones, floppy discs, 8-track tapes—once a piece of tech is sent to the graveyard it’s difficult to resurrect. But The Myriad is one analog treasure a group of Westminster students found and raised from the dead.

The Myriad, Westminster’s academic journal, was printed on paper —archaic, right—and distributed around campus where it was overlooked for years. The last known publication dated back to 2008, and the journal was all but forgotten.

Then, in the fall of 2014, a few students were searching for a way to showcase the interesting research being done at Westminster. They stumbled upon archives of The Myriad and began overhauling it to not only fit in today’s digital world, but to also make it appealing to new audiences. The result is one of the first digital, interactive academic journals in the world that pushes the traditions of academia. Read more

New! NAC&U Members Named as Colleges of Distinction

CoD LogoNearly half of NAC&U members were named among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction for providing innovative, teacher-centered undergraduate education and preparing graduates for real-world success. Members included in the list include:

  • Belmont University
  • Manhattan College
  • North Central College
  • Ohio Northern University
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Samford University
  • Stetson University
  • St. Edward’s University
  • The Sage Colleges
  • University of La Verne
  • Westminster College

Based on the opinions of guidance counselors, educators and admissions professionals, the website and college guide profiles more than 220 of America’s best bets in higher education honors colleges that excel in four areas of undergraduate education: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant learning communities and successful outcomes.

Aside from the academic experience offered at the institutions selected, Colleges of Distinction are also chosen based on their first year program and experimental components of the curriculum. The organization believes institutions should be judged on what they are doing now and the development of their strategic plan, instead of their prestige historically.

The institutions will be profiled on the Colleges of Distinction website and in the official Colleges of Distinction eGuidebook,which will be available via online retailers and distributed free-of-charge to more than 40,000 high school and community college counselors.Photo of Ogren

New! University of Redlands Names New Provost

The University of Redlands has named Dr. Kathy Ogren, currently dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and associate provost, as the new provost of the University beginning June 1, 2015. Dr. Ogren replaces Dr. David Fite, who is stepping down as interim provost and chief academic officer to return to teaching following a sabbatical leave.

New! Sage’s Dorothy Matthews Named Fulbright Scholar

Photo of Stephanie
Stephanie Adams
Photo of Kara
Kara DuChene
Photo of Ebony
Ebony Edwards
Photo of Quinton
Quinton Harvey

Photo of DorothyDorothy Matthews, Ph.D., professor of Biology at The Sage Colleges, has been granted a Fulbright Scholar award to conduct research at the University of Botswana in Southern Africa.

Matthews’ research will evaluate the effectiveness of the service initiatives provided by The Centre for the Study of HIV and AIDS (CSHA) at the University of Botswana. Read more

New! Student Fulbright Awards from Nazareth, Scranton, and Valpo

Nazareth College, The University of Scranton, and Valparaiso University are adding to the growing list of students awarded Fulbright grants this year.

Nazareth College

Four Nazareth College alumni are recipients of the 2015-16 U.S. Junior Fulbright award.

Stephanie Adams '15 earned her bachelor of art in Asian Studies, along with minors in Chinese and Spanish. She has been selected to teach English to elementary or junior high aged children in Taiwan.

Kara DuChene '12, '14G earned her bachelor of arts in Italian with a minor in international studies from Nazareth in December 2011 and graduated with her master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in December 2014. She has been selected to teach English in Italy.

Ebony Edwards '13, '14G earned her undergraduate degrees at Nazareth in Italian and inclusive childhood/middle childhood Education, and then earned her master's in early childhood education. She will teach English in Malaysia.

Quinton Harvey '15 earned his bachelor of music in music theory and bachelor of music in vocal performance, along with a minor in German. He will teach English in Germany. He will be foreign languages assistant in a German classroom. Outside the classroom, he proposed using his musical skills to establish a community choir that would explore both German and American traditional folk music.

The University of ScrantonPhoto of Ben

Two alumni from The University of Scranton were awarded Fulbright grants.

Benjamin Turcea ‘15 graduated with a bachelor of science degree in international studies and philosophy as a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. He was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mongolia, where he will conduct research at the Mongolian University of Life Sciences in Ulaanbaatar.

Photo of BrianBrian Entler, a 2013 Scranton graduate with a bachelor of science in neuroscience and biology and member of the University’s Honors Program, also earned his master’s in biochemistry from the University this month. Entler was awarded a Fulbright Academic Award to Australia. He will conduct research at Macquarie University in Sydney, as well as with collaborators at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Valparaiso University

Photo of MargaretMargaret Lippert ’15 willspend the 2015–2016 academic year in Taiwan thanks to a prestigious Fulbright English teaching assistant grant. Pursuing a career in international education, Lippert majored in international economics and cultural affairs with a concentration in East Asia and a minor in Spanish. She studied abroad at Valpo’s study center in Hangzhou, China, and completed an internship at YMCA in Valparaiso, Chile.

Photo of LindaHampton Students Assist Faculty in Community-Based Studies

Dr. Linda Malone-Colon, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Hampton University and formerly chair of its psychology department, has devoted much of her career to initiatives that help strengthen African American families and marriages. She’s currently serving as a principal investigator of the Hampton University-Howard University Men’s Violence Prevention Program which has afforded students the opportunity to assist with all facets of research and interventions.

Funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Hampton University-Howard University Men’s Violence Prevention Program is a strength-based, culturally relevant, and family-centered violence prevention program for African males, ages 12 to 25, who reside in Hampton or Newport News, VA, or Washington, DC (where Howard is located). The program aims to help young men avoid violence and become healthy, self-sufficient, productive members of society. Ultimately the goal is to develop a national model of violence prevention that can be applied to other minority populations affected by violence. Read more

NAC&U Celebrates 20th Anniversary

In his landmark essay in 1990, "The Ugly Duckling of Higher Education," University of Redlands Provost Frank Wong explored the identity and distinctive characteristics of comprehensive colleges and universities. His provocative thinking caused a group of chief academic officers from private colleges and universities to create a study group to explore the distinctive characteristics of their institutions. In 1994 Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, called for a "New American College" that would renew the tradition of higher education service to society that he associated with the colonial liberal arts college and the land grand university system founded during the Civil War. In 1995 the Associated New American Colleges (now NAC&U) formed. Founding members included Hamline University, North Central College, University of Redlands and Valparaiso University. NAC&U is looking forward to celebrating its 20th anniversary at its annual Summer Institute, this year at founding member Hamline University. Read the essay

Read archived New American Colleges and Universities Featured stories.


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List of our members:
Arcadia University
Belmont University
Drury University
Hamline University
Hampton University
John Carroll University
Manhattan College
Nazareth College
North Central College
Ohio Northern University
Pacific Lutheran University
St. Edward's University
Samford University
The Sage Colleges
The University of Scranton
University of Evansville
University of La Verne
University of New Haven
University of Redlands
Valparaiso University
Wagner College
Westminster College
Widener University