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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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Photo of campusNew! Enrollment Managers, CFOs Gather at North Central

For the first time in NAC&U history, enrollment management administrators joined CFOs for their annual affinity group meeting which was held at North Central College in Naperville, IL, from March 19 – 21, 2014. The meeting afforded the CFOs and enrollment managers time to meet together and among their respective groups. It was the first time that enrollment managers met as a group.

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Paul Loscheider

Formal presentations from Matt Hamill of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and Bill Hall and Brad Griesbach of Applied Policy Research, Inc. served as jumping off points for discussion. Hamill, who also facilitated the meeting as he does annually, gave an update on federal policies that affect NAC&U institutions. Paul Loscheider, vice president for business affairs at North Central and regular attendee of the CFO annual meeting, said that Hamill’s presentation always ignites discussion. This year was no different as the group talked about compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Read more

New! Westminster Participates in National Effort for Competency-based Education

Photo of campusAs Westminster College develops its competency-based education (CBE) programs, it looks at what students must be able to accomplish at the conclusion. Westminster’s CBE programs flip the classroom – outcomes drive projects, students take responsibility for learning, and faculty serve as mentors.

Westminster offers four CBE programs, the first being its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) which began in 2008. It also offers a project-based Master of Business Administration, Master of Strategic Communication and RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The competency-based programs consist of project sequences rather than semesters. Because time to completion is variable and is not based on seat time, students can gain the skill sets needed to advance their careers while maintaining personal and professional responsibilities. Read more

New! NAC&U Members Ranked Among U.S. News’ 2015 Best Graduate Schools

Photo of Scranton campusCongratulations to several NAC&U members who were ranked among the best graduate schools in the nation. They include:

The University of Scranton’s online graduate program in education ranked No. 6 in the nation. U.S. News also ranked the University’s online MBA program No. 51 in the country and the University’s part-time MBA program No. 132 in the nation. The University’s graduate programs also ranked on the U.S. News website include: rehabilitation counseling (30); healthcare management (46); occupational therapy (69); physical therapy (99); and nursing (193). Read more

Samford librarySamford University's Cumberland School of Law is once again ranked among the top 10 in the 2015 list of law schools with the best programs in trial advocacy training. Cumberland tied for sixth place in the category. Read more

At #121 on the “Best Law Schools” list, Hamline University School of Law is now the top-ranked private law school in Minnesota. Read more

The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University was recognized in the top half of the list of 310 ranked part-time MBA programs. Read more

New! Belmont, Widener Name New Deans Photo of Alberto Gonzales at Belmont

Belmont University appointed Judge Alberto Gonzales, former U.S. Attorney General, to the position of dean for the College of Law, effective June 1. Read more

Dr. Thom Spence has been named as the founding dean of Belmont University’s new College of Sciences and Mathematics. Spence currently serves as the vice-provost for institutional effectiveness, assessment and student success at Loyola University (New Orleans, La.), where he has been a faculty member since 1999. Spence will begin his new position on Belmont’s campus July 1. Read more

Dr. Stephen C. Wilhite, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Widener Univesrity, announced the appointment of Dr. Laura Dzurec as dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. Shawn Fitzgerald as dean of the School of Education, Innovation, and Continuing Studies, and Dr. Sharon Meagher as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. All three will assume their new positions at Widener on July 1, 2014. Read more

New! Students Head to NCUR to Present Research

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North Central Seniors Aaron Langer and Gianna Medina, NCUR presenters

Several students in NAC&U presented research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Kentucky in early April. North Central College sent a record 44 students to NCUR. With 40 accepted undergraduate presentations, the most ever in its history, North Central College places in the top 4 percent of the nation and the most accepted proposals of any college or university in Illinois. Hamline University also was well-represented with 38 abstracts presented at the conference. Students from the following institutions also presented: Arcadia University, Russell Sage College, Samford University, St. Edward’s University, University of Evansville, The University of Scranton, Valparaiso University, and Widener University. For more information: North Central NCUR

Technology and Intercampus Teaching Expand Networks, Opportunities

Although technology can require a learning curve and at times bring us to new levels of frustration, it inarguably yields significant benefits. That sentiment holds true for the use of instructional technology as it relates to intercampus teaching. While there are hurdles to overcome, its successful use can mean better opportunities for students and faculty without straining current institutional resources.

Photo of Rebecca Frost DavisRebecca Frost Davis, director of instructional and emerging technology at St. Edward's University, enjoyed her career as a professor of Classical Studies, but she finds her work in instructional technology exciting because she gets to work across disciplines rather than focusing in one area.  Davis has worked with emerging technologies since she finished graduate school, serving as assistant director for instructional technology at the Associated Colleges of the South Technology Center and teaching within and helping to coordinate the virtual classics department of Sunoikisis, a national classics consortium. Davis then began work as a research fellow on intercampus teaching (which she continues) with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) before joining St. Edward’s last summer. Read more

Samford University: Call for Proposals: "Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition: Augustine Across the Curriculum," Birmingham, AL, October 2-4, 2014

Photo from Samford campusSamford University has announced its inaugural conference on "Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition." Supported by funding from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, this biennial conference is designed to provide an opportunity for scholars from across the disciplines to share ideas about teaching Christianity’s rich intellectual heritage to today’s under-graduates. The 2014 conference will focus on Augustine and will feature plenary speakers Peter Kaufman (University of Richmond) and Kristen Deede Johnson (Western Theological Seminary).

Specialists and non-specialists are invited to submit proposals; however, proposals should be designed with the non-specialist in mind and should directly address how to incorporate Augustine in the classroom. Proposals that demonstrate the interdisciplinary connections in Augustine’s work are strongly encouraged. The deadline for proposals is May 16, 2014. Presenters will be notified of acceptance by June 15, 2014. For more information on how to apply, please visit the Samford site.

Under a Microsope: Examining How We Can Promote Diversity in STEM

Photo of AsaiApproximately 30 percent of Americans are black, Latino, or Native American, as are nearly 30 percent of freshmen STEM students. But at graduation, the seats are filled with only 17 percent of the same minority groups. Dr. David Asai, senior director of the undergraduate and graduate science education program at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, MD, spends much time thinking about this conundrum.

Asai believes that it could be that the way science is taught fails to engage all students.

“We who teach science need to make sure that all students are learning,” he said. “Three hours of lectures a week might not be reaching all students.”

While the data show that students who leave STEM go on to successfully graduate in other disciplines, the lack of these minorities is hindering science. Because science is so collaborative, Asai noted, it’s important to have diversity among working groups because that fosters looking at problems from various points of view. Read more.

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Edward L. Ayers
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Robin Heyden
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David Asai

NAC&U Announces Speakers for 2014 Summer Institute

NAC&U will hosts its annual Summer Institute at the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA, on June 25 - 27, 2014. We are proud to announce that this year’s speakers will be Edward L. Ayers, president of the University of Richmond and a noted historian and author; Robin Heyden, an educational consultant and blogger of how new media tools affect education; and David Asai, senior director of science education programs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The theme is ‘Creating Community through Collaboration,’ and the focus will be NAC&U’s new initiative to provide new opportunities for students and faculty through collaboration among members. The New American Academic Community is a creative and innovative way to realize the promise of consortial collaboration – which is often aspired to in the abstract but seldom realized in practice. 

NAAC’s operational assumption that “my student is your student” is the key to its success, for it enables members to leverage their collective assets to the benefit of all students – and thus all institutions.  The Summer Institute will explore possibilities to enhance the educational experience through collaboration among NAC&U members, with campuses, and between campuses and their communities. Presentations may describe existing projects or may engage conference participants in working sessions to develop new ideas for collaboration. Read more.

NAC&U Launches Online Course Inventory

Photo of JCU student on computerHow can NAC&U students explore the function of leaders as coaches and mentors, brush up on business communications and writing, and learn more about cybercrime? NAC&U is proud to announce its online course inventory, providing students with many opportunities to build unique educational experiences that help them achieve their goals. Courses are available in the following disciplines: art and music, business and finance, communications and marketing, criminal justice, education, humanities, math and science, social sciences and theology. Please be sure to read the online course principles before applying with the online registration form.

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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
Pacific Lutheran University
St. Edward's University
Samford University
Stetson University
The Sage Colleges
The University of Scranton
University of Evansville
University of Redlands
Valparaiso University
Wagner College
Westminster College
Widener University