LEAP Responding to Demand for Well-Rounded Workers
The Austin Community College District has joined a national initiative of the Association of American Colleges and Universities to promote the importance of a general education in developing the future workforce.
The LEAP initiative, or Liberal Education and America’s Promise, is a collaborative of two-year colleges, four-year universities, and research flagships. More than 60 Texas institutions are involved to date.
“Students must learn to be strong communicators and critical thinkers for future success in the workplace,’ says Dr. Richard Rhodes, president/CEO of ACC. “These skills develop with a quality general education that ensures exposure to the arts and sciences.”
LEAP Texas is aligned with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to enhance students’ quality of learning. An inaugural Board of Directors has just been elected, with half of the members coming from two-year institutions such as ACC, highlighting the important role community colleges play in promoting general education.
“The LEAP framework was used when ACC developed its own general education competencies several years ago, so the college is well positioned to build upon the resources and relationships this initiative provides,” says Dr. Ronald Johns, ACC’s LEAP representative and head of the Academic Outcomes Assessment Office.
“Collaboration with other institutions across the state will help us to improve our assessment practices and ensure our students have the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to graduate and to transfer to other Texas colleges and universities,” Johns says.
As the LEAP initiative continues to expand, it will focus on three key areas:
- Leveraging the newly designed Texas Core Curriculum for Higher Education for improvement in undergraduate education.
- Creating capacity for large-scale, inter-institutional collaboration in robust and authentic assessment.
- Embedding high-impact practices in the undergraduate curriculum.