ALEXANDRIA, La. – (WNTZ) LSUA is among fifty-four institutions selected to participate in AAC&U’s Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the fifty-four institutions selected to participate in the 2022 Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute. Co-directed by AAC&U and IBM, this virtual institute will focus on supporting campus efforts to strengthen connections between college learning and workforce preparation and to develop productive campus-industry partnerships. The Institute kicks off on August 11 and run through December 16.

“The Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute offers a unique opportunity to nurture and spread new approaches to curricular design that promote equity and student success through meaningful career preparation,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We look forward to working with our colleagues from IBM to support and advance the innovative work of the participating institutions.”

Over the course of the fall semester, teams from the participating institutions will develop projects focused on cocurricular alignment, defined learning and skill development, and high-impact experiences, as well as assessment and change management strategies. The teams will have ongoing access to leading experts from higher education and industry who serve as Institute mentors. The Institute’s approach to innovation emphasizes design thinking, broad and inclusive interdisciplinary perspectives, collaboration across stakeholders, and systemic commitments to equity that prepare students to seek purpose across an array of career paths.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to the Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute signals a great desire among campuses to do more than simply heed calls for career preparation. Our aim with this Institute is to find the sweet spot between higher education’s ability to meet the needs of a rapidly changing workforce and the desire of each campus to supply that career preparation in a meaningful way that is authentic to its mission and context,” said Ashley Finley, AAC&U Vice President for Research and co-director of the Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute.

“In today’s world of higher education, educating students is about more than providing classroom content,” noted Dr. Jown Rowan, LSUA Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “As university leaders, we have an obligation to develop pathways from various academic degrees to high-paying professional opportunities. There are many jobs available for college graduates with degrees in disciplines such as communication, English, psychology, mathematics, and history. This institute will help us train students to leverage the important skills acquired in these majors – skills such as critical thinking and interpersonal relations – as well as in majors such as business and health care which translate more directly to the job market.”

The team from LSUA serving with the Institute includes Dr. John Rowan, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dr. Elizabeth Beard, Dean of the College of Social Sciences; Dr. Sandra Gilliland, Director of the Centers for Opportunity, Research, and Experiential Learning; Dr. Mary Beth Palmer, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Holistic Education and Career Development; and Dr. Nathan Ponder, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In addition to LSUA and LSU in Baton Rouge, some of the institutions selected to participate in the 2022 Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute include American University in Cairo, Davidson College, Emerson College, Quinnipiac University, San Diego State University, The University of Alabama, University of Virginia, Wheaton College, and William & Mary among others.

More information about AAC&U’s Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute is available online.