LEAP PARTNERSHIP PROJECT
In May 2012, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) entered into formal partnership with AAC&U's signature national program: Liberal Education and America's Promise or LEAP.
LEAP is an initiative that champions the value of a liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practice on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study.' LEAP seeks to engage the public with core questions about what really matters in college, to give students a compass to guide their learning, and to make a set of essential learning outcomes the preferred framework for educational excellence, assessment of learning, and new alignments between school and college
As part of the LEAP States Initiative, public state systems and other consortia of public and private colleges and universities participate collaboratively in the LEAP initiative to accelerate and advance changes to improve student learning outcomes.
The COPLAC LEAP Partnership
Through its LEAP project, COPLAC seeks to deepen its own collaborative efforts to improve and expand high-impact undergraduate research and the quality of undergraduate learning across its twenty-seven member institutions. We intend to create an intentional, integrated approach to undergraduate research and articulate shared goals with students, internal, and external audiences. The COPLAC effort will focus on
- Collecting and sharing institutional practices, resources, and expertise through face-to-face meetings and through a web-based portal on the COPLAC web site;
- Exploring the potential to share faculty expertise in mentoring undergraduate research students across the consortium using distance technology; and
- Sharing best practices in the assessment of undergraduate research, both in terms of student learning and the application of new knowledge.
The project will be led by campus leaders in collaboration with the COPLAC office. This LEAP Partnership website includes an overview of undergraduate research practice at member institutions, a report on 2012–2013 campus projects related to undergraduate research, and a resources page where institutions can share expertise and request consultancy services. The site also provides a link to COPLAC's innovative distance mentoring of undergraduate research project, funded through the generosity of the Teagle Foundation of New York.