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Volume 2, Number 2, Feb 2002

New Initiative Mobilizes College Students to Become More Socially Resonsible

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has implemented a new national initiative called "Liberal Education and Global Citizenship: The Arts of Democracy". The goal of this three-year project is to prepare future college graduates to become more informed, socially responsible and engaged citizens of the nation and the world. The initiative is funded by a grant from FIPSE and will assist colleges and universities in providing students with an understanding of their interconnected world.


"Liberal Education and Global Citizenship" has four main objectives. They are as follows:

  • analyze the impact global studies is currently having on udergraduate major
  • spur greater civic engagement and global awareness in students
  • promote active knowledge and debate about contemporary democracy
  • teach students to be adept at respectfully traversing cultural borders and to promote awareness of the interdependence of cultures

AAC&U will meet its objectives by working with administrators, faculty members and student affairs professional to develop new levels of intercultural competencies as part of the educational goal of undergraduate majors. Ten colleges and universities make-up the initial group that is committed to designing new components within majors to teach students about globalization, community justice and the essential skills in the arts of inclusive democracy.

The initiative will support faculty teams in curriculum development through seminars, activities, consultants and meetings.

As AAC&U Vice President Caryn McTighe Musil states,

"We hope the project will be one small way of beginning to work toward another kind of global community than the fractured, violence-ridden one represented by the kind of heinus acts committed September 11. We believe our students can become part of a wider positive force committed to working in community with others across cultural, religous, and national borders to create socially responsible, peaceful, and equitable societies."

About the AAC&U

AAC&U is a national association devoted to advancing and strengthening liberal learning for all students. it was founded in 1915 and has a membership of over 730 accredited public and private colleges and universities. The mission of the AAC&U is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local levels and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

For more information about the AAC&U and its projects, visit

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Page last updated 11/27/2005

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Supported by a FIPSE grant from the US Department of Education
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