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Collaboration to Institutionalize High-Impact Practices in the Liberal Arts

Students from ACM member colleges explore the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Undergraduate research and community-based learning are among the high-impact practices in the liberal arts that ACM colleges will work to better understand and institutionalize, supported by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Determining and Institutionalizing Best Practices in Liberal Arts Education

Undergraduate research, community-based learning, and their intersection—community-based research­—are all known to be high-impact educational practices in the liberal arts. But what are the best practices when it comes to high-impact teaching, and how can colleges institutionalize these to maximize student learning?

Through the Collaboration to Institutionalize High-Impact Practices in the Liberal Arts, faculty and staff from each of the ACM’s 14 member colleges will work to answer these questions, then share the results widely with colleagues across the ACM and beyond.

Funding for Collaborative Faculty Innovation

Project support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations includes $100,000 in re-granting funds for faculty-led collaborative projects, which are intended to drive innovative ways to institutionalize high-impact practices on and across the 14 member campuses.

Collectively, the funded projects will identify and implement new incentive structures that will reliably improve student access to high-impact practices, increase their participation, and enhance their education.


Project Overview

The project will take place in three phases over 2020–22:

  • Inventory and Evaluation: In 2020, ACM colleges will conduct a comprehensive inventory of current high-impact practices across the 14 campuses. In November 2020, colleges will convene to evaluate current practices and identify strategies for institutionalizing those most effective.
  • Collaborative Faculty Projects: In 2021, faculty will propose collaborative projects designed to drive innovation to institutionalize high-impact practices on and across the 14 campuses. A steering committee of ACM deans will evaluate the proposals and award a total of $100,000 in funding to support the projects over 2021–22.
  • Outcomes and Dissemination: Toward the end of 2022, the ACM will host a summative conference for faculty to share curricular and structural outcomes from their funded projects and set strategies for institutionalizing practices across ACM colleges and disseminating findings broadly.