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Association of American Colleges and Universities

The Association of American Colleges and Universities is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Founded in 1915 by college presidents, AAC&U now represents the entire spectrum of American colleges and universities: large and small, public and private, two-year and four-year. There are more than 900 accredited member institutions, drawn in approximately equal percentages from research universities, masters institutions and liberal arts colleges. Twelve percent of the members are two-year campuses. In the mid-1970s, AAC&U withdrew from all federal lobbying to focus exclusively on providing leadership for liberal and general education. "I know of no association in the U.S.," wrote Ernest Boyer of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, "that has more consistently ...focused on the central issues of excellence and consistently asked the troublesome question: What does it mean to be an educated person?" In recent years, AAC&U has challenged the widespread assumption that liberal education can be achieved only in selected disciplines, or in small colleges. Current work focuses on the overall aims of liberal learning and ways of achieving these across the school-college educational experience, for all students and in every kind of college and university.

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