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Texas Coalition Brings State into National LEAP Program

Several dozen colleges and universities in Texas have joined together to bring their state into a national education initiative called Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP), a program of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Texas has become the 10th state to join the program, the focus of which is bringing 21st century education to colleges and universities. According to information provided by Texas A&M University, more than 60 public and private colleges and universities banded together to create LEAP Texas, with the objective of improving communications between institutions, developing policies and plans, addressing common issues and generally improving the state of post-secondary education in Texas — with a particular emphasis on learning outcomes.

"Students at Texas higher education institutions must attain certain critical skills for future success in the workplace and throughout life," said Raymund Paredes, Texas commissioner of higher education, in a prepared statement. "Strong communication, the ability to work well within a team, critical thinking skills, as well as other [competencies] have been identified in the new Texas Core Curriculum for Higher Education as being crucial to success. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and LEAP Texas are aligned in our efforts to identify higher education learning outcomes that not only improve completion and productivity rates within higher education and the workforce, but also enhance and inspire the quality of students' learning."

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is currently the administrative center for the LEAP Texas initiative. Loraine Phillips, director of TAMU's Office of Institutional Assessment, is serving as the first elected chair of LEAP Texas.

"I am excited about the state's new emphasis on delivering essential learning outcomes through the new core curriculum," Phillips said in a prepared statement, "and I look forward to working with faculty and others across the state in carefully considering the quality of student learning and attainment for higher education in Texas."

Additional details about LEAP Texas can be found on the AAC&U site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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