ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop was one of 18 institutions selected this month by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to participate in a leadership project to emphasize personal and social responsibility by its students.
The participating institutions, chosen from 128 applications, will lead the first phase of a national initiative called "Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility."
The association has identified five key dimensions of personal and social responsibility that form the core of this initiative: cultivating personal and academic integrity; contributing to a larger community; learning and respecting the perspectives of others; developing a strong work ethic to achieve one’s best in all aspects of college and life; and developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning.
Winthrop was selected for inclusion based on significant work accomplished in the first three areas and for articulating a commitment and plan on the remaining two, according to Tom Moore, vice president for academic affairs.
Winthrop will receive a $25,000 award from AAC&U and has committed another $25,000 over the next two years to promote challenging educational experiences. A key component of the program will be to measure the impact of existing efforts through an inventory of students, faculty, student affairs administrators and academic leaders. The results will be used to pinpoint and share best practices at participating institutions.
Leading Winthrop’s involvement in the effort will be Moore and Frank Ardaiolo, vice president for student life. "Winthrop’s selection in this prestigious program recognizes our commitment to help students develop as socially conscious citizens," Moore said.
The initiative came about because association leaders found there is often a disconnect between student life on campus and students’ academic studies, isolating values, ethics, and civic responsibilities from what is learned in the classroom. "Core Commitments and the Leadership Consortium will strive to create an encompassing vision of how to integrate these vital principles into the core of the undergraduate experience for all students," said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.
The other participating institutions are: Babson College; Bowling Green State University; California State University; Concordia College-Moorhead; Miami University; Michigan State University; Middlesex Community College; Oakland Community College; Rollins College; Saint Mary’s College of California; St. Lawrence University; Tulane University; United States Air Force Academy; University of Alabama Birmingham; University of Central Florida; University of the Pacific; and Wagner College.
The core commitments initiative is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.