Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) is a national public advocacy and campus action initiative launched by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in 2005. LEAP promotes:
- Essential learning outcomes, which provide vision and benchmarks for college-level learning;
- Principles of excellence to guide reform and practice, informed by scholarly research on effective practices in teaching, learning and curriculum;
- High-impact educational practices for challenging and engaging students;
- Authentic assessments that use students’ own work and faculty-validated rubric to determine whether students have acquired the essential outcomes and can apply their learning; and
- Signature student work, a substantial cross-disciplinary project that is part of the pathways to a degree.
The LEAP States Initiative is a multi-state collaborative that works with the LEAP Framework to raise the quality of college learning within and across states by advancing essential learning outcomes, high-impact practices and authentic assessment. AAC&U offers practical assistance, encourages innovation, and provides a national voice for the participating consortia, systems, states and regions. There are currently 11 participating states: California, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Each LEAP state forms its own collaborative at the state or system level, including representatives from two- and four-year and public and private institutions as well as P-16, civic and business leaders. In most of the participating states, a public higher education system or coordinating council provides leadership. Information about the participating entities in each state is available on the AAC&U LEAP States website.