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Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education

Our nation’s effort over two centuries to provide education to everyone who lives and works within the United States is an expression of a core belief, one that has survived a long history of challenges: that all people, through learning, can achieve higher goals for themselves and for society as a whole.

Progress toward universal education has expanded most recently to colleges and universities. Today, almost 90 percent of high school graduates can expect to enroll in an undergraduate institution at some point during young adulthood and they are joined by millions of adults seeking to improve their lives. What was once a challenge of quantity in American undergraduate education, of enrolling as many students as possible, is now a challenge of quality—of making sure that all students receive the rigorous education they need to succeed, that they are able to complete the studies they begin, and that they can do this affordably, without mortgaging the very future they seek to improve.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences formed the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education to develop a national strategy to help students and their families, colleges and universities, government policy-makers, and business leaders and philanthropists reach this next level. The future success of our democracy, our economy, and our nation will depend on our commitment to an inclusive ideal of an educated society.

The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America – the final report of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education – is available online.

Members of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education

Chairs

  • Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.
    TIAA
  • Michael S. McPherson
    formerly, Spencer Foundation

Members

  • Joseph E. Aoun
    Northeastern University
  • Deborah Loewenberg Ball
    University of Michigan
  • Sandy Baum
    Urban Institute
  • Rebecca M. Blank
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • John Seely Brown
    formerly, Xerox PARC Research
  • Wesley G. Bush
    Northrop Grumman
  • Carl A. Cohn
    California Collaborative for Educational Excellence
  • Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
    Purdue University
  • John J. DeGioia
    Georgetown University
  • Jonathan F. Fanton
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert Hormats
    Kissinger Associates; formerly, United States Department of State
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski III
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Jennifer L. Jennings
    Princeton University
  • Jeremy Johnson
    Andela
  • Sherry Lansing
    Sherry Lansing Foundation
  • Nicholas Lemann
    Columbia University Graduate School
    of Journalism
  • J. Michael Locke
    formerly, Rasmussen, Inc.
  • Monica Lozano
    College Futures Foundation
  • Gail O. Mellow
    LaGuardia Community College
  • Diana Natalicio
    University of Texas at El Paso
  • Hilary Pennington
    Ford Foundation
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum
    Spelman College
  • Shirley M. Tilghman
    Princeton University
  • Michelle Weise
    Strada Education Network

Data Advisory Group

  • Tom Bailey
    Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Sandy Baum
    Urban Institute
  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
    Cornell University
  • Bridget Terry Long
    Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Judith Scott-Clayton
    Teachers College, Columbia University

Project Staff

  • Francesca Purcell
  • Eliza Berg

Support for the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education is provided by a $2.2 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Related Publications

Published from   thru      Type:    
 Title and SynopsisTo Order
The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document
The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America – Report Brief
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document
Policies and Practices to Support Undergraduate Teaching Improvement
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017

Aaron M. Pallas, Anna Neumann and Corbin M. Campbell, authors
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document
The Economic Impact of Increasing College Completion
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017

Sophia Koropeckyj, Chris Lafakis and Adam Ozimek, authors
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document
The Complex Universe of Alternative Postsecondary Credentials and Pathways
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017

Jessie Brown and Martin Kurzweil, authors
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document
Undergraduate Financial Aid in the United States
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017

Judith Scott-Clayton, author
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document
A Primer on the College Student Journey
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016
Buy from the Academy

Free Download:
   PDF document

Project Chairs

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., TIAA

Michael S. McPherson, Spencer Foundation

New Publication

The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America

Read more and download this publication.

In the News

11/30/17
Inside Higher Ed
11/30/17
The Chronicle of Higher Education
10/25/17
Inside Higher Ed
9/6/17
Updated Classic on Race Relations
Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College, commission member
Inside Higher Ed
9/1/17
Labor Day lesson: US workers can get better pay via better training
Sandy Baum, Urban Institute, commission member
The Hill
8/31/17
Do too many community college students major in liberal arts?
Sandy Baum, Urban Institute, commission member
Urban Wire
7/27/17
Inside Higher Ed
1/18/17
America’s Great Working-Class Colleges
Diana Natalicio, University of Texas at El Paso, commission member
The New York Times
1/16/17
Why so many students from for-profit schools are left in debt limbo
Sandy Baum, Urban Institute, commission member
PBS NewsHour
9/22/16
Inside Higher Ed

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