Priorities for Undergraduate Education

The American Academy’s Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education, chaired by Roger Ferguson (TIAA) and Michael McPherson (formerly, Spencer Foundation), convened national leaders in education, business, and government, to analyze undergraduate education and offer recommendations to improve colleges and universities across the nation.

The Commission issued papers on key areas as well as a concluding report, The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America. A central finding of the Commission:

"What was once a challenge of quantity in American undergraduate education, of enrolling as many students as possible, is increasingly a challenge of educational quality—of making sure that all students receive the education they need to succeed, that they are able to complete the studies they begin, and that they can do all of this affordably, without mortgaging the very future they seek to improve.”

The national priorities set forth by the Commission are quality, completion, and affordability. Schools around the country address these challenges in a range of ways, including the innovative and successful initiatives featured in these videos funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and TIAA Institute:

Inattention to teaching quality in the preparation, selection, and assessment of faculty is a major obstacle to improving undergraduate learning.
Evidence shows that the greatest benefits of an undergraduate education derive from earning a credential and not simply from attendance.
In an environment of continuing financial constraint, limited resources must be directed to where they will do the most good.
The Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education
Project Summary
People, recommendations, publications, news, and events.
Commission Report
Analysis, evidence, recommendations, and promising practices.