AGLS Award for the Improvement of General Education

Exemplary Program Awards

National and international education officials, accreditors, and faculty leaders increasingly associate “quality” education with student learning outcomes and continuous quality improvement processes. Moving away from the view of education as a simple act of passing a static body of knowledge from faculty to students, they value education practiced as a commitment to a set of collectively-practiced, ongoing activities:  making institutional choices about the most important goals for student learning and defining the learning in terms of desired outcomes; developing a shared faculty commitment to actions such as high impact, active learning strategies and faculty development designed to increase student achievement; making informed judgments about student achievement and the impact of various general education program support processes; and ensuring continuous improvements in the educational program. Despite the commitment of academic leaders and accreditors to these processes, too few institutions have succeeded in applying systematic improvement processes to the general education program. As a result, discussions about higher education accountability and improvement conclude that higher education can benefit from models of innovative, effective, and systematic general education program improvements and assessments.

The Association for General and Liberal Studies is the national organization whose mission is singularly committed to quality general education programs and their central role in the liberal education of students. The organization has previously invited institutions to apply for future AGLS Awards for Improving General Education: Exemplary Program Processes. The Award promoted institutional commitment to continuous quality improvement processes, recognizes faculty and institutions that practice these quality behaviors, and provides much needed examples of effective improvement processes. Previously, AGLS has recognized institutions committed to systematic, verifiable general education learning achieved through one of identified focus categories (see below). AGLS has recognize up to three institutions that employ effective and innovative work to help achieve an institution’s general education goals. The Awards presentation were made during the Annual AGLS Conferences. Representatives from recognized institutions were asked to present on their application specifics in identified special sessions and, if possible, participate in a group presentation scheduled during the conference. Recipients received the following: a plaque recognizing their successes; recognition on the AGLS website, listserv, and other publications; two half-priced registrations for that year's conference, which include a year’s membership each in AGLS for the two registrations.

The Award typically gave institutions two recognition options. In 2019, application forms describing quality general education program work could be submitted for any one of the following learning improvement processes:  TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

Application forms usually should be received no later than May 30. Please email complete applications as a PDF to

2016 Recipients of the Exemplary Program Awards for Improving General Education


The 2016 Awards Committee

Melanie Booth, Vice President, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
David DiMattio, Vice President, Montgomery County Community College
John Frederick, Director of Academic Planning and Assessment, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Michael Gress, Assistant Provost of Curriculum and Instruction, Vincennes University; Chair of the Awards Committee
Amber Holloway, Associate Vice President for Quality Services, Higher Learning Commission
Michael Hoefer, Vice President, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Michael Kolb, Director of Professional Development, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Alison Moore-Parker, Director of General Education, Belmont University
Lynn Priddy, Provost, National American University
Lenore Rodicio, Executive Vice President and Provost of Academics and Student Affairs, Miami Dade College
Stephen Spangehl, Director of the Higher Education Division of Plexus International

Previous Exemplary Program Winners 
*click on institution name to see their application

2017  no award given
2016 Florida Gulf Coast University
Kaplan University
Webster University
2015  St. Mary's College (California)
Portland State University
Boise State University
The Chinese University, Hong Kong
2014  St. Mary's University (Texas) 
University of South Carolina 
2013  no award given 
2012  Wofford College 
2011  George Mason University
Stetson University 
2010  Carleton College 
Champlain College 
Wright State University 
2009  James Madison University 
2008  Miami Dade College 
University of North Dakota 
2007  Eastern Michigan University
Portland State University
University of North Carolina at Asheville 

This Page Updated March 2, 2018