California State University, Northridge
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Core Commitments

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About the AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantage of a liberal education to all students, regardless of their academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915 by college presidents, AAC&U now represents the entire spectrum of American colleges and universities—large and small, public and private, two-year and four-year. AAC&U comprises more than 1,100 accredited colleges and universities that collectively educate more than five million students every year.


AAC&U organizes its work around four broad goals:


Through its publications, meetings, public advocacy, and programs, AAC&U provides a powerful voice for liberal education. AAC&U works to reinforce the commitment to liberal education at both the national and the local level and to help individual colleges and universities keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. With a ninety-year history and national stature, AAC&U is an influential catalyst for educational improvement and reform.



Executive Summary

California State University, Northridge has a significant track record in promoting the personal and social responsibility of its 33,000 students as part of its commitment to the public purposes of higher education and its critical role in preparing students for lives as ethical, committed and engaged participants in a democratic society.  Nonetheless, the University faces continuing challenges to the creation and implementation of a consistent, University-wide approach to assuring that critical core commitments are conveyed to each student.  To this end, in 2006, a team of seven CSUN professors, administrators, advisors and student affairs professionals applied for and received a two-year $25,000 grant from the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

The goal of this successful grant proposal was help CSUN identify its institutional baseline and provide ways to formulate and implement a campus-wide plan for improving the personal and social responsibility of its students.  CSUN’s plan has two components:

  1. The addition of new curricular components (i.e. essays, readings, lecture elements) into General Education Basic Subjects Courses (Freshman Composition), and
  2. The creation of a new Certificate of Achievement Program housed in the College of Humanities, that will motivate students to take 15 units of service-learning courses or approved community service projects during their undergraduate experience.

A team of senior administrators from Academic and Student Affairs, eight professors from the Colleges teaching key courses, and an experienced Academic Advisor will join two Deans in forming the Advisory Committee that will guide the Core Commitments project.  With assistance from the University’s Institutional Research department, a baseline inventory will be distributed to all key stakeholders and qualitative and quantitative assessment tools will be developed to measure progress and facilitate formative and summative evaluations.  The University’s Provost has awarded $25,000 to the CSUN Core Commitments team and will be an important leader as the program progresses..

California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-1200 / © 2006 CSU Northridge