The Most Important Outcomes of College: Preparing Students for the 21st Century Global Workplace Debra Humphreys, VP for Communication and Public Affairs, Association of American Colleges and Universities
In this presentation, AACU Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Debra Humphreys will discuss changes in the 21st century workplace with profound implications for how we educate today’s undergraduate college students. Participants will learn about (1) research findings from AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative, including findings from several national surveys of employers as well as focus groups with employers and with students. Participants will also learn about (2) the most important learning outcomes and (3) educational practices for preparing students for long-term professional success.
Debra Humphreys received her BA from Williams College and her PhD in English from Rutgers University. Dr. Humphreys is currently the Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at the Association of American Colleges and Universities—a position she assumed in January 2001. Prior to that, she served as Director of Programs in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Global Initiatives at AAC&U where she directed programs on women's issues and diversity in higher education. She also served as Executive Editor of AAC&U's quarterly publication, On Campus with Women, and Editor of the quarterly, Diversity Digest.
Since 2001 when she became Vice President, AAC&U's institutional members has also grown to more than 1200 members. Humphreys regularly serves as AAC&U's official spokesperson. In that role, she has appeared on Fox News, NBC Nightly News, the PBS program, To the Contrary, and has had op-eds published in USA Today and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
She is currently leading national advocacy efforts as part of AAC&U's campaign, Liberal Education and America’s Promise: Excellence for Everyone as a nation Goes to College. Through this effort, she is helping to build communications capacity on the part of college and university leaders and faculty members and educate the public about the value of an engaged liberal education to prepare for the changing global economy.
In addition, Dr. Humphreys worked extensively with the staff members coordinating AAC&U’s national initiative, Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College, and helped to edit and publicize its publication, Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College.
Before assuming her current position at AAC&U, she served as Project Director of two of AAC&U's national diversity initiatives, Racial Legacies and Learning: An American Dialogue and Diversity Works. Racial Legacies was a project designed to foster learning and dialogue about America's racial legacies and involved more than 80 colleges and universities all working to develop innovative campus diversity learning programs and campus-community partnerships.
Dr. Humphreys also served as Associate Director of AAC&U's other national initiative, American Commitment: Diversity, Democracy and Liberal Learning which involved more than 100 institutions working to transform their general education curricula to address issues of American diversity and democracy. She is the author of the project’s report, General Education and American Commitments: A National Report on Diversity Courses and Requirements.
Before coming to AAC&U in 1992, she had experience teaching Women's Studies and English at Rutgers University, Towson State University, and at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. She also served as Program Associate at the National Women's Studies Association.
Selected publications include most recently, "College Outcomes for Work, Life, and Citizenship: Can We Really Do It All?" in Liberal Education (Winter, 2009). Other publications include, "Interdisciplinarity, Diversity, and the Future of Liberal Education," in Innovations in Interdisciplinary Teaching, edited by Carolyn Haynes and published by ACE/Oryx Press in 2002, and “Public and Private Universities,” in Four-Year Colleges 2004, Peterson’s/Thomson