GPC President Will Serve on National Educational Leadership Trust

02/01/2011
Contact: Susan Gast
Phone: 678-891-2673
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Susan Gast

For Immediate Release

Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli, president of Georgia Perimeter College, has been tapped for a select national group that is championing an educational approach it says better prepares students to succeed in the 21st Century.

Tricoli will serve on the Presidents’ Trust, a leadership group of the national Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative, also known as LEAP. The Association of American Colleges & Universities launched LEAP in 2005 and formed the Presidents’ Trust in 2008 to expand understanding of the value of an education that helps students develop skills needed to succeed and contribute in work, life and citizenship. LEAP also gathers input on undergraduate preparation through research on employers and recent graduates.

“Business and civic leaders tell us that college graduates need more than a deep knowledge in a specific field,” Tricoli said. “They need problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They need communication skills and a strong sense of ethics. They need to know how classroom learning applies to real-world settings. Georgia Perimeter College’s goals share these objectives.”

LEAP defines a liberal education as an approach to learning that prepares students to deal with complexity, diversity and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (such as science, culture and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as intellectual and practical skills. The phrase “liberal education” is not a political reference and differs from “liberal arts,” which refers to specific disciplines, such as the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Among the actions and programs that LEAP cites as helping students develop the skills needed in today’s society are: internships, service learning, writing-intensive courses, capstone projects, community-based learning, diversity or global learning, collaborative projects, research and learning communities.

“President Tricoli is already providing valuable leadership speaking out and ensuring that Georgia Perimeter College students are receiving the kind of college education that will best prepare them for success in today’s competitive global economy—an engaged and practical liberal education,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.

“Anthony is the right person for the AAC&U’s President’s Trust. He has a proven track record of supporting liberal education,” said Dr. Eduardo Padron, president of Miami Dade College.

The Presidents’ Trust is an esteemed national group of close to 100 presidents or chief executive officers from two-year, four-year, public, private and research institutions. Members range from University of Notre Dame to the U.S. Air Force Academy. In addition to GPC, Georgia institutions represented on the Trust are Gainesville State and Spelman colleges.

The Trust’s priorities include strongly and collectively making the case for liberal education and its value in today’s world, expanding offerings to students in career and professional programs and including civic and ethical learning in curricula. Through regional and national meetings and advocacy efforts, Trust members engage with campus members and those outside of higher education about the core purposes and practices of liberal education and provide leadership for advancing reforms.

Dr. Tricoli said he is excited to be part of the initiative.

“GPC has been a strong proponent of linking classroom lessons to real-life applications through service learning,” Tricoli said. “Last year, we opened the Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, the first center of its kind at a two-year college. GPC has a strong history of community service and regularly partners with local businesses, schools and communities. At GPC, we have developed learning communities and a first-year experience program. We are on the cutting edge of this initiative to make student learning more meaningful.”

AAC&U is a national association focused on the quality of undergraduate liberal education. Since its founding in 1915, its membership has grown to 1,000 accredited public and private colleges and universities.

For more information on the Presidents’ Trust, visit www.aacu.org/leap/presidentstrust. To find out more on the LEAP initiative, check out www.aacu.org/leap. For further information on the AAC&U, go to www.aacu.org.

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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.