July 10, 2017 | News & Stories Staff


Professor of Spanish Cynthia Slagter engaging with her students.

Calvin College recently joined The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), a consortium of institutions that values liberal arts education, professional studies and civic engagement.

“Joining with institutions of similar size and academic scope in NAC&U allows us to enrich faculty work and better prepare our students for meaningful work and fulfilling lives,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin College. “With our mission of equipping students to think deeply, act justly and live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world at the fore, we are excited to engage with NAC&U members in the important conversations in higher education.

In defining a New American College more than 20 years ago, education leader Ernest Boyer called for colleges and universities that define scholarship broadly to include not only research but also integration, application and teaching. NAC&U members are small- to medium-sized institutions across the nation that are committed to educational practices that allow students to connect theory to practice and classroom learning to real-world situations. Members also emphasize civic responsibility from local, regional and global perspectives.

“Calvin College’s approach to education aligns with that of our members,” said Nancy Hensel, president of NAC&U. “Their emphasis on blending strong liberal arts programs with well-regarded professional studies while providing experiential education through community service, study abroad and undergraduate research makes Calvin an ideal fit for our consortium.”

Le Roy also notes that the partnership provides Calvin administrators, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in national conversations about higher education with institutions who have similar curricular offerings and goals, and it affords Calvin students opportunities to be recognized for excellence in contributions to the liberal arts, professional studies and civic engagement.  

NAC&U also provides its members many opportunities to collaborate on projects and share best practices through an annual Summer Institute, constituency group meetings, shared benchmarking, and external and internal grant-funded projects.

About Calvin College

Founded in 1876, Calvin College is a top-ranked liberal arts college that equips its nearly 3,900 students from 46 U.S. states, 55 countries and six Canadian provinces to think deeply, to act justly and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. Calvin is proud to offer 100+ majors and programs, including graduate-level offerings in accounting, education, and speech pathology and audiology. Calvin students engage in intensive internships, community-based service-learning and significant research that results in publishing and presenting alongside world-class faculty. And the college’s 400-acre campus, located in the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, serves as a launching pad for students who, in any given year, participate in 40 faculty-led off-campus programs on six different continents. Discover more at www.calvin.edu

About The New American Colleges and Universities

Founded in 1995, The New American Colleges and Universities is a national consortium of selective, small to mid-size (2,000 – 7,500 students) independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies and civic engagement. The New American Colleges and Universities collectively and individually are often cited as models of the intentional integration of teaching and learning, scholarship and service. To improve the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning among its members, NAC&U manages conferences, grant-funded and special projects, administrator and faculty groups, surveys and data benchmarking, marketing and communication outreach, and student programs. For more information, visit www.newamericancolleges.org or follow @NACandU.

Recent stories