AALE Elects New Board and Council Members

The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) held annual elections on June 9, 2020. Joining the Board is Ted Eismeier, Vice President at Whiteboard Advisors (DC), and elected to serve on the Council of Scholars is Lee Skallerup Bessette.

Mr. Ted Eisemeier is Vice President and senior leader in the education communications practice at Whiteboard Advisors where his responsibilities include advising education technology companies, social impact investors, and non-profit organizations on national media and communications strategy.  Prior to joining Whiteboard Advisors, he was Director of Communications and External Affairs at Higher Learning Advocates, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to advance federal policy solutions to respond to the country’s shifting college student demographics.  Currently he serves as a trustee of Harmony DC Public Charter School and a board member of Community Tax Aid (DC). Ted received his B.A. in History from Kenyon College (OH).  

Ms. Lee Skallerup Bessette is a Learning Design Specialist at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University, where she works on the design and development of online courses.  She is the author of Found in Translation: The Journey of Anne Hébert’s Poetry in(to) English. Lee has written for Inside Higher Ed under College Ready Writing.  She has taught at Morehead University, University of Mary Washington, and is an on-line instructor at Ashland University teaching The Language and Culture of Quebec, and Composition in Ashland’s Prisons Outreach Program.  Lee received her Ph.D. from the University of Alberta (Canada) and her M.A. and B.A. from the Université de Sherbrooke (Canada).

AALE Releases COVID-19 Statement

The mission of the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) is to promote excellence in liberal education by providing recognition of schools and programs that maintain the highest standards of liberal arts learning. AALE achieves its mission by articulating standards designed to support excellence in liberal arts learning and teaching, offering rigorous peer-review accreditation, and fostering dialogue on the ends and means of quality liberal arts education.

AALE recognizes that as a result of COVID-19, accredited member schools and programs have been required to close their facilities in response to mandated closure orders issued by state and national authority. Any operations allowed on-site have been severely limited by national CDC guidelines. Faced with these extraordinary challenges, many member schools and programs have continued to serve their students by delivering classroom instruction on-line.

AALE’s policy regarding on-line instruction falls under Standard 3. Curriculum, and states the following:
AALE PK-12 School Standards
Standard 3. Curriculum
3.g The school maintains a policy on the use of off-site or distance education classes that meet graduation requirements that is consistent with its learning objectives.
AALE Program Standards (post-secondary)
Standard 3. Curriculum
3.g The program maintains a policy on the use of distance education and correspondence education courses to meet program requirements that is consistent with its learning objectives and meets all requirements of the institution’s policy on distance education and correspondence education at which the program is offered.

Permission to use on-line technology to provide instruction and to facilitate opportunities for student learning during COVID-19 conditions has been granted by state authorizers of PK-12 education to schools on a temporary basis, and by the US Department of Education for institutions of higher learning. AALE acknowledges this permission, and is not requiring a school or program to file a substantive change report to previous policy submitted for review under Standard 3, assuming that the changes made were temporary and enacted solely to address continuation of instruction during a COVID-19 mandated closure.

AALE will be requiring all accredited member schools and programs to submit, a) narrative summary describing measures taken to continue instruction during COVID-19 closure that began on or after March 1, 2020, and b) any plans designed to accommodate future mandated closure for any period of time during the academic year 2020-2021.