One of the goals of COPLAC is to work actively with member institutions to improve the quality of liberal arts and sciences education on each campus. Since 2005, COPLAC has sponsored a Summer Faculty Institute on Liberal Learning in the Disciplines. The Institute takes place over a long weekend in June on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Focus areas have included:

Faculty Summer Institute 2016, COPLAC Digital

Past Faculty Institutes

See available presentations from past Summer Institutes here.

The Institute assists faculty members to improve teaching and learning in a manner that reflects the values of a high quality liberal arts education. Workshop topics involve:

  • The department's relationship to the general education program
  • Senior capstone projects and demonstration of competency
  • Requirements in the major/program
  • The role of undergraduate research in the major/program
  • The role of faculty in student-centered learning and co-curricular life
  • Creating opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching
  • Faculty peer evaluation and career development issues
  • Assessment issues in the major/program
  • Appropriate use of technology in the department/program

Participating faculty members develop a set of “best practices” in the discipline which is distributed to presidents and chief academic officers at the summer COPLAC Board meeting. In addition, three presenters from the Summer Institute are selected to form a panel session at the January meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The AAC&U session is always well-attended and allows for a wider dissemination of “best practices” across multiple sectors in higher education.

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