February 13, 2012

An unusual celebration during this leap year at UW-Whitewater will mark the campus success of LEAP, a national effort to improve learning and teaching.

LEAP Day will be observed on the calendar's leap day, Wednesday, Feb. 29, with speakers and discussions expected to draw students, faculty and staff members from UW-Whitewater and other campuses.

They'll be welcomed into the ongoing effort of LEAP, which stands for Liberal Education and America's Promise.  It's a program of the Association of American Colleges and Universities that has been embraced at UW-Whitewater.

"We aim for a well-rounded education that emphasizes generalizable skills in critical thinking, writing, speaking and understanding the larger world,'' said Greg Cook, director of academic assessment at UW-Whitewater.

LEAP also emphasizes the importance of providing a high-quality education to all students, including minority, first-generation and low-income students.

LEAP Day events are free and will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, in the James R. Connor University Center.

Students might want to hear employers explain what they're looking for when they hire new graduates, Cook said. Representatives of companies in Wisconsin, Chicago and California will participate in a national webinar from 12:20 - 2:30 p.m., with the Midwest speakers broadcasting from UW-Whitewater.

"They'll talk about the kind of skills and learning that they believe college graduates need to emphasize,'' Cook said.  "This is a message that's really important for students to hear."

Other LEAP Day events include poster presentations about campus LEAP projects, a student video, national keynote speaker Tia Brown McNair and sessions on student involvement and engagement, learning outcomes and the meaning of LEAP.

UW System President Kevin Reilly, UW-Whitewater Chancellor Richard Telfer and Provost Beverly Kopper will speak from 11:15-11:45 a.m.

People attending LEAP Day are asked to register by Monday, Feb. 20, to help with space planning.  For registration and more information, see uww.edu/acadaff/assessment/leap/.


Sara Kuhl