The University of Wisconsin System’s Liberal Education Initiative

LEAP Wisconsin is:

  • the University of Wisconsin System’s quality agenda and a blueprint for the essential learning UW students should have as they prepare to take their places in the 21st-century knowledge-based, global society;
  • a shared conversation about the purpose and value of liberal education throughout the UW System and parts of Wisconsin;
  • a broad and coordinated set of activities, delivered statewide through campus action and public advocacy and outreach; and
  • a way to be intentional about achieving Inclusive Excellence, the joint pursuit of equity and excellence as a shared responsibility and core to the mission of the UW System.

In 2005, the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) named the University of Wisconsin System its pilot partner in moving its Liberal Education and America’s Promise—or LEAP—Campaign forward. Wisconsin thus became the first pilot state for AAC&U’s public advocacy and campus-based activities known as the LEAP States Initiative.

Since that time, the UW System and institutions have instituted curricular and co-curricular reform efforts and convened scores of discussions, meetings, forums, and conferences focused on LEAP and the role of public higher education—in Wisconsin and beyond—in the 21st century global society.

LEAP and Inclusive Excellence are critical components of the UW System’s goals for educational attainment. Their shared purpose helps to realize the System’s abiding commitment that more—and more diverse—students have access to, persist through, and complete high-quality undergraduate degrees.

UW System’s Shared Learning Goals were developed by faculty and aligned with AAC&U’s Essential Learning Outcomes and employer consensus, the Shared Learning Goals represent the university’s commitment to prepare students to be competent citizens in the 21st-century knowledge-based, global economy. Shared Learning Goals pdf