NACU — or The New American Colleges & Universities if we’re being formal — is a group of colleges and universities across the United States that are known for the integration of liberal arts, professional preparation, and civic engagement.

Here at NACU our motto is “Connect, Collaborate, Champion!” because our mission is to connect our campuses to collaborate in the delivery of innovative ideas and to champion the belief that an integrated liberal, professional, and civic education is essential to the future of our world. We love what we do so much we named our podcast “Connect, Collaborate, Champion!”

NACU’s learning communities provide opportunities for administrators, faculty, and staff to share best practices and consult with one another to enhance institutional effectiveness through improved curriculum, pedagogy, research, and systems. At the bottom of this page, you can link to more information specific to your learning community.

Who are we? And where are we?

President Sean Creighton and the main office are located in Dayton, Ohio, and Michelle Apuzzio, director of programs and communication, is based in Dedham, Massachusetts. They frequently commiserate about lousy winters as they surf the websites of NACU campuses in better climates such as Florida and California.

Most importantly, who are our campuses?

NACU campuses are small to medium-sized comprehensive institutions that serve nearly 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students. They’re located in cities, suburbs, and rural areas in more than 15 different states. We’re also proud to have two Historically Black Colleges & Universities and two Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

How did NACU get its start?

In 1990, Frank Wong, then vice president for academic affairs at the University of Redlands, wrote an essay titled “The Ugly Duckling of Higher Education” which explored the characteristics of comprehensive institutions. A few years later Ernest L. Boyer, then president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, called for a “New American College” that would renew the tradition of higher education as service to society. In 1995, several comprehensive institutions that embrace Boyer’s ideas of higher education by intentionally integrating liberal arts, professional programs, and civic engagement formed the Associated New American Colleges, now known as the New American Colleges and Universities. Each year we honor Boyer’s legacy through the Ernest L. Boyer Award.

Let’s stay connected!

We’d love to follow you on social media. You can find us on LinkedIn and Twitter (click the buttons below). Reach out to us so we can follow you!

Connect to your Learning Community

NACU currently hosts 15 Learning Communities. Connect to the one that’s right for you to learn more about programs that might interest you.