AU strives to prepare our graduates for great lives and great jobs. We believe graduates thrive when they achieve well-rounded success in social, community, and financial well-being.
AU is proud to attract active citizens who want to create meaningful change. AU students seek to participate and engage. They aspire to create personal and professional pursuits that are socially worthwhile and individually fulfilling. In the 2017 Freshman Survey (a nationwide survey, conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, in which AU participates annually):
- 76 percent of freshmen said it is important to influence social values (versus an average of 57 percent at other private universities).
- 73 percent said it is important to promote racial understanding (versus 54 percent).
- More than half of our freshmen (64 percent) said it is important to influence the political structure, versus 35 percent for the private private university average.
To help our students achieve these goals, AU facilitates alignment between academic study, co-curricular activity, and individual passion.
AU faculty and staff serve as an important resource as AU students start and continue their journey toward a great life. Our professors are excited about their fields of study and eager to share this excitement with students. In the 2017 Campus Climate survey, when students were asked to rate the quality of faculty members:
- 77 percent of students described their professors as accessible almost always or most of the time.
- 71 percent described their courses as intellectually challenging. Faculty and staff members seek to ensure that every student feels valued, supported, and encouraged as they pursue their individual aspirations.
For undergraduates, AU's interdisciplinary studies, internships, challenging learning communities, and study abroad opportunities enable students to craft a unique path to success, one that reflects their own style and interest in community engagement. It's worth noting that for AU students, "community" could mean the hometown neighborhood or a nation on the other side of the world. In the 2017 Freshman Survey:
- 72 percent of students said chances were good that they would study abroad.
- 59 percent said chances were good that they would participate in volunteer/community service work.
AU encourages students to learn beyond the classroom, gaining experience in fields they care about.
Together, these resources ensure that after graduation, our students are ready to serve as knowledgeable and committed citizens poised to participate in their communities, our democracy, and the world. They engage in public service, including Peace Corps and Teach for America, lead professional associations, join volunteer organizations, contribute to community service, vote and engage in elections, share opinion pieces in news media, and take initiative to start brand-new endeavors. At AU, we aim to produce more than future employees. We help our students acquire the tools, experiences, and support they need to discover their dreams and pursue their purpose.