College Unbound Announces Groundbreaking Generative AI Policy Crafted by Students

College Unbound is thrilled to announce the launch of its groundbreaking Usage Guidelines for AI Generative Tools for faculty and students. This policy has been developed by a dedicated group of CU students, marking both a powerful model for institutional collaboration and applied education with students, as well as a significant milestone in the integration of artificial intelligence in higher education. As an institutional policy driven by students, it is the first AI policy of its kind in the country.

The Generative AI Policy is designed to provide clear guidelines on the ethical and appropriate use of AI technologies for teaching and learning, in a way that grants both students and faculty the flexibility and intentionality to engage with their tools thoughtfully. It aims to empower students and faculty to leverage these advanced tools in a manner that enhances learning, fosters academic integrity, and promotes a culture of responsible innovation.

The process developed from a course launched at CU, AI and Education in Spring 2023 by Lance Eaton, Director of Faculty Development & Innovation.  Just as generative AI emerged in early 2023, students learned about, played with, and debated the benefits and concerns of this emerging technology.  Collectively, they crafted a set of guidelines and then test-piloted them in assignments in different courses to see where the policy was too restrictive or insufficient. Faculty provided positive and useful feedback that led to light revisions before the policy was reviewed and approved by CU’s Faculty Curriculum Committee in March 2024. 

Because of their work and insight, CU students involved in crafting the college’s generative AI policy were invited to speak at the NERCOMP annual conference (March 2023), and to be keynote speakers for the Massachusetts Colleges Online annual conference (June 2023) and the Brightpoint Community College Fall Convocation (August 2023). They have also spoken at the EDUCAUSE Leadership Series on ChatGPT & Generative AI as part of the EDUCAUSE 2023 annual conference. 

These students have also been featured in webinars including the Generative AI and Higher Education:  Disruption, Opportunities, Challenges, and (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar) with Stan Waddell and the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast with Bonnie Stachowiak. They have also shared insights with The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

CU student Veronica Machado shared, "this experience has allowed me to grow as a student, speaker/advocate as well as an educator and leader. This experience has also allowed me to build upon my Core-project and lead me into the direction I want to be going in as a leader in education, finding out what I am really passionate about and where I should be headed in my career. "

CU student Damaris Rosales said, "with this experience and opportunity, I have more knowledge about AI. More than my education, this process helped me to gain the knowledge and skills to support my kids, especially now that some schools are utilizing these tools."

CU student Bethany Roy reflected that, "seeing the finalized policies become a part of College Unbound makes me feel proud along with a sense of confidence. It signifies a commitment to transparency and accountability, which is essential for fostering a thriving academic community." 

In working with students over the last year on this project, Lance Eaton noted that "it may not be the right approach for every institution, but it was hands-down the best way for us to navigate this new technology–making sure students lead the conversation rather than be told what to do. Our students brought curiosity, critical insight, and an earnest desire to get it right for students and faculty; what an honor to learn with them."

“Listening to and learning from our students will always guide the College in the right direction.  This isn't casual work but a deep and intentional culture of collaboration that helped nurture an institutional policy for the institution we can be,” said Adam Bush, President and co-founder of College Unbound. 


“The development of the AI policy at CU represents student and faculty collaboration and deliberation at the highest level. The policy moves away from the surveillance of student work to providing students with concrete guidance about how AI can be employed as  a tool  that supports learning and academic integrity.” said Sylvia Spears, Provost and Vice President of Lifelong Learning at College Unbound. 

The development of this policy underscores College Unbound's dedication to being a leader in centering student voice and agency in education, willing to engage in challenging questions and changes in the higher education landscape.

The full policy can be found here.