Grants in Higher Education



November 2015
Project Pericles
Creating Cohesive Paths to Civic Engagement Convening
Project Leaders: Jan Liss


$20,000 over 6 months to support a convening of participants from the 2013 Teagle grant, “Creating Cohesive Paths to Civic Engagement.” Through this effort, 26 Periclean institutions embarked on inventorying, mapping, strengthening, and developing greater cohesive and integrated curricular programs to enable students in all disciplines to incorporate civic engagement into their courses of study. Convening participants will reflect on their progress, share best practices, and discuss future directions.

Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)
Creating an Online Mini-Course to Advance Faculty Understanding of the Economics of Liberal Arts Colleges
Project Leaders: Christopher Welna


$115,000 over 18 months to create an online mini-course and accompanying resources to advance faculty understanding of the economics of higher education. This effort builds on the successful Teagle-supported dissemination of videos of its summer faculty development institutes. The online course will enable faculty members to participate more effectively in shared governance of their institutions by advancing their understanding of the ways that their choices shape the financial future of their institutions. Through the online course, ACM aims to reach 300 ACM and 400 non-ACM faculty over three years and will disseminate lessons learned at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, EDUCAUSE, Council of Independent Colleges, and similar venues.

Skidmore College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, and SUNY Albany
Teaching and Learning with Museum Exhibitions: An Inter-Institutional Approach
Project Leaders: Mimi Hellman


$222,500 over 36 months to create best practices in teaching and learning with on-campus museum exhibits. The project will involve helping faculty and students across disciplines learn how to work critically with a range of images, artifacts, and display spaces through revised or newly created courses that take advantage of engaging with material objects in a museum setting. Museum staff will collaborate with faculty to develop courses, modules, and assignments to consider how subject matter, medium, authorship, physical and institutional setting, display and labeling strategies, audience, and museum programming shape learning experiences. The project will culminate in a symposium where institutions with on-campus museums will be invited to participate (the potential audience includes at least 450 institutions nationally that have on-campus museums or galleries).

May 2015
Emerson College
Launching the Civic Media Consortium
Project Leaders: Eric Gordan and Paul Mihailidis, Emerson College


$300,000 over 34 months for a grant to launch the Civic Media Consortium, linking the civic media offerings of ten Boston-area institutions to local civic organizations. Civic media refers to the practices of designing, building, and implementing tools to intervene in or participate in civic life. Embedded in coursework, civic media provide a means to challenge students to link theory to practice in applied real world contexts. These courses draw on readings in political science, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, arts, and literature to challenge students to work with civic and community processes and understand cultures unlike their own, while designing media objects such as games, apps, websites, campaigns, videos, and so on that can help bring about a civic goal. The consortium will provide an administrative hub to develop shared curriculum, build and maintain relationships with local community partners, and disseminate knowledge and resources on civic media. Over the grant cycle, at least 12 inter-institutional courses will be developed in partnership with at least 15 civic organizations as part of developing a financially sustainable model for cross-collaboration harnessing civic media.

February 2015
Great Lakes Colleges Association
The GLCA Center for Teaching and Learning
Project Leaders: Richard Detweiler


$300,000 over 38 months to launch the GLCA Teaching and Learning Center (GTLC) and expand faculty development for member colleges. The GTLC will deploy a cadre of Pedagogy Fellows, drawn from all the member colleges, to serve as teaching consultants across the consortium. They will serve as the core intellectual leaders of the Center, setting the agenda, leading workshops, colloquies, and webinars, and authoring major resources such as toolkits. The Center will also support a network of Faculty Associates who are interested in disseminating good practice in teaching and learning to their colleagues through shorter articles, annotated research briefs, and workshops for smaller audiences in order to develop the next generation of faculty leadership for teaching and learning. The consortium-based teaching and learning center significantly broadens the array of faculty development resources available to the member institutions, particularly for the majority that either do not have their own centers or rely on faculty with partial course release to carry out the work. This project also pilots a mode of consortial resource-sharing for academic collaboration: moving a cost center from the member institutions to the consortium, where it can draw on a broader base of financial support and offer the potential of significant cost-savings to individual campuses.

National Academy of Sciences
How People Learn II: The Science and Practice of Learning | Project website
Project Leaders: Barbara Wanchisen


$50,000 over 12 months to revise and expand the 2000 volume “How People Learn”, distilling insights from cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics, developmental psychology, and learning technologies to enhance K-16 and lifelong learning.

November 2014
Council of Independent Colleges
“Securing America’s Future” Symposium
Project Leaders: Richard Ekman


$50,000 over 10 months to support a one-day symposium which will gather policymakers, higher education associations, associations of K-12 schools and guidance counselors, and the media to call attention to the importance of the liberal arts and liberal arts colleges.

Change Magazine
Project Leaders: Margaret Miller


$25,000 over 12 months to support the administration of Change Magazine - a publication that addresses contemporary issues in higher education and is distributed to institutions and individuals, both in print and online.

Emory & Henry College
The Aristotle Center for Science in the Humanities
Project Leaders: Adam Wells & Brynn Welch


$25,000 over 12 months for a planning grant to lay the groundwork for Emory and Henry’s new Aristotle Center for Science in the Humanities. The Center’s goal is to produce evidence-based pedagogical strategies and curricular innovations to enable faculty to bridge the gap between the sciences and the humanities in undergraduate education.  

May 2014
Associated Colleges of the Midwest
Video Dissemination Project
Project Leaders: Christopher Welna


$20,000 over 8 months to the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) to edit full-length videos from its Institute for College Futures (ICF) into short, five- to seven- minute versions. ICF began with a three-day seminar offered in June 2013 to help faculty build deeper knowledge of the economic challenges facing liberal arts colleges and to become better equipped to help colleges make sound choices through their participation in shared governance. ACM intends to host the short videos on its website and disseminate them to other consortia.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Planning grant for Building Capacity for the Integrative Liberal Arts at Technological Universities
Project Leaders: James Winebrake


$25,000 over 10 months  for a planning grant to gather counterparts from eight Association of Independent Technological Universities member institutions to identify major challenges and opportunities for the development of integrative liberal arts curricula at technological institutes. Planning grant funds will support a two-day meeting of senior administrators and faculty to understand the current landscape and future possibility of integrative liberal arts and technology curricula, to share ideas, and to develop a needs assessment. The partners will then design a multi-year program to address needs at the intersection of liberal arts and technical fields, which will include faculty development opportunities, curricular content, and implementation strategies.

February 2014
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
In Pursuit of Curricular Efficiency
Project Leaders: Robert Zemsky


$270,000 over 36 months to engage faculty at multiple institutions, including Stanford University, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Central College (IA), University of Charleston (WV), Augustana College (IL) and Alma College (MI),  in streamlining their curriculum and course offerings and disseminating successful practices. Among the products of the project will be a “storybook” filled with the experiences of faculty seeking curricular change—stories told in their own words but collected together in such a way that they become a resource for other institutions to jump start their own change processes.

University of Texas at Austin
Ethics Integration Initiative
Project Leaders: Cara Biasucci


$150,000 over 24 months to create and implement new tools for grounding ethics education in the arts and humanities. This project will combine the disciplinary expertise of leading fine arts and liberal arts faculty with the pedagogical expertise and creative insight of the Ethics Unwrapped video series from the McCombs School of Business and the Ethics and Leadership flag program in the School of Undergraduate Studies.  The curricular resources created by this project will impact up to 15,000 students annually and support the University’s commitment to blended and online learning. The new ethics videos and teaching resources will be made be public and free for use by others.

University of Kansas, Park University, Elon University, and Rockhurst University
Sustained Change in Practices of Engaged and Active Learning in Humanities Instruction
Project Leaders: Daniel Bernstein


$215,000 over 36 months to University of Kansas, Park University, Elon University, and Rockhurst University to develop humanities courses that use time outside of class for first exposure and processing of knowledge so that time in class is liberated for interactive learning aimed at advanced understanding. The project will convene local seminars for developing and sharing redesigned instruction that uses face-to-face time for engaged learning.  All participants will meet once each year to build inter-institutional working groups to provide feedback on instructional designs and on evidence of student understanding. Each participant will maintain a reflective, electronic portfolio of course materials, including a syllabus, descriptions of learning activities in and outside of class, assignments, and samples of student work. Peers will review the course portfolios and engage in virtual and face-to-face meetings to analyze and learn from the experiences. A public repository of the portfolios will make the products of this project available, and participants will gather in a writing residency to craft reports suitable for a variety of public venues.

Harvard Graduate School of Education
Aligned Programs for Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century
Project Leaders: Howard Gardner


$260,000 over 36 months to identify “exemplary programs” such as courses, pedagogies, and co-curricular activities that help to increase alignment of the different “mental models” of higher education among key constituencies. It will study which factors may help apparently effective programs travel to other campuses, and how that transfer can occur.  It will examine the results and investigate what factors contributed to success.

Hartwick College
Promoting Technological Innovation at Liberal Arts Colleges
Project Leaders: Margaret Drugovich


$25,000 over 6 months to convene select members of the New York – Pennsylvania Consortium Advancing Faculty Excellence (NY-PA CAFÉ)  to develop an implementation plan for on-line, distance, and blended learning courses with the assistance of a shared instructional designer. Participating institutions include Hartwick College, Alfred University, Houghton College, Lycoming College, Siena College, Skidmore College, and Susequenna University who will share the developed courses with the entire 24 member NY-PA CAFÉ consortium.

Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
Support for Forums and Publications for Its Centennial Year
Project Leaders: Carol Geary Schneider


$75,000 over 22 months to support special forums and publications during AAC&U’s centennial year celebration. Among the activities planned are: 1) a series of forums on “Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and the Equity Imperative,” to be held across the country; 2) a celebratory event in Washington, DC to thank and honor AAC&U’s members, staff and fellows, and donors; 3) centennial publications and related content on the AAC&U website; and 4) other emerging initiatives that collectively will represent the next generation of AAC&U’s signature program Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP).

November 2013
Teachers College, Columbia University
MetroCiti: A Multi-Campus Institute for Improving Teaching for Students’ Liberal Learning in Urban Colleges and Universities | MetroCiti
Project Leaders: Anna Neumann


$155,000 over 25 months to the MetroCiti program of Teachers College to improve teaching in the general/liberal education curriculum of high-diversity colleges and universities throughout the New York metropolitan area.  Configured as a multi-campus institute for instructional and faculty development, MetroCiti will engage two cohorts of MetroCiti Fellows (8-10 per cohort) who teach full-time in the liberal education curricula of high-access colleges in the New York metropolitan area to explore and adapt insights from the learning sciences and sociocultural research  to their own classroom practices.  Fellows will then develop teaching improvement opportunities such as modules and/or programs for ten or more colleagues on their own campuses.  Through this process, and through continuing online interaction, the Fellows will develop a grassroots network of college teachers who seek to enhance, document, and share teaching practices that promise to advance the liberal learning of first generation college students.

Washington University in St. Louis
Discovering an Impediment to Undergraduate Learning, Validating Effective Teaching Interventions & Disseminating the New Knowledge
Project Leaders: Regina Frey and Mark McDaniel


$75,000 over 36 months to Washington University in St. Louis, in partnership with Augusta State University (GA), Berea College (KY), Drexel University (PA), Ouachita Baptist University (AR), University of Guelph (Canada), and Weber State University (UT), to examine two different learning approaches that characterize nearly all undergraduates. Early data show that students who use one of the two approaches are at greater risk for struggling in introductory college sciences courses. The study seeks to: (1) validate the assessment tool that can identify a student’s learning approach and will make this web-based assessment tool accessible to other institutions; (2) examine the correlation between the performance of students with each learning approach and the type of problem/question they must solve, and (3) test the capacity of active-learning interventions to improve the performance of students, particularly those at risk.  Through broad dissemination, the project aims to bring to the teaching community new knowledge on undergraduate learning and teaching that is applicable to all types of institutions.

Dominican University of California
Planning Grant to Embed Instruction through MOOCs into a High Impact Environment
Project Leaders: Mary Marcy and Steve Weisler


$25,000 over 10 months for a group of colleges on the west coast, led by Dominican University of California, to explore how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can be incorporated into instruction rich with “high impact practices” such as first-year seminars, learning communities, undergraduate research and capstone projects with the goal of increasing student learning outcomes and student success. 

May 2013
Great Lakes Colleges Association
From Learning to Life: Gauging the Extended Impact of Liberal Education on the Development of Personal and Civic Virtues
Project Leaders: Richard Detweiler


$100,000 over 24 months to the Great Lakes Colleges Association -- with additional support from the Spencer Foundation-- to conduct a project to assess the long-term consequences of liberal arts education (i.e., an education that fosters broad cognitive abilities) on the development of personal and civic virtues. In particular, this project seeks to better understand the long-term behavioral impact of liberal education.

National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
Liberal Arts Degrees and Their Value in the Employment Market
Project Leaders: Peter Ewell


$60,000 over 5 months to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems – with additional support from the Spencer Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) – to examine the long-term returns on investment for graduates with a liberal arts degree (e.g., Chemistry, Sociology, Philosophy) compared to those with other undergraduate degrees. NCHEMS will work with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) to publish and disseminate the findings of this research.

November 2011
Change Magazine
Project Leaders: Margaret Miller


$75,000 over 36 months to support the administration of Change Magazine - a publication that addresses contemporary issues in higher education and is distributed to institutions and individuals, both on paper and online.

May 2011
Barnard College
Reacting to the Past: Creating a Sustainable Business Model
Project Leaders: Mark Carnes


$25,000 over 12 months to assist with the creation of a sustainable business model for Reacting to the Past, an innovative, award-winning curriculum in which students participate in role-playing games set in historical periods of great importance. Founded in 1997 by Mark Carnes, Professor of History at Barnard College, over 300 institutions of various types - liberal arts colleges, urban commuter schools, community colleges, public universities, and more - are using the program. To help create a sustainable business model for Reacting to the Past, this grant will support the costs of a part-time graduate intern to work with Reacting project staff and also support the development of videos to best showcase the curriculum. 

The Aspen Institute, Business and Society Program
Dissemination Project for "Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession"
Project Leaders: Judith Samuelson


$75,000 over 24 months to build upon the work of the Business, Entrepreneurship, and Liberal Learning (BELL) project, which considered the value of integrating liberal education goals into undergraduate business education and studied to most effective ways to do so. This work culminated in a book, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession (2011), co-authored by Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, William M. Sullivan, and Jonathan Dolle. Through the work of this particular grant, the Aspen Institute will work to disseminate the recommendations from this book by holding meetings for institutions to help them implement the key concepts of the book in their own business and liberal arts programs.

November 2009
Project Pericles
The Periclean Faculty Leadership Program | Project website
Project Leaders: Jan Liss


$100,000 over 28 months to develop a cohort of 30 faculty members at Periclean institutions who will champion civic engagement in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. Faculty will develop, teach, and evaluate an academic course that incorporates issues of civic engagement, as well as organize campus-wide activities and prepare an academic paper or project. This project builds on the success of the Civic Engagement Courses program, which Teagle previously supported.

November 2008
Union College, Bard College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Skidmore College, and Vassar College
Investigating the Utility of High-Performance Computing Capabilities at Six Liberal Arts Colleges | White paper
Project Leaders: Valerie Barr


$40,000 over 9 months to investigate how experience with powerful, high-performance computing technology can impact teaching, learning, and research (faculty and undergraduate) across a wide range of departments and programs at liberal arts colleges.

May 2007
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Departmental Template Survey
Project Leaders: Leslie Berlowitz


$75,000 over 12 months. The need for reliable, cross-disciplinary data about the humanities is generally acknowledged by those working in these fields, especially when compared to the prodigious amount of information available in science and technology. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has already collected what data exist under the auspices of its "Humanities Indicators" project, and now seeks to gather new data that will fill in important gaps in what is known about the humanities through its new "Template Project" initiative, thereby creating a robust and useful knowledge base. The Academy will collaborate with five learned societies and the American Council of Learned Societies to survey 200-300 departments each in the disciplines of history, modern languages and literatures, art history, linguistics, and religion. Data will be collected through a template that the societies will attach to surveys they already circulate. The template questions will focus on faculty (numbers tenured, untenured, etc.; teaching load and responsibilities; graduate student teaching) and undergraduate curricula (numbers of majors, minors, interdisciplinary concentrations, courses offered, whether the department offers first-year seminars, requires a senior thesis and more). Similar data already collected from political science departments will be included in the survey results. The American Political Science Association will do the analysis. All data will be transferred to a host organization that will manage and maintain it, clean it up, and develop ways to make comparisons using this information.

February 2007
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Business Education and Liberal Learning (BELL) Project
Project Leaders: Thomas Ehrlich


$375,000 over 36 months. Roughly 60% of American college students are majoring in professional fields, with roughly a third of those majoring in business or marketing. Graduates in these fields, the Carnegie Foundation argues, need the capacities to understand, even foresee, social trends and needs; to be creative and innovative in their work; to play important leadership roles; to operate effectively in a global environment; to understand their own as well as other cultures; to know how to conduct themselves ethically and with integrity in their professions; and to understand the public purposes of their work. These students, in other words, need a liberal education. Yet after an initial review of more than 30 undergraduate business programs, in addition to ongoing work in other undergraduate professional fields and in the liberal arts, the Carnegie Foundation has found that attention to the core goals of liberal learning (analytical thinking, intellectual depth, ethical understanding, leadership, and creativity), though present in most programs, is limited in scope and not well integrated with other dimensions of students' training. The Business Education and Liberal Learning (BELL) project—an action research project that has as its goal widespread change in practices of teaching and learning—responds to this problem by exploring how the goals of a liberal education can best be integrated into undergraduate business programs. Having identified some promising models for the integration of business and liberal education, the Carnegie Foundation will further the work in four stages:
  • Preparatory work, including an extensive review of available literature relating to the ways professional education and liberal education can be mutually enriching; consultation with a range of experienced leaders in those fields; background analyses of programs on campuses they plan to visit, as well as protocols for those visits.

  • Field work, entailing site visits to at least 12 campuses that are effectively integrating business and liberal education. These will be done with an eye towards developing a rich and textured understanding of the strengths and limitations of the programs, and the usefulness of their key features for other settings.

  • Analysis of data gathered, leading to the production of a book and other resources which will help those in professional education incorporate important dimensions of liberal education into their students' learning, and help those in the liberal arts and sciences think about how liberal learning can contribute to the preparation of professionals.

  • Collaborative work with key stakeholders to draw attention to the importance of integrating liberal and professional education, to make the project's resources as useful as possible, and to disseminate findings through publication and through presentations at major conferences.

The total cost of this project is $900,000. In addition to Teagle's support, the Carnegie Foundation itself will contribute $375,000, and is seeking support from other funders for the remaining $150,000.

Social Science Research Council (SSRC)
Dissemination of "What College Teachers Should Know about the Religious Engagements of Today's Undergraduates"
Project Leaders: Jonathan VanAntwerpen


$23,500 over 3 months. Under the auspices of a 2006 Teagle Foundation grant, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) researched and produced a pamphlet on "What College Teachers Should Know about the Religious Engagements of Today's Undergraduates." Following up on that project, SSRC has now developed—in consultation with the Foundation—a two-pronged plan for publication and dissemination of the work. First, a complete version of the pamphlet—crafted as a series of short, self-standing pieces—will be available on the SSRC website. It will be linked to suggestions for further reading, as well as to appropriate essays on the web forum designed for the project. Appearing alongside the pamphlet will be a range of bibliographic materials. The second piece of the dissemination plan involves a shorter, printed pamphlet that will serve as a stand-alone discussion piece and a form of publicity for the web-based version. SSRC plans to actively publicize the work through mailings of the short pamphlet, email marketing, and other forms of advertising.

February 2006
Social Science Research Council (SSRC)
"What College Teachers Should Know about the Religious Engagements of Today's Undergraduates"
Project Leaders: Jonathan VanAntwerpen


$40,000 over 6 months. Religion has come to the forefront of education today because of its more prominent role in the public sphere, because of the push for teaching to take students' religious commitments seriously, and because the pattern of religious engagement among undergraduates is changing. Yet college teachers and students often find themselves positioned differently on this issue. Teachers can be surprised by the religious engagements their students bring into the classroom and they may miss important religious components of their students' intellectual lives when students do not bring them up in class. Students, on the other hand, at times feel that teachers do not welcome discussions of religious issues and are not receptive to religious perspectives.

To address this set of issues, SSRC will review existing authoritative research to prepare a short and accessible pamphlet for college faculty and administrators, focusing on students' religious lives and beliefs and summarizing their knowledge of religion more generally. In surveying the current state of knowledge regarding student attitudes and experiences, perspectives and practices, understandings and activities, the aim is neither to adjudicate between competing claims in the literature, nor to initiate new research, but rather to draw on existing scholarship in order to provide a clearer sense of the shape, scope, and substance of students' religious engagements. The pamphlet will also include suggestions for further reading.

Click here for an interview with SSRC president Craig Calhoun and principal investigator Jonathan VanAntwerpen.