The charge of the Teagle Foundation is “to support and strengthen liberal arts education, which we see as fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life.” Among the strengths of liberal arts education is the marriage of content and context to cultivate in students the knowledge and skills they need to achieve this vision.
In consideration of “effective citizenship,” the Foundation is committed to improving students’ knowledge about, and capacity to preserve, American democratic institutions. We therefore seek to partner with institutions that offer a liberal education while inspiring students to participate in the communities and political systems they have inherited and which they must protect for posterity.
Colleges and universities often assume that their incoming students have received prior preparation on topics such as the formation of the American republic or the crafting of the Constitution. In doing so, they miss opportunities to help undergraduates develop a mature understanding of the history and fragility of our democracy. We encourage institutions to build on these themes across their curriculum and to invite deeper academic inquiry on critical issues that vex our local and national communities.
Through “Education for American Civic Life,” the Foundation seeks to elevate the civic objectives of liberal arts education by partnering with institutions offering bold and coherent initiatives that endow students with the content, skills, and sensibility to participate in a political system designed for self-governance.
The Foundation welcomes participation from a diverse array of institutions—community colleges, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive and research universities—that aim to strengthen civic education across the undergraduate curriculum and across disciplines.
The Foundation is particularly interested in projects that match rigorous content with skill-building in public service, such as civil discourse and collaborative problem-solving. Successful proposals are expected to move beyond mere additions to the course catalog and should reflect an approach to integrative learning that serves the student body and can be sustained beyond the life of the grant.