campus partner(s)

Austin Community College

state(s)

TX

amount

$260,000

initiative

Pathways to the Liberal Arts

award date

05.2018

project director

Theodore Hadzi-Antich

Austin Community College

Grant Summary

$260,000 over 36 months to scale up Great Questions Seminars (GQS) to serve all incoming liberal arts students and reach a point where it offers over 50 sections, enrolling over 1000 students, each academic year. Austin Community College recently mandated a lecture and textbook-based “student success” course for all incoming first-year students to provide guidance on study skills, college resources, and time management. GQS is a three-credit, semester-long seminar that serves as an alternative way for incoming students to satisfy the “student success” course requirement. In GQS, students read classical texts like the Odyssey to reflect on their educational journey, practice the skills necessary to be a successful college student, and connect seminal works in the arts and sciences to the concepts and theories they will study in introductory general education coursework. Austin Community College is in the process of implementing guided pathways, a framework in which students are presented with structured curricula leading to an associate degree or transfer. GQS has already been successfully included in the “default curriculum” of ten degree plans, with more anticipated in the future.