New York, NY (February 26, 2019) – Alondra Nelson, president of the Social Science Research Council and professor of sociology at Columbia University, was elected as a director of the Teagle Foundation on February 22. Walter C. Teagle III, chair of the board, noted, “Professor Nelson brings great intellectual depth to the Foundation that will be invaluable in our efforts to extend the benefits of liberal education and improve teaching and learning in the arts and sciences.”
At the same meeting, the Foundation’s Board of Directors awarded grants totaling over $3 million through its newly launched initiative Pathways to the Liberal Arts as well as its ongoing initiatives Liberal Arts and the Professions and College-Community Connections. Teagle Foundation president Andrew Delbanco described the awards as “recognition and support for educators committed to providing a mind-enlarging experience for students whose prospects might otherwise be narrow and limited.”
The Pathways to the Liberal Arts initiative supports access to and success in liberal arts education, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who might not ordinarily attempt a rigorous liberal arts program. The Teagle Board approved awards for projects that strengthen access to the liberal arts in the transition from high school to college and that strengthen transfer access to the liberal arts from public two-year to private four-year colleges.
The Pathways initiative shares with the Foundation’s long-running College-Community Connections program an emphasis on expanding access to liberal arts education and serving the local community. While the College-Community Connections program is designed to serve low-income youth in New York City, home of the Foundation, the Pathways initiative makes resources available for low-income communities nationally.
Three newly funded Pathways projects providing an intensive experience for high school students in reading and discussion of challenging texts will be located at Ursinus College, the University of Rochester, and Yale University. These programs are modeled on the successful “Freedom and Citizenship” program established by Columbia University and the Double Discovery Center under the auspices of Teagle’s College-Community Connections initiative. All four programs engage low-income high school students with classic texts in philosophy and literature to help them acquire perspectives and skills that can help them become successful college students and active participants in American democracy. In small seminars led by college faculty, high school students grapple with works by thinkers including Plato, Locke, Jefferson, Douglass, Lincoln, and DuBois, and come to see themselves as part of the perennially urgent conversation about how to organize civic life that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome.
Finally, the Foundation’s ongoing initiative Liberal Arts and the Professions continues to identify programs committed to infusing perspectives from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences into undergraduate education for the professions, most prominently in business, engineering, and nursing. The latest round of funding includes a grant to University of California Los Angeles and seven community college partners to integrate the liberal arts in engineering education in both two- and four-year degree programs.
Pathways to the Liberal Arts
Bard Early Colleges Network
Bridge to the BA
$50,000 over six months to lay the groundwork for designing foundational college courses in the humanities and social sciences and to develop more coherent electives to be shared across the network of nine “early colleges” (high schools that offer dual enrollment programs for college credit) in the Bard Early Colleges Network.
Freedom, Citizenship, and Equality
$165,000 over 36 months to engage rural high school students who would be the first in their families to attend college with a rigorous introduction to the liberal arts.
University of Rochester
Experiencing Civil Life
$265,000 over 36 months to engage low-income high school students with classic texts in the humanities and thereby help them to become both successful college students and active participants in American democracy.
Citizens, Thinkers, Writers: Reflecting on Civic Life
$300,000 over 36 months to expand the “Citizens-Thinkers-Writers” (CTW) program, founded to encourage New Haven high school students from underserved backgrounds to join the long-running philosophical conversation about civic life that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome.
New England Board of Higher Education
New England Independent College Transfer Guarantee
$50,000 over 7 months for the New England Board of Higher Education, in partnership with the independent college associations of three states – Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island – to lay the groundwork for an admission transfer guarantee.
Council of Independent Colleges and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
Liberal Arts Transfer Pathways in North Carolina
$400,000 over 36 months to develop comprehensive transfer agreements in sociology and psychology to promote transfer access from two-year community colleges to four-year independent colleges in North Carolina.
Liberal Arts and the Professions
Georgia Southern University
Integrating the Liberal Arts in Nursing Education
$50,000 over 24 months to develop and pilot a humanities-based “mini-mester” (i.e., an 8-week module) to be embedded in NURS 3103 (Professional Nursing Practice), a 16-week course required of all nursing students, and to lay the groundwork for sections of general education courses in history and English designed specifically for nursing students.
University of California Los Angeles, College of Marin, East Los Angeles College, El Camino College, Los Angeles Trade-Tech Community College, Monterrey Peninsula College, Santa Monica College, and Skyline College Integrating Liberal Arts Foundations in the Engineering Undergraduate Experience
$400,000 over 36 months to assist UCLA Engineering in making significant changes in its curriculum aimed toward better integration of the liberal arts into engineering education and toward developing a standardized and transferrable introductory engineering course that incorporates liberal arts perspectives, which will be made available to all two-year colleges in the California Community College System.
Drew University and Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF)
Strengthening Multiple Literacies through the Liberal Arts: A Drew/HEAF Partnership
$100,000 over 12 months for Drew University and HEAF to renew their collaboration under a new, two-week residential model for 20 rising high school juniors and seniors during the summer of 2019.
Fordham University and BronxWorks
The History Makers Scholars Program
$100,000 over 12 months to Fordham University and BronxWorks on the “History Makers Scholars” program, an intensive five-week experience, to inspire local high school students to strive for academic excellence and to help them envision a college degree as a reality.
Brooklyn College and CAMBA
Leading to College
$300,000 over 36 months for the Leading to College program, an intensive collaboration between Brooklyn College and CAMBA to provide college access programming and enrollment in college-credit bearing coursework to students in the three high schools located in the Wingate High School Campus in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
New York University & Children's Aid Society
EXCEL (Educational eXcellence Creating Empowered Leaders) in Writing, Thinking and Inquiry
$300,000 over 36 months to the Children’s Aid Society and New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools to jointly engage and support students of Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School based in the South Bronx. This program features summer and academic year activities on-campus at NYU as well as on-site at Fannie Lou Hamer.
Columbia University & Double Discovery Center
Freedom and Citizenship: Exploration in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Thought
$300,000 over 36 months to the Center for American Studies at Columbia University and the Double Discovery Center to provide rising seniors from New York City high schools with an academically rigorous, college-level program in the humanities on the theme of “Freedom and Citizenship: Explorations in Ancient, Modern and Contemporary Thought.”
Skidmore College & Sponsors for Educational Opportunity
$300,000 over 36 months for SEO-Skidmore Connections, a partnership between Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) and Skidmore College that works to enhance the college readiness of talented but underserved high-school students from New York City.
About the Teagle Foundation
Founded in 1944, The Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal arts education, acting as a catalyst for improvements in teaching and learning in the arts and sciences. It sees such an education as a prerequisite for rewarding work, meaningful citizenship, and a fulfilling life.
Executive Vice President and Managing Director RW Jones Agency