campus partner(s)

Ursinus College






Knowledge for Freedom

award date


project director

Paul Stern

Grant Summary

$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 and enlarging introduction to the liberal arts. Ursinus has established a relationship with Upper Perkiomen High School located in rural Montgomery County in Pennsylvania. Educators at Ursinus and Upper Perkiomen will jointly identify rising juniors and seniors to participate in a two-week summer residential program where students take a seminar on the theme of “Freedom, Citizenship, and Equality” (FCE) modeled on Ursinus’s signature Common Intellectual Experience course required of all incoming undergraduate students. The FCE seminar will explore the principles of freedom and equality and the tensions that may arise between the two, from day to day squabbles between political parties to great upheavals such as the Civil War. Readings will include America’s foundational documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights), Locke’s Second Treatise, selections from Rousseau’s Social Contract, and speeches and letters by Jefferson, Lincoln, Douglass, and DuBois. During the academic year, students will be supported through the college application process by undergraduate mentors.