campus partner(s)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania






Cornerstone: Learning for Living

award date


project director

Lynn Botelho; Bryna Siegel Finer; Melanie Holm

Grant Summary

$200,000 over 24 months to launch a 16-credit certificate called "Big Ideas: Transformative Texts and the Professions" that involves a two-semester gateway aimed at first-year students; thematically aligned clusters of general education courses; and a capstone course completed in the senior year to connect humanities to students' pre-professional aspirations. Each course in the Big Ideas gateway sequence (ARHU 122 & 123) satisfies two different general education distribution requirements (in other words, one course satisfies two requirements), freeing up space for an extra elective for students in highly prescribed degree plans such as nursing. Students who move forward with the certificate complete thematic clusters of courses that meet other general education distribution requirements (e.g.,  "law and government," "mind, body, and health”). They also complete a one-credit capstone experience designed to encourage reflection on humanities coursework completed during their years of undergraduate study and to connect them to their major and career aspirations. The two-semester gateway is expected to reach at least 20 percent of the incoming class and become a required course for students from financially needy backgrounds who are recruited to the "Promising Scholars" program and receive renewable four-year scholarships.