Teagle Foundation: Cornerstone: Learning for Living Initiative

The Teagle Foundation invites applications for the Cornerstone: Learning for Living initiative, a grant program to revitalize the role of the humanities in general education, and in doing so, expose a broad array of students to the power of the humanities, help students of all backgrounds build a sense of belonging and community; strengthen the coherence and cohesiveness of general education; and increase teaching opportunities for humanities faculty.

This initiative is dedicated to the proposition that transformative texts—regardless of authorship, geography, or the era that produced them—perform a democratizing function in giving students the analytical tools and historical awareness to interrogate themselves and the culture and society by which we are all partially formed. Such texts give students access to a wide range of lived experiences and form the basis for creating a common intellectual experience that fosters a sense of community.

Planning grants will provide support for faculty at participating institutions to achieve the following: Establish criteria for inclusion of works of literature and philosophy and generate a consensus list of transformative texts, along with a policy for how texts from the consensus list will be used across sections of the gateway course, with an eye to creating a common intellectual experience for students; design coherent pathways through general education; lay the curricular groundwork for the proposed program, including achieving any necessary approvals by the appropriate academic governance committees; engage the leadership and faculty of professional schools, where appropriate, so the program is accepted as part of their majors’ degree plans; establish a clear strategy for faculty professional development and scale-up, particularly to ensure there are enough sections of the course(s) designated as the gateway to your program to ensure a significant share of the incoming undergraduate student body participates in a common intellectual experience; and whenever possible, pilot courses featuring transformative texts.

Implementation grants provide support for institutions to enact concrete plans for comprehensive and sustainable curriculum development or redesign efforts and may be used as follows: To provide one-time stipends for faculty time committed to developing their readiness to teach in core-text-based courses; course releases to design and implement general education pathways; and other similar expenses likely to arise in a major curricular reform effort; to defray the cost of outreach to academic advisors who help guide students in their course enrollment, particularly at large institutions where academic advising is usually carried out by professional staff instead of faculty; and to support the work of recruiting students, addressing library resources, and similar expenses.

Through the program, implementation grants of up to $300,000 over 24 months will be made to each funded project participating in this initiative, with the size of the award based on the project’s scope. Planning grants up to $25,000 over six to 12 months are strongly encouraged to lay the groundwork for successful curricular reform and faculty professional development.

This funding opportunity is available to regionally accredited private not-for-profit and public higher education institutions. The initiative welcomes the participation of various institutions—community colleges, liberal arts colleges, regional comprehensive institutions, and research universities.

Concept papers are due December 1, 2023, and upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit proposals and are expected to finalize their applications by early April 2024.

Please contact Sara Salmon if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.