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Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking: An NEH Bridging Cultures Project

Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges

Postmark Deadline: March 15, 2012

This professional and curriculum development project for faculty and administrators from twelve community colleges focuses on American cultural diversity and democracy.

Dates: March 2012-October 2014
Grantee Institutions: Association of American Colleges and Universities
Location: Washington, DC
Information: Eleanor Hall
(202) 387-3760

Today, more than half of post-secondary students in the U.S. attend community colleges. Yet the essential role of humanities instruction at these institutions is sometimes overlooked – despite the fact that many students’ only serious study of the humanities takes place in two-year college classrooms.

For the most part, only slender resources are devoted to humanities instruction at community colleges. Community college humanities faculty carrying very full teaching loads, often on part-time or adjunct appointments, have insufficient opportunities for professional development. To mark a new commitment to this vital and growing sector in higher education, the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2011 launched NEH Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges, a program to advance humanities teaching at community colleges through sustained faculty and curriculum development.

Funded projects focus on the theme of Bridging Cultures, an agency-wide initiative that encourages exploration of the ways in which cultures from around the globe, as well as cultures within America’s borders, have influenced American society.

In 2011, five institutions were each awarded up to $360,000 in cooperative agreements for projects to be held in 2012-15. Three additional awards were made in 2012. These projects:

  • draw on sound humanities scholarship related to the theme of Bridging Cultures;
  • engage participating faculty in shared readings of important humanities texts;
  • involve noted humanities scholars in discussions, mentoring, and review of courses and
  • support demonstrable and measurable improvements in humanities course offerings; and
  • serve as national models of excellence in addressing needs that are widely shared.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.