Santa Fe College One of Ten Schools Nationally Selected for NEH-Funded Program

CONTACT:
Marilyn Tubb, associate vice president and co-chair of Santa Fe’s Democracy Commitment, 352-395-7373 or 352-339-4212 (cell) or marilyn.tubb@sfcollege.edu

Santa Fe College was recently chosen as one of 10 schools nationally to take the lead in a new initiative sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and The Democracy Commitment: An American Community College Initiative (TDC) and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. [Press release]

“It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen as one of 10 colleges in the country to carry this project forward,” said Ed Bonahue, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Many of Santa Fe’s institutional values are oriented to the importance of civic engagement and democracy, so this grant is a perfect fit.”

The Democracy Commitment at Santa Fe is co-chaired by Associate Vice President Marilyn Tubb and Professors Alan Beck and David Price.

In addition to Santa Fe, the selected institutions include:

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Chandler, Ariz.)
  • City University of New York, Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • County College of Morris (Randolph, N.J.)
  • Georgia Perimeter College (Atlanta)
  • Kapi’olani Community College (Honolulu, Hi.)
  • Miami Dade College
  • Middlesex Community College (Bedford, Mass.)
  • Mount Wachusett Community College (Gardner, Mass.)
  • Lone Star College-Kingwood (Kingwood, Texas)

Teams from each of the 10 schools will participate in Bridging Cultures, a three-year curriculum and faculty development project designed to infuse democratic thinking into transfer courses in the humanities; promote greater adoption of proven high-impact practices that advance important civic learning outcomes; create a series of humanities-enriched professional development opportunities for community college faculty, especially adjunct faculty; and expand the project’s impact through collaboration with additional community colleges and partnerships with state humanities councils.

“The community colleges chosen for this project are poised to lead the way in developing curricular and co-curricular practices steeped in the humanities and designed to prepare students to be active and engaged participants in the democratic process,” said Brian Murphy, president of De Anza College, one of the founders of The Democracy Commitment, and a co-director of the Bridging Cultures project.  “The entire Democracy Commitment network will benefit greatly from the work these schools will do together over the course of this project.”

Bridging Cultures was developed as part of AAC&U’s ongoing initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement and builds on the recommendations issued in the report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, released in January 2012 at a White House convening.

The key recommendation in A Crucible Moment is to make civic learning in college expected rather than optional for all students, including all those in career and technical programs. Building from this recommendation, Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation began in February 2012 with a call for proposals to community colleges across the country, leading to the selection of 10 teams composed of humanities faculty and administrators.

Team members will participate in an intensive summer faculty development institute in August 2012, as well as multiple other faculty development opportunities and partnerships with other community colleges. The project will culminate in a symposium planned for October 2014.

Bridging Cultures’ impact will also be strengthened by a partnership with the New York Times Company education group, which is collaborating with TDC in their national initiative. Project participants will use the Epsilen online learning platform to develop forums and to share and co-create resources and course materials.

For additional information about the initiative, visit: http://www.aacu.org/bridgingcultures. 

For information about AAC&U’s work in Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, see http://www.aacu.org/civic_learning/index.cfm.

For more information about The Democracy Commitment’s mission, activities, and members, visit http://thedemocracycommitment.org.