Fellows News

Cathy Davidson (BF '08, '15) - Co-Directs $3.1M Mellon Grant for Humanities Training for Community Colleges and Beyond

The Graduate Center has been awarded a major $3.15 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will broaden doctoral student training and improve humanities education for approximately 2,500 undergraduates at LaGuardia Community College. Beginning in fall 2016, the Humanities Teaching and Learning Alliance will enable Graduate Center Ph.D. students to teach humanities courses based on methodologies proven to benefit all learners—especially disadvantaged students and underrepresented minorities—whether in the humanities or other disciplines. The goal is not only to increase retention and graduation rates for community college students, but also to open pathways to potential advanced degrees in the humanities. Community colleges have emerged as an increasingly vital sector of higher education, enrolling nearly half of all U.S. undergraduates—predominantly first-generation, low-income, economically disadvantaged students. More than two-thirds of LaGuardia students come from families making $25,000 a year or less. The Mellon award helps improve learning for these "new majority" students, while establishing a national model for translating specialized knowledge and research skills into the best classroom practices.

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