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Bringing Theory to Practice Project

Hampshire College is one of 45 colleges and universities nationwide selected to form a leadership coalition and receive grants to support their work in creating and sustaining transformative campus change and cultures for learning.

The participating institutions’ presidents, including Hampshire College President Ralph J. Hexter, have formed a national Leadership Coalition, committing their campuses to becoming models for what liberal education can offer—and most effectively deliver.

The institutions in the coalition will be supported in their plans and work over the next two years as they demonstrate how making a priority of creating and sustaining a campus culture for learning elevates expectations, involves greater faculty and student interaction, broadens reward structures, and results in greater attainment of the academic, well-being, and civic development of students.

With the generous support of the S. Engelhard Center, the Charles Engelhard Foundation, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, and the Lumina Foundation, the Bringing Theory to Practice Project, an independent project in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, sought applications and plans from interested institutions of all types offering baccalaureate degrees. From those applications, it selected and will offer grant support to 45 colleges and universities.

The objective in forming the coalition is to encourage and support those institutions which are committed to providing successful models of how a campus culture focused on actively engaging students in learning, and evaluating their success in doing so, can address the full dimensions of the intellectual, emotional, and civic flourishing of students.

In addition to receiving grant support, the participating institutions agree to:

Hold relevant internal conversations regarding the institution’s commitment to a call for a “campus culture for learning,” what that will mean for their campus, and what strategies they may employ.

Establish a leadership/planning team that would initiate plans to fit their own institutional culture. The plans they develop will be presented at a national workshop session in 2009.

Put into practice their plans beginning in calendar year 2009. A retrieval and dissemination conference will occur in 2010. The campus projects will constitute the examples that will become the central features of a nationally distributed publication, promulgating the institutions as models of successful, effective, and affordable “Strategies for Change in Creating and Sustaining Campus Cultures for Learning.”

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