Campus Dialogue Grants: Realizing Higher Education’s Greater Purposes

Posted by Bringing Theory to Practice on September 26, 2016

New Grant Funding Available for Campuses from Bringing Theory to Practice for 2017–2018

Informational Webinar: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 2:30 PM EST
Deadline for proposal submission: Friday, December 9, 2016

The Bringing Theory to Practice Project invites proposals for
Campus Dialogue Grants: Realizing Higher Education’s Greater Purposes

Campus dialogue grants of up to $5,000 for a single institution or up to $15,000 for consortia (institutional matching required for both) will provide support for one-year projects (for Academic Year 2017–2018) based around thematically integrated gatherings or dialogues involving a core group of diverse campus constituents. Successful proposals should demonstrate how these dialogues will, through the lens of each institution’s unique campus culture and the issues affecting the campus community, facilitate the greater purposes of higher education: learning and discovery, well-being, civic engagement, and preparation for living meaningfully in the world.

The dialogue designs and intended participants should reflect each institution’s unique culture and attentiveness to current issues facing the campus. Examples may include discussions and planning related to the following:

  • How students’ civic action—such as participation in groups or in social and political campaigns—relates to their learning and well-being, and how such action can be supported through intentional institutional structures
  • How curricular and pedagogical planning can help support the needs of an increasingly diverse student body, and why rethinking the university in an inclusive way that fully supports students’ intersectional identities is needed not only to prepare students for the workforce, but for the full realization of a democratic society
  • How students, faculty, staff, and community members can discuss and respond to oppositional perspectives reflecting political, social, and personal values
  • How redesigning first-year advising or undergraduate mentoring programs can help foster positive change in campus culture and explicit attention to student well-being
  • How campuses can respond to calls for safe and equitable spaces while maintaining a culture of freedom, liberal education, and risk-taking—and what sustaining this balance means for students’ lives after graduation
  • How academic and student affairs responsibilities and resources can be productively aligned to address both cognitive and noncognitive outcomes for student learning and development
  • How major investments in technology or uses of social media in instruction can be both disruptive and integrative forces in encouraging civic participation, and how technology and social media use relate to your campus mission

While each campus will enter the discussion of higher education’s greater purposes through its own unique window, all grant projects will build on the foundational idea that campuses are, and have long been, the epicenter for conversations resulting in social change. BTtoP’s hope is that the dialogues supported by this project will seed change in the narrative about higher education, shifting that narrative from one that describes a college education primarily as a pathway to a better job to one that recognizes higher education as a pathway to a better life. The collective expression of this revitalized narrative by many campuses, through many voices and perspectives, will guide a new understanding of the greater purposes of higher education.

BTtoP’s full 2017–2018 RFP and supporting materials are available here.

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) has offered multiple levels of funding since its founding in 2003 and has contributed toward over 500 projects at more than 300 institutions in the United States and beyond. Participating institutions are the strength of BTtoP—promoting its mission of advancing the greater purposes of higher education (learning and discovery, well-being, civic engagement, and preparation for living meaningfully in the world) through efforts that extend from supported campuses into their communities and that contribute to the higher education environment at large.

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