Chair/Associate Professor of English at Hostos Community College
Associate Professor of Government at Austin Community College & Executive Director of The Great Questions Foundation
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at St. John’s College
Senior Lecturer of American Studies at Columbia University, New York
Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Anne Arundel Community College
Professor of English and Director of the Great Books Program at Wright College, Chicago
Associate Professor of Humanities at Austin Community College
Chair/Associate Professor of Philosophy, Humanities, and Religion at Austin Community College
BLAST – “Bridge to the Liberal Arts through Source Texts,” – is an innovative partnership between Anne Arundel Community College and St. John’s College, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The 3-year program integrates a Core Texts curriculum and St. John’s discussion-based pedagogy into high-enrollment classes within the existing AACC humanities curriculum. In addition, BLAST will establish programming between the two institutions bringing together students and faculty, and create a transfer pathway from AACC to St. John’s. The theme of the program is Equity and Inclusion—two key values that are central to AACC’s core philosophy, “the basic convictions of our country’s democratic ideal: that individuals be given full opportunity to discover and develop their talents and interests.” AACC and St. John’s believe that by engaging with fundamental questions in inclusive discussions, students from both institutions can become active and engaged citizens ready to grapple with the contemporary challenges.
The aim of The Great Questions Project is simple: to provide all students, regardless of major, the opportunity for early academic engagement with core-texts in discussion-based courses lead by faculty who are passionate about their success. Courses that revolve around a discussion model and offer core-text readings in lieu of textbooks help students of all age and ability levels develop the practice and skills needed to speak clearly, read carefully, reason effectively, and think creatively – giving them a solid foundation to build their academic careers, professional goals, and become engaged lifelong civic leaders. We firmly believe in the power of a community college education: to provide accessible and quality liberal arts education, ensuring that all can grow and prosper in our free society.
Core Books at CUNY is a 36-month Teagle Foundation-sponsored project that originated at Hostos Community College and is now extended to three other CUNY campuses: The Borough of Manhattan Community College, LaGuardia Community College, and New York City College of Technology. It started as a collaboration between Columbia College and Hostos Community College with the goal of embedding core texts and the issues they raise from the Columbia Core Curriculum into selected required courses at CUNY. This faculty professional development initiative aims to engage students in key humanistic questions while strengthening their reading and writing skills and bolstering student performance related to course learning objectives. At the heart of this initiative is the recognition of the value of a community of practice among faculty and among students as we create opportunities to think, to learn, and to question together.
The Freedom and Citizenship college seminar and academic enrichment program began in 2009 as a partnership between Columbia’s Double Discovery Center and the Center for American Studies. Our goal is to introduce dedicated high school students to college-level work in the humanities and prepare them for lives as informed, responsible citizens.
Students attend a free four-week residential program in July where they take an intensive seminar course on political philosophy taught by Ivy League professors. The summer program is followed by a year-long civic leadership project where students research contemporary political issues and develop advocacy initiatives under the supervision of undergraduate teaching assistants.
In the autumn, students also benefit from college application guidance from the Double Discovery Center and mentoring from Columbia College undergraduates. Successful students receive letters of recommendation from their summer professors to accompany their college applications.