Campus Models and Case Studies

Michigan State University
The 21st-Century Chautauqua project is a model for encouraging a culture of civility in MSU's living and learning communities.

When Michigan State University senior Melissa Clark first heard that the university was looking for students interested in participating in a series of dialogues, she was intrigued. When she learned that the dialogues would focus on topics of sustainability and human rights, and that students... Read More

Estrella Mountain Community College
"For first-generation students in particular, we need to extend the learning environment outside the classroom as much as we can," explains Kathleen Iudicello, division chair of liberal arts at Estrella Mountain.

An educationally significant springtime ritual has taken root at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona. Now in its third year, the Maricopa Student Conference draws students out of their individual classrooms to share their academic research in an interdisciplinary scholarly... Read More

McDaniel College
Students in a biology Complementary Curricular Network—a series of linked courses and research opportunities—gather data in Alaska

In assistant professor Peter Craig's Kitchen Chemistry course, first-year college students sniff spices, boil vegetables, and investigate the properties of baking powder. His colleague Shabbir Mian's students use prisms and spectroscopes to answer questions about natural phenomena like sunsets... Read More

Rhodes College
Rhodes College

Rhodes College’s campus in midtown Memphis, Tennessee, has a fence around it—a literal dividing line between the college and the city. But that doesn’t mean the 1,700 students at Rhodes live on an island, cut off from the community outside. In fact, just the opposite is true. Rhodes has had... Read More

St. Olaf College
St. Olaf

At many colleges and universities, math departments operate as "filters," sifting out all but the strongest students until only a small number remain as math majors. At St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the opposite is true. There, the math department aims to work as a "pump," infusing... Read More

Bellevue Community College
Bellevue Community College seeks to ensure that all students benefit from a liberal education.

A recent report released by AAC&U asserts the importance of a liberal education for all students, regardless of the type of institution they attend or the field of study they pursue. College Learning for the... Read More

Washington and Jefferson College
Washington and Jefferson College

Since 1988, incoming students at Washington and Jefferson College have been introduced to the aims of liberal education through a program called the Freshman Forum. Like many other first-year programs, the Freshman Forum is designed to help students adjust to college while making clear... Read More

Bard College
Bard College

Bard College, a small, private school situated in New York's Hudson River Valley, has a long history of curricular innovation. Since the 1930s, the college has required that students undergo an evaluation of learning midway through their undergraduate years and... Read More

Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green State University

BGeXperience (BGeX), a program developed for incoming students at Ohio's Bowling Green State University, has grown over the past five years from a few optional courses into a required part of every student's undergraduate experience. Like other first-year programs, BGeX is designed to ease the... Read More

University of Washington
The University of Washington is a large, public research institution based in Seattle.

The transition from high school to college can be disorienting, especially for students attending large research universities. In recent years, however, many institutions have experimented with curricular innovations—learning communities, first-year seminars, common reading programs—that can... Read More