Civic Learning in the Major by Design

The application period has ended, thank you to all who applied.

An Invitation to Apply for Mini-grants to Support Departmental Discussions and Redesigns

AAC&U invites departments from colleges and universities in the United States to apply for mini-grants to formalize helping students use a civic lens as they investigate disciplinary questions in their major. With funding provided by the Endeavor Foundation, we intend to support 15-25 departments with $500.00-$850.00 mini-grants to facilitate bringing departmental colleagues together to discuss how to design departmental pathways that insure civic learning and social responsibility as an integral part of a student’s major and a dimension of their disciplinary or interdisciplinary study.

Most students have opportunities to hone their knowledge in this regard through the first two years of college, but infrequently in their majors. While there may be some civic-rich courses and pedagogies, few pathways to public responsibility are laid out deliberately through levels of learning across the student’s major or culminate in a capstone project where they must apply their disciplinary learning to a public problem or issue of common concern.

The goal is to have civic learning and social responsibility essential, pervasive, and central to how students understand their major and its engagement with public matters. 

Applications were due April 23, 2018 by 11:59 PM ET
Awards will be announced by May 11, 2018.

Examples & Resources
Civic Learning in the Major by Design 
The recent Peer Review highlighting how nine departments have invested in these redesigns
Case Studies: Civic Learning in the Major by Design
The new online case studies from twelve departments highlighting these redesigns
Civic Prompts: Making Civic Learning Routine Across the Disciplines
The AAC&U guide for organizing departmental discussions for department redesigns
A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future
The 2012 report from the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement calls on the nation to reclaim higher education’s civic mission.

Archived Webinar:
Redesigning Majors: Disciplinary Knowledge, Civic Learning, and Public Responsibility 
Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET
Cost: Free for AAC&U members; $100 for nonmembers

For questions, contact either:
Caryn McTighe Musil at or Carol-lynn Swol at