Wednesday, November 29, 2023

W&M Receives Grant From Mellon Foundation for New Curriculum

wmlogoThe College of William & Mary received a $900,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the implementation of a new curriculum, the college announced in a news release.

The grant took effect July 1, and will be distributed over the course of four years to help launch the new “College Curriculum” — shortened to “COLL” — that will take effect during the fall 2015 semester.

“We are gratified that the Mellon Foundation shares our enthusiasm for the new curriculum, and very grateful for its willingness to support its implementation in such a substantial way,” Provost Michael R. Halleran said in the release.

The college approved the new curriculum in December 2013 after a yearlong development and refinement stage. The new curriculum will begin with the class of 2015, and will cover all four of undergraduate years at the college. Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Kate Conley said after its approval the COLL curriculum would link four years of liberal arts education, rather than constituting a graduation checklist.

The college first began exploring a new curriculum during its 2008-09 strategic planning process. Before 2008, the general education curriculum had not been revised since 1993.

According to a release, the Mellon Foundation grant will help in the transition from the general education curriculum to COLL. Students enrolled before fall 2015 will complete their degrees under the old curriculum, while undergraduates incoming after that time will utilize the COLL curriculum.

College spokesperson Brian Whitson said the grant would help support a number of areas related to the curriculum’s implementation.

“This includes operational support for the new Center for the Liberal Arts, a series of faculty brainstorming sessions to facilitate the design of new COLL Courses, an additional position to support our faculty-based student advising and increased funding so that we can enhance existing and develop new academic resources to support student success,” Whitson said in an email.

The Mellon Foundation was formed in 1969 through a merger between two previous nonprofits. The Foundation awards grants in four major areas: higher education and scholarship, scholarly communications and information technology, art history, conservation and museums, and performing arts. As of 2009, the foundation awarded nearly $200 million in grants annually.

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