GLCA New Directions Initiative
Through a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation the Great Lakes Colleges Association launched the New Directions Initiative in 2009. The focus of this four year program is to support the renewal and continued professional growth of liberal arts faculty members in 'mid-career' - the extensive professional period between receiving tenure and thinking seriously about retirement. Through the first two years the New Directions Initiative has provided $1,148,000 in funding for 201 proposals involving almost 300 faculty members across twelve GLCA campuses.
A particular emphasis of this program is to help faculty members think outside traditional boundaries and divisions of their discipline and of typical faculty work - to chart a course that leads beyond the familiar waters of one's early academic achievements and embarks on the extended journey of a stimulating faculty career. A successful proposal will make the case that the project provides the potential for changes in understanding, insight, and modes of thinking that will result in professional development with an evident link to professional renewal and liberal learning. This emphasis is expressed through three broad themes. A proposal need not be directed at a particular theme and may well overlap multiple themes.
- Broadening intellectual perspectives, helping mid-career faculty to expand their horizons and understand issues beyond the context of their own disciplines;
- Stimulating innovation in pedagogy, providing opportunities for faculty to sharpen pedagogy, based on expanding knowledge and best practices for teaching both within and beyond particular fields of study;
- Considering career options, which accord individual faculty members the time required to explore a new career direction.
Contact: Sarah Murnen