University Projects

Funded Mini-Grant Proposals

Objective: We believe that a life-transformative education – one that prepares students to thrive in their personal and professional lives – engenders in students three interconnected elements of well-being: identity, agency, and sense of purpose. To develop identity, students must be encouraged to discover who they are, where they come from, and their place in the world. To develop agency, they must be encouraged to discover what they can do with what they learn and to apply their knowledge to authentic problems in the world. And alongside these, to develop a sense of purpose they must be encouraged to explore what impact they might have on the world.

We believe that the best undergraduate education includes authentic learning experiences and opportunities for students to apply what they are learning, with access to emotionally supportive faculty mentors who both advise and encourage students’ hopes and dreams. In general our institutions tend to be best at offering such opportunities to students through extra-curricular programs, co-curricular activities, cooperative learning opportunities and internships. For this reason, we seek ways to incorporate the development of identity, agency and purpose within the very core of an undergraduate curriculum so that it reaches every student. This would be a paradigm shift for higher education at a time when just such a shift is needed.

With this mini-grant program, we encourage our participating institutions to design prototypes that engage faculty and test curricular approaches to developing student identity, agency, and sense of purpose. We aspire to identify the most promising paths and methodologies that will enable us to provide a life-transformative education to every student. There are numerous paths to achieving these imperatives, and we encourage each institution to explore what might be the best approach for its distinctive culture and community.



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