With a grant of $ 454,000 announced Monday, the National Endowment for the Humanities will help Hastings College develop a new program to “rebuild student faith” in the American political system as an expression of the ideals that it holds. have spawned.
The project, titled “Promoting Civic Faith and Supporting the Humanities in South-Central Nebraska,” will be supported by federal funds allocated to NEH as part of the US bailout, a response to the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, pandemic.
The one-year duration of the grant begins January 1, 2022. Hastings College was one of 90 US colleges and universities selected to receive ARS funding through the Humanities Organization.
In total, NEH will provide grants to nearly 300 cultural and educational institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The directors of the Hastings College project will be Robert Babcock, professor of history, and Robert Amyot, professor of political science.
Jonas Prida, the college’s vice president for academic and student affairs, praised the award’s award in a press release.
“Hastings College’s selection by NEH for this award is an incredible honor for all of our faculty, staff and most importantly our students,” said Prida. “The grant will help Hastings continue to demonstrate the value of liberal arts education in the 21st century and how creative thinking and problem solving support a shared mission of holistic student growth and achievement.”
As part of the project, Hastings College will develop a Bachelor of Philosophy proposal primarily for students who plan to continue their education at the graduate level, seeking a graduate degree or professional degree.
Currently, undergraduates at Hastings College earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music degree.
The project will also support the creation of new areas of interdisciplinary interest in civic faith and medical humanities and the expansion of general education requirements to include religious studies and civic education.
As part of the HC Academic Program as reorganized in 2019, all students choose a major, minor or second major, and an IDEA (Interdisciplinary Focus Area), which is defined as a set of courses developed by the body. faculty allowing students to explore an area of interest or passion.
Amyot said the goal of “promoting civic faith” is to help students understand the U.S. system of government in relation to the ideals from which it has been developed for nearly two and a half centuries.
“Students today get their information about American democracy and how it works from a variety of often inaccurate or superficial sources,” Amyot said in the press release. “This project will allow them to take courses that address the goals and ideals that the founders held, implicitly or explicitly, and how these were understood and implemented over time. Classes in history, literature, philosophy, religion, and politics are essential for rebuilding students’ faith in our political system and the ideals that underlie it.
ARP funding is also to be used to support and enhance humanities education at college, a private four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) with a history of rich humanities programs. – academic disciplines which address aspects of human society and culture, including philosophy, religion, languages and literatures, linguistics, history and the arts.
The grant will provide salary support to three current and new humanities professors and two one-year postdoctoral fellows, as well as a new humanities admissions advisor.
“The innovative new courses and programs developed through this grant will spark the interest of potential and current students, regardless of specialization, and that interest will increase enrollment in the humanities,” Babcock said. “Humanities teachers, we hope, will benefit from more professional development opportunities that will strengthen their classroom teaching and their engagement with students. “
The plan is for the college to work with faculty members from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., To offer a summer workshop for humanities professors designing new courses for the expanded curriculum.
Particular attention will be paid to the integration of service learning and project-based learning into university courses.
One of Susquehanna’s teachers, Nick Clark, graduated in 2002 from Hastings College. He is associate professor of political science at this university and was co-director of the NEH Humanities Connections program.
This is the second time that the NEH has directed funding for pandemic relief to Hastings College. In 2020, the college received a $ 300,000 grant from the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) for the development of hybrid and online courses.