Foundational Course Redesign Initiative

Engaging Humanities is a set of related initiatives intended to increase enrollment in humanities majors through innovative programming that:

  • Amplifies the potential for students to build on their passions and interests through humanities study

  • Makes visible ways of thinking and practicing in humanities disciplines

  • Explicitly connects humanities thinking and content to careers

The Foundational Course Redesign Initiative provides support for the redesign of a large (>100+ students) GE humanities course or a series of courses. Courses must be taught at least once each year to be considered. These courses can be within a department, or they can be pulled together into an aligned theme or thread across departments. The initiative also provides summer stipends for three faculty to teach the course. In addition, HFA will provide three TAs for the redesigned courses. Faculty/faculty teams will also work with CITRAL, Assessment, and Instructional Development staff on elements of the course.

For instance, HFA departments might consider:

  • Reorganizing GE courses around a common theme (i.e., economic inequality, environment, social justice)

  • Creating cross-HFA departmental clusters around common themes

  • Including significant technologies in courses to engage students in ways of thinking and practicing in the humanities

Interested in participating?

Departments interested in joining the initiative should submit a proposal of no more than three pages/900 words that outlines:

  • Department name(s)

  • Course(s) being proposed, terms offered, and average enrollment (in the past two years)

  • What faculty members will be involved in the redesign

  • The course(s) proposed for redesign and their average enrollment

  • The rationale and goals for the redesign: Why should a redesign be undertaken? What might take place as a result of the redesign that is different than what’s taking place currently? What might the redesign look like? This should include ideas about: Possible new materials, connections, uses of technology, innovative teaching strategies, and other practices designed to foster increased engagement with the humanities and their relevance to students; and ways of thinking and learning that the redesign will make more accessible to students.

Faculty will redesign the course(s) during one academic year (workflow TBD); the redesigned course(s) should be offered at least once during the following academic year.

Departments are encouraged to consult with Linda Adler-Kassner, Faculty Director, Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning at any point in the proposal process. Contact Linda at

A call for proposals will be circulated in the spring. Proposals should be sent to Elina Salminen, Activity Coordinator, Engaging Humanities Initiative, at Proposals will be reviewed by a team from CITRAL and HFA.