April 25, 2016: Clarke University is pleased to announce that it is among a select group of 21 institutions
across the nation chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to
participate in the new Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. The
Consortium is part of a multi-year project to improve teaching and learning in
the humanities, explore new approaches to online education, and promote
collaboration among smaller private liberal arts colleges.
A $1.38 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
will support the work of four-person teams from each participating institution
over three years. Two faculty members from each team will develop new
upper-level courses in the humanities, pilot the courses in 2017, revise the
courses, and offer them again in 2018 to students from all the participating
colleges. Two administrators on each team — the chief academic officer and the
registrar — will focus on institutional support for online learning, policies
for sharing courses, and other aspects of institutional collaboration. The
teams will come together for three national workshops, beginning in August
“Strategic alliances such as the Consortium are essential
strategies for improving student learning, promoting more efficient use of
institutional resources and building capacity for quality alternative
instructional delivery at smaller, private universities,” said Clarke President
Joanne Burrows, SC, Ph.D.
The Clarke team will consist of Vice President for Academic
Affairs Susan Burns, Registrar Kristi Bagstad, Professor of Philosophy Kent
Anderson and Associate Professor of Art History Bryan Zygmont.
“Participation in this consortium helps expand our
humanities offerings,” said Burns. “Individually, these schools are not able to
offer a wide breadth of courses in the humanities. This collaboration helps
increase access to courses for our students.”
“Online teaching and learning has tremendous potential to
sustain the humanities at smaller liberal arts colleges,” CIC President Richard
Ekman said. “By sharing courses that might be under-enrolled at a single
institution, humanities programs can maximize the use of their instructional
resources and offer their students a wider range of high-quality courses.”
The classes Clarke will offer are Applied Ethics: Biomedicine,
taught by Anderson, and Embracing the Subtitle: An Advanced Introduction to
World Cinema, taught by Zygmont.
Consortium will also benefit faculty, Burns said.
is a development opportunity that Clarke University, alone, can’t offer,” she
said. “Through grant support, the Council of Independent Colleges is offering
faculty access to more resources to support the learning of best practices for quality
class will be taught both online and face-to-face, allowing for empirical
testing of student learning in different formats.
New York-based Ithaka S+R, a leading research and consulting
service for academic innovation in the digital environment, will advise
participants and evaluate the entire project.
The first meeting of the Consortium will take place in
Alexandria, Va., Aug. 7-9. Presenters will include prominent national experts
in online learning. More information about the project and the participating
institutions is available on the CIC website at www.cic.edu/OnlineHumanities.
Participating with Clarke in the Consortium are:
Bloomfield College (N.J.) Carlow University (Pa.), Carroll
College (Mont.), Carroll University (Wis.), Claflin University (S.C.), Concordia
University (Texas), Gettysburg College (Pa.), Lasell College (Mass.), Mount
Mary University (Wis.), Northwestern College (Iowa), Randolph-Macon College
(Va.), Rosemont College (Pa.), Shenandoah University (Va.), Siena College (N.Y.),
Simpson College (Iowa), St. Edwardʼs University (Texas), St. Olaf College (Minn.),
Ursuline College (Ohio), Walsh University (Ohio) and Wesleyan College (Ga.).
The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 765 nonprofit
independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and
organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university
leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding
of private higher education’s contributions to society.
Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences
university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their
workplace, family and community. Academic offerings include more than 40
undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional programs, a robust adult degree
program and six graduate degree programs. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters
of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi
River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa. It is the only BVM university in
For more information, contact the Clarke University
Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.