Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction

Over the past several years, many approaches to online learning have been introduced with the promise of expanding access to higher education, improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning, and reducing the cost of a college education. Much of the popular discussion about online instruction has focused on teaching large introductory classes at universities and for-profit institutions. The use of online instruction at CIC member colleges and universities, however, offers potential solutions to an entirely different problem—how to keep upper-level courses that are essential for liberal arts majors strong and viable.

The Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction has three goals: 1) to explore how online humanities instruction can improve student learning outcomes; 2) to determine how smaller, independent liberal arts institutions can make more effective use of their instructional resources and whether they can reduce costs through online humanities instruction and institutional collaboration; and 3) to provide an opportunity for CIC member institutions to build their capacity for online humanities instruction and share their successes with other liberal arts colleges. The Consortium is funded through two generous grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ithaka S+R, a leading research and consulting service for academic innovation in the digital environment, provides advice to participating institutions and serves as the project evaluator.

 Consortium II (2016–2018)

CIC is now accepting applications for participation in the second Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. Twenty institutions will be selected to participate. Institutions will be represented by four-member teams including a senior academic administrator, two full-time faculty members in the humanities, and the registrar. The application deadline is March 4, 2016.

CIC will offer an informational webinar for prospective applicants on February 10, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. EST. Please register in advance.
Guidelines and Application Instructions
Please review the Announcement and Invitation for Applications and the Frequently Asked Questions before preparing an application:
Then use the Online Application Form to submit the application:

 Consortium I (2014–2016)

Twenty teams of faculty members and administrators were selected to participate in Consortium I in April 2014, including 19 teams from single CIC member colleges and universities and one team representing a close collaboration between two institutions. The first cycle of courses developed as part of Consortium I was offered in spring 2015. The catalog of courses being offered during the 2015–2016 academic year is now available; registration is limited to students from institutions in Consortium I. An interim evaluation report prepared by Ithaka S+R also is available.
Participating Institutions
​Augustana University (SD)
Bethune-Cookman University (FL)
Bucknell University (PA)
Concordia College (MN)
Connecticut College (joint project)
Elizabethtown College (PA)
Gordon College (MA)
Grand View University (IA)
Hiram College (OH)
Lesley University (MA)
McDaniel College (MD)
​Moravian College (PA)
Otterbein University (OH)
Park University (MO)
Saint Michael’s College (VT)
Saint Vincent College (PA)
Susquehanna University (PA)
Sweet Briar College (VA)
Trinity College (CT) (joint project)
University of St. Francis (IL)
Wartburg College (IA)


 Contact Information

Questions regarding the CIC Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction should be directed to Philip M. Katz, CIC director of projects, by email at or by phone at (202) 466-7230.