Member Institutions Selected for Online Humanities Consortium

CIC recently selected 21 member colleges and universities to participate in the second Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction (see list below). The Consortium is part of a multi-year project to improve teaching and learning in the humanities, explore new approaches to test the economic viability of online education, and promote collaboration among smaller private liberal arts colleges.
A $1.38 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supports 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 online or hybrid formats in 2017, revise the courses, and offer them again in 2018 to students from all the participating colleges. Two administrators on each team—usually 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 Alexandria, Virginia, on August 7–9, 2016.
For more than a decade, independent colleges and universities have demonstrated considerable interest and expertise in online teaching and learning in many different formats and fields of study. The major challenge they face is finding ways to use technology strategically to enhance student learning without abandoning traditional approaches that emphasize small classes and close student-faculty interaction. According to CIC President Richard Ekman, “Online teaching and learning has tremendous potential to sustain the humanities at smaller liberal arts colleges. By sharing courses that might be under-enrolled at a single institution, humanities programs can maximize the use of instructional resources and offer students a wider range of high-quality courses.”
The second cohort of institutions will build on the success of and lessons learned by the 21 colleges and universities that have participated in the first Consortium since 2014. Deanna Marcum, managing director of Ithaka S+R, the New York-based organization that serves as advisor and evaluator for the project, notes that “thanks to the work of the CIC institutions that have collaborated since 2014, we already know that online humanities courses can produce excellent results for students. This second Consortium provides an opportunity to learn more about innovative approaches to pedagogy, faculty support for online learning at smaller liberal arts colleges, and new approaches to collaboration—and then share the findings with other institutions.” The first cohort of institutions will complete nearly three years of practical experiments with a culminating workshop in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 5–6. Several project participants from the first cohort will serve as mentors to the new teams.


Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction Participants (2016–2018)

Bloomfield College (NJ)
Carlow University (PA)
Carroll College (MT)
Carroll University (WI)
Claflin University (SC)
Clarke University (IA)
Concordia University Texas (TX)
Gettysburg College (PA)
Lasell College (MA)
Mount Mary University (WI)
Northwestern College (IA)
Randolph-Macon College (VA)
Rosemont College (PA)
Shenandoah University (VA)
Siena College (NY)
Simpson College (IA)
St. Edward’s University (TX)
St. Olaf College (MN)
Ursuline College (OH)
Walsh University (OH)
Wesleyan College (GA)