Kalamazoo College will receive a $500,000 grant over four years from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its Shares Passages Seminars, which are considered a distinguishing part of the K-College experience.
The seminars, which were implemented in 2009, are a “unifying arc through K’s more open liberal arts curriculum,” according to the college.
Students are required to take a seminar course each year, except for junior year, when most are studying abroad.
The grant money will be used to support faculty development and enhancements for the seminars, which are designed to help students develop critical thinking and writing skills.
“This grant will afford faculty the opportunity to individually and collectively explore innovative and effective pedagogies, and develop new and revised course offerings in the seminar program,” said Kalamazoo College Provost Mickey McDonald.
The seminar topics, which all require critical thinking skills, include courses about religion, history, economics, social justice and global violence.
First-year students focus on writing, communication and global and intercultural ideas in their seminar course. Second-year seminars focus on ideas and concepts that help prepare the students for study abroad and living in a global world and senior seminars are designed to prepare students for life after graduation.