“Our faculty’s extraordinary work to design an entirely new vision of liberal arts education ensures every Ripon College graduate applies core skills to real-world problems while extending our fundamental commitment to integrate the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities,” said Dean of Faculty Ed Wingenbach. “The success of this bold new strategy is made possible by the resources of the Mellon Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and FaCE grants, and we are grateful that they share our commitment to develop innovative approaches to liberal education.”
Ripon College faculty in the fall of 2016 launched Catalyst, a new five-course curriculum, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Program. Catalyst places at the center of a Ripon education the continuous development of the intellectual and practical skills valued by employers and essential to human flourishing and career success.
The Mellon funds, totaling $800,000 over four years, will support the creation of up to 140 new Catalyst seminars designed to develop transferable skills that will be applied to problems of significance, provide robust faculty development support, and ensure deliberate and careful oversight of implementation. The funds also will support visits by external experts and allow Ripon College to send faculty to national conferences to share the lessons of our work with a broader audience of peers. Because Catalyst is an entirely new approach to liberal arts education, and all the seminars are custom-designed, faculty can incorporate cutting-edge research on skill transfer and learning cognition and will assess student skill development directly. Monies from the FaCE program support faculty efforts to incorporate skill transfer into the curriculum, furthering a culture of innovation in education among Ripon faculty.