In an increasingly interconnected and competitive global community, undergraduate education is adapting to provide relevant, dynamic learning experiences that prepare students for today’s world. The Duke Endowment is awarding grants to provide students with learning opportunities in and out of the classroom, and to enrich academic and campus life at Duke University, Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University and Furman University.
Educational trends are shifting toward approaches that help equip students in an increasingly interconnected and competitive marketplace.
Interdisciplinary learning, for example, approaches a topic from multiple viewpoints and creates links between separate fields of study. This encourages students to see the issues from a wider angle, and to develop a well-rounded appreciation for complementary disciplines and perspectives.
In addition, research experience is becoming increasingly important for students moving on to graduate schools and preparing to enter the workforce. Through undergraduate research projects, students develop critical skills, including an ability to set strategy, work on a team, track progress and outcomes, think critically and solve problems, and build relationships with established experts.
Grants from The Duke Endowment have supported several initiatives related to undergraduate academic programs. Here are two examples:
The Endowment gave a $4.25 million grant in 2004 for Duke University to strengthen its undergraduate curriculum to focus on more in-depth studies across disciplines.
Undergraduate Research and Team Teaching
The Endowment gave a $3.6 million grant to Davidson College to establish the Davidson Research Initiative and expand team-taught course offerings, where faculty members from different disciplines work together to give students a broader perspective around a particular area of study.