Advancing the Humanities through Technology at Community Colleges was funded by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to enable community college humanities faculty to explore the ways in which digital technologies could enhance teaching and learning in disciplines such as history, literature and world languages. It is a notable achievement in a series of excellent projects funded in the last five years. In 1996 the NEH Division of Education Programs held its first competition for Teaching with Technology grants. Though the application deadline followed soon after publication of the guidelines, we received over 300 proposals for humanities projects enriched by digital technology. Clearly we had struck a nerve; computing in the humanities was a burgeoning field. Since then we have funded dozens of projects in materials, faculty, and curriculum development. A new grant category, Schools for a New Millennium, was designed to assist schools with programs that use new technologies to strengthen humanities instruction in grades K through 12. In collaboration with WorldCom Foundation and the Council of the Great City Schools, we created a gateway web site, EdSitement ( with links to over 100 web sites eminently useful for teaching and based on excellent humanities scholarship.

The CCHA Advancing the Humanities project includes community colleges as creators of new resources and as models of adapting digital technology to classroom use. Two-year college programs reflect varied degrees of technological integration: some have excellent resources and committed administrative support, while others are only beginning to explore the ways in which technology can support excellent teaching. The colleges participating in this project represent a range of expertise and resources probably typical of many institutions. All have moved forward in the course of the grant, building on institutional resources and setting goals for the future.

Advancing the Humanities through Technology at Community Colleges exemplifies many of the best characteristics of successful NEH grants.

  • Above all, it has deepened faculty engagement with the content of the humanities disciplines.
  • Coupled with this engagement is attention to teaching and learning in the humanities.
  • Projects model many types of institutional impact: expanding resources, engaging students, building collaborative efforts among faculty, and forging paths for future collaboration, intellectual growth, and success on campus.
On behalf of the National Endowment for the Humanities, I would like to extend my thanks for all the hard work that makes a complex project like this a success. To David Berry and LeaLea Boze-Cale at CCHA, to Charles Evans, Project Director, to the distinguished speakers and consulting technologists, mentors, evaluator, and participants, I applaud your tireless work, your creative energy, and the important contributions you are making to the field. I encourage you to apply for further NEH support for your work. And I hope that all you have achieved will be widely disseminated as resources and inspiration for other humanists exploring this new ground. Congratulations and best wishes!
Judith Jeffrey Howard,
National Endowment for the Humanities

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