With a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative (CHC)—a pathway for humanities students to complete associate’s degrees at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and earn bachelor of arts degrees at Case Western Reserve University—will expand to two additional Northeast Ohio community colleges.

Starting in the 2021-22 academic year, the program will be available to humanities students at Lorain County Community College in Elyria and Lakeland Community College in Kirtland.

The four-year grant also will bolster the academic and mentoring opportunities available to participating faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students at Tri-C and Case Western Reserve.

Kurt Koenigsberger

Kurt Koenigsberger, director of the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative

“More students in Northeast Ohio will benefit from a trailblazing collaboration that’s nationally distinct,” said Kurt Koenigsberger, director of the CHC and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve. “Together we’re building a special partnership that advances the humanities in a region known for its cultural institutions and scholarship.”

Established with a $1.55 million Mellon Foundation grant, the CHC was one of the first collaborative partnerships created in 2014 by the foundation. There are currently 11 humanities initiatives pairing a two-year college and with a four-year research university. The CHC is among the first to receive a second round of funding from the Mellon Foundation.

“This growing partnership has given us an opportunity to create rich educational experiences for students and faculty that would not have been possible without the extraordinary collaboration of both institutions,” said Michael Schoop, president of Tri-C Metropolitan Campus.

Both institutions will administer the CHC’s second phase, with $1.26 million of the award going to Case Western Reserve and $735,000 to Tri-C.

Cleveland Humanities Collaborative logoWith the second round of funding, the CHC also has ambitions to establish a consortium of humanities programs across Northeast Ohio, bringing together faculty, administrators, and students around current questions, methods, and problems occupying the humanities regionally and nationally.

The grant will help create and refine programming for participating faculty and students; offer opportunities for Case Western Reserve humanities graduate students to shadow Tri-C faculty; and continue a budding partnership with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which recognize books making contributions to understanding racism and fostering an appreciation for the diversity of human cultures.

In its third year of accepting applications, the CHC accepted nine students into Case Western Reserve from Tri-C in fall 2018, following seven students from the program’s first two years.

“Tremendous growth in humanities enrollment at two-year colleges has created an opportunity to open our institutions and create new pathways for the success of our students,” said Koenigsberger, who is also an associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve.

Among the benefits available to CHC Scholars are mentoring, a cohort-based seminar introducing them to Case Western Reserve, funding for internships, and support for humanities-based research projects.

To apply, students must meet eligibility standards, including completing a set of transferable courses; earning at least a 3.2 grade point average while maintaining two consecutive semesters of full-time work at Tri-C; and earning at least 54 credits toward an associate’s degree.

More information is available on the collaborative website for students interested in the program.


Contact: Daniel Robison (daniel.robison@case.edu)