The Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (the Hive) is offering two competitive grant programs for infusing creative collaboration, cross-disciplinary and cross-campus connections, ambitious challenges, and active learning into courses at the Claremont Colleges. We will be awarding course activity grants for Fall ‘17 courses of up to $1000 to support activities by individual faculty members and up to $5000 for interdisciplinary or intercollegiate teams. We will also be awarding two course development grants of a $5000 team stipend to develop or transform a course or courses during Fall ’17 which will be taught in Spring ’18. The Sontag Center will additionally support all grant recipients through non-monetary means including but not limited to space, staff time, design expertise, and help sharing the story of the course.
The course activity and development grant proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:
- The proposal features an experiential component –
A past example is a music course in which students practiced the 19th-century sailors’ work songs they studied in class while working on a ship to understand how the work-singing historically fit the ship-board work and maneuvers.
- The proposal nurtures connections between students and/or faculty from multiple disciplines or campuses –
A past example is a course co-taught by a materials engineer at HMC and a professor of sculpture at Pitzer in which students created art from multiple materials.
- The proposal involves substantial collaborative activity among the students –
A past example is a physics class in which enrolled students taught basic electronics concepts to their non-specialist peers, then worked together to create devices of their own design.
- The proposal presents students with ambitious challenges –
A past example is an art history course in which students worked together to invent a ceramic tradition, including researching Native American ceramic artworks, harvesting local clay, making tools, and creating and firing objects.
- The proposal supports a learning environment of curiosity, openness, flexibility, and experimentation for both recipients and students –
A past example is a history course where each session, students learned about historical issues, rapidly explored approaches to solutions by making models and other objects, and presented their designs for questioning and critique.
- The proposal allows for learning experiences that are not possible in the current course design.
If you have questions about the principles that drive our criteria, or would like to discuss ways to increase collaborative creativity in your course, please contact Linda Shimoda, Fred Leichter, or a member of our steering committee. We enthusiastically support proposals that seem risky and ideas that are developing. In our view, great learning experiences come from a process of experimentation, growing from successes and failures, and continuous improvement. We encourage you to pose questions, follow hunches, and engage in self-reflection throughout the grant experience. If you would like help developing your proposal, feel free to contact us for assistance.
Course Activity Grants
These grants are intended to be used for course components for which current funding mechanisms do not exist. Funding is intended to support specific activities (e.g., class tours or trips), outside facilitators for active-learning workshops (e.g., guest dance instructors), supplies (e.g., film, printing paper, cardboard), and/or faculty attendance at a workshop or other specialized education (if the education directly relates to the course changes being implemented). Staff time and expertise can support these course elements in a variety of ways, including but not limited to designing course activities, acquiring materials, teaching class sections or relevant workshops, conducting research on the impacts of the course experiment, and sharing the story of the course. We encourage faculty to discuss with us other needs that may fall outside these categories.
Course Development Grants
These grants will be used to develop or transform courses in Fall ’17 which will be taught in Spring ’18. The criteria and elements supported are basically the same as the Fall ’17 course activity grants; however, we encourage applicants to be even more ambitious and excited to experiment. During the fall, recipients will collaborate with Sontag Center staff, will test ideas for their course with a short-form pop-up class taught at the Sontag Center, and will receive a $5000 team stipend.
Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity
130 E. Seventh Street
 Funding cannot go towards funding speakers or other outside facilitators that do not support an active learning exercise.
The Sontag Center Call for Proposals, Fall 2017 (including application forms)