Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Program™

Given that issues of social concern are implicit in every academic discipline, Project Pericles, since 2004, has competitively awarded more than 100 matching Civic Engagement Course (CEC) grants to Periclean faculty members to develop and teach innovative courses that address such issues across disciplines in the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. CEC syllabi are tested, evaluated, and approved as Periclean courses, and are made available to faculty members at a wide range of institutions.

"I am grateful to Project Pericles for providing me with the opportunity to incorporate community based projects into my introductory physics class, 'Energy Conversions and Resources.' Students applied their new quantitative skills to help community partners audit their energy use and develop conservation strategies. While the physics majors were motivated to learn the phenomena of energy conversions, non-physics majors were inspired by the impact the subject had on our community partners."

Adrian Hightower, Professor of Physics, Occidental College CEC Grant Recipient


Funded CEC Courses, 2007-2009

From 2007 to 2009, Project Pericles awarded matching grants to fund 44 CEC courses. The selection criteria included creativity, connection to civic responsibility, academic rigor, and course applicability to future years and other campuses. There are introductory courses, advanced courses, electives, core curricular courses, seminars, and lectures. Some have a service learning component and some do not. This program received generous support from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, The Teagle Foundation, and the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.

Funded CEC courses from 2007 to 2009, with descriptions and syllabi.


White Paper and Conferences

  • A White Paper, Civic Engagement in the Classroom: Strategies for Incorporating Education for Civic and Social Responsibility in the Undergraduate Curriculum, by Ariane Liazos and Project Pericles Executive Director Jan R. Liss, shares the learnings from the CEC program and serves as a guide for incorporating civic engagement into higher education curricula. It focuses on specific pedagogical strategies employed by the faculty to integrate education for civic and social responsibility into their courses, as well as the unique challenges of civic education. The White Paper includes a description of the methodology used; knowledge gained from the CEC program and guidance on transferability to other institutions and disciplines; Best Practices that can be applied on a wide range of campuses; and an extensive bibliography.

  • The article "Incorporating Education for Civic and Social Responsibility into the Undergraduate Curriculum," by Jan R. Liss and Ariane Liazos was published in the January/February 2010 issue of Change, The Magazine of Higher Learning. The article is based on the recently published White Paper.

  • In January 2009, Project Pericles assembled a panel of CEC faculty to discuss "Engaging Science in Our Global Future: Project Pericles' Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Grant Program" at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Seattle. The panelists were Prof. Caryl Waggett from Allegheny College, Prof. Adrian Hightower from Occidental College, and Prof. Ammini Moorthy from Wagner College. Jan Liss moderated the panel.

  • In January 2010, Project Pericles presented a CEC panel discussion, Engaging Students in the Classroom and the Community: Cost-Effective Strategies for Bridging Theory and Practice, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, D.C. The panelists were Myrna Breitbart from Hampshire College, Ella Turenne from The New School, and Nancy Blank from Widener University. Jan Liss moderated the panel.