Special Purpose Funds
American History, Government, & Statesmanship Fund
Today’s college graduates should be prepared to become tomorrow’s citizens and leaders with an understanding of our Constitution, government, and history. Yet, ACTA has found that only 18% of U.S. liberal arts colleges and universities require their students to take a course in U.S. history or government, and less than one-third of our nation’s top colleges and universities require their history majors to take a course dedicated to American history. It’s no wonder, then, that in recent surveys of college graduates, ACTA found that 52% could not identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown, and 46% did not know the lengths of congressional terms.
Grants from the FAR American History, Government, & Statesmanship Fund will support programs that educate students about our Founders; teach our nation’s history, including important topics such as U.S. diplomatic and military history; and prepare students for informed citizenship.
Western Tradition Fund
Understanding the literary, artistic, and intellectual achievements of the West should be the birthright of all our college graduates. But on too many campuses, students have little to no engagement with the intellectual origins of the American republic in the treatises of Cicero and John Locke, or the timeless wisdom of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Dante. Students graduate largely unaware of the monumental contributions to civilization of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt. Instead, undergraduates increasingly are filling their college years with courses on trendy, pop-culture subjects such as zombies, Lady Gaga, or “Wasting Time on the Internet”—a real course offered at an Ivy League school.
Grants from the FAR Western Tradition Fund will support programs that provide opportunities for students to appreciate Western cultural landmarks, develop the intellectual resources to contextualize contemporary culture, and enjoy the rich inheritance of the West.
Science & Mathematics Fund
America’s continued global leadership in mathematics and science demands that our colleges and universities train this generation of scientists and mathematicians to meet the highest standards of intellectual rigor and imagination. And all college graduates should be familiar with the basic principles of the scientific method, quantitative analysis, and analytic reasoning that are essential for understanding the world in which we live. Yet, a major federal study found that one in five college students completing four-year degrees cannot even reliably “calculate the total cost of ordering office supplies.” ACTA has found that over 40% of colleges and universities do not require a college-level mathematics course, and 14% do not require a college-level natural science course.
Grants from the FAR Science & Mathematics Fund will support programs that train the next generation of scientists and mathematicians, educate students about ethical issues in the application of science and technology, and arm students with the quantitative reasoning skills they need in our ever-changing world.
Economic Literacy Fund
In our global economy, it has never been more important for college graduates to understand the principles that determine the allocation of goods and services, the rate of economic growth, and the interaction between public policy and the marketplace. Graduates must understand these principles if they are to become informed citizens and civic leaders, and certainly if they are to be successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Although familiarity with basic economic concepts is more important than ever, ACTA’s research has found that only 3% of colleges and universities require their students to take even a single course in economics.
Grants from the FAR Economic Literacy Fund will support programs that teach the economic principles that all citizens should know and prepare students to engage in the debates about economic policy on which the nation’s progress and prosperity depend.
Free to Teach, Free to Learn Fund
Academic freedom, the freedom to challenge widely-held beliefs, and the right to speak one’s mind: These are the principles that distinguish education from indoctrination. They are indispensable to the college experience and prepare graduates for citizenship and the workplace. Yet, too often students do not encounter speakers, programs, and books that present a full range of views on the urgent issues of the day—and political correctness inhibits the free exchange of ideas and politicizes the classroom. The consequence is that too many college graduates are unable to engage thoughtfully and respectfully with people who hold ideas and beliefs that differ from their own.
Grants from the FAR Free to Teach, Free to Learn Fund will support programs that host speakers who introduce students to important—if controversial—ideas, create opportunities for open and respectful debate, and inform students about the history and significance of the First Amendment.
More than ever before, donors must lead the way in ensuring that American colleges and universities maintain the highest standards of academic rigor and intellectual openness. To learn more about FAR’s Special Purpose Funds and FAR’s other services for donors, or to support academic excellence by making a contribution to one of our Special Purpose Funds, please contact us at 202-467-6787 or info@AcademicRenewal.org.
Let’s start a conversation about your next higher education gift.