Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is an independent Project established in 2003 in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The project was co-founded by Sally Engelhard Pingree, (President of the S. Engelhard Center), and Donald W. Harward (President Emeritus, Bates College, and Senior Scholar, AAC&U). BTtoP’s mission is to encourage and support colleges and universities in developing sustainable campus cultures that support the greater purposes of higher education: engaged learning and discovery, civic purpose, well-being, and preparation for a meaningful life.
BTtoP is the only national independent initiative focused on attending to the connections and explorations of each of these integral pieces of the mission of higher education together. BTtoP is also aware that discussions surrounding the value and promise of higher education are ongoing in our society, and that there are many who share BTtoP's concerns about the depth of student learning, the availability of opportunity for meaningful civic engagement and development, and the consideration of students as whole persons. The Project regularly consults with colleagues who are deeply engaged in such discussions at both theoretical and practical levels, and involve them in various roles in all efforts and programmatic initiatives.
To enrich these conversations and the promise of their outcomes, BTtoP aims to be a supportive ally and resource as institutions foster their own deepened campus culture for engaged learning—one that expects and delivers a context in which students can have a truly liberating and transforming experience, preparing them to be flourishing members of the global landscape. To date, BTtoP has funded over 300 unique institutions through over 500 grant awards, published several volumes, and regularly participates in and holds conferences.