In Brief: BTtoP News and Notes (Spring 2014)


New Volume in BTtoP's Civic Series of Monographs
Civic Engagement, Civic Development and Higher Education, the fourth monograph in BTtoP's Civic Series, was released in April. This monograph, edited by Jill Reich, contributes to an understanding of why civic engagement in higher education matters, both inside and outside the classroom, for teachers, students, and community members. For more information, including the monograph's free (electronic) and purchase (print) links, see
For more information on the Civic Series, including the upcoming monograph Civic Learning and Teaching, edited by Ashley Finley, visit the Civic Series web page:

BTtoP Funds Over 200 Projects Between 2012 and 2014
BTtoP has funded over 200 grants under the 2012–2014 RFP to date. Examples of funded projects and information about the 2012–2014 funding period are available at

Michelle Fine Awarded for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy
BTtoP Demonstration Site Grant Co-Principal Investigator Michelle Fine (distinguished professor, City University of New York Graduate Center) received an American Psychological Association (APA) Psychology in the Public Interest award in 2013. The APA notes that these awards are given to a psychologist who has made a distinguished empirical and/or theoretical contribution to research in public policy, either through a single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of work. Congratulations to our wonderful colleague Michelle!

Collaboration and Travels

Gallup and Lumina: What America Needs to Know about Higher Education Redesign
Gallup and Lumina Foundation presented findings and a panel on their 2013 study of the American public’s opinion on higher education, as well as a poll on US business leaders about higher education in Washington, DC, on February 25. This collaboration is focused on studying the most pressing issues facing higher education today, including cost, access, quality, and workforce readiness. This year, in addition to the annual public opinion poll of the US general population, a second survey was conducted of business leaders in the United States to understand their perceptions of postsecondary education and how higher education institutions are doing in preparing employees for the world of work.

Kettering Foundation Workshop on Work, Action, and Civic Learning
The Kettering Foundation, through its “Research Exchanges,” has long supported the connection of scholarship to practices that address fundamental problems of democracy. In late February, hundreds of scholars, practitioners, and advocates met at Kettering in small clustered discussion sessions. BTtoP Director Don Harward participated in the “Work and the Liberal Arts as Civic Arts” session, which explored how a more enhanced understanding of work is compatible with the civic mission of liberal education and with the practical needs of graduates in a period in which work place preparation is a key concern. The outcome will be a report from Kettering providing an analysis that criticizes the common definition of the purpose of higher education as exclusively job preparation for the twenty-first century, while arguing for separate but compatible notions within liberal education of the civic and of meaningful work.

Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education
The Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education, held March 10–12 in San Francisco brought a wide range of education professionals together to study improvement science and its practical applications. Hosted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the summit’s reform-minded agenda was designed for a K-12 audience, but the keynote presenters and many of the sessions focused on the applicability of improvement science to all levels and types of education and organizations to enhance efficacy and appreciate change. Stimulating sessions included skill-training in understanding systems processes and a nuanced keynote on the internet, social networks, and education delivered by Clay Shirky, associate arts professor at New York University. For information on improvement science, the four-strand agenda, and presenters, visit