Through five decades of collaboration, the ACM colleges have collectively constructed a powerful asset for their faculty and administrative leaders. ACM facilitates a variety of forums and other opportunities for peers to discuss not only the direction of programs but, with great candor, the common challenges and emerging opportunities they face on their campuses.
This ongoing engagement — and the multiple, overlapping relationships among the campuses it has fostered — enriches the intellectual lives and professional capacity of faculty and administrative leaders alike.
With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation, ACM offers faculty from its member campuses significant opportunities for collaboration and development. For example:
The ACM-Mellon Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL)
are intensive off-campus study experiences for ACM faculty that provide opportunities for them to explore salient topics in cross-disciplinary contexts. The seminars immerse ACM faculty in a setting that encourages multiple perspectives and collaboration across disciplines and lay the foundation for the development of innovative, integrative advanced-level coursework.
The Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project
, funded by grants from the Mellon Foundation, supports faculty collaboration across ACM campuses and across disciplines. Through workshops, conferences, and research collaborations, FaCE activities are designed to develop and disseminate effective and innovative teaching practices.
- To support the member colleges' efforts in navigating the current economic climate, the ACM is creating the Institute on College Futures (ICF), funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Through a series of seminars and conferences, the ICF aims to build a deeper understanding among ACM faculty of the economic challenges facing their colleges and strategies for strengthening and sustaining college finances.
ACM faculty also participate in a variety of ways in the consortium's off-campus study programs. See the Opportunities
pages for details.
Foundation support also enables the ACM and its member colleges to strengthen academic programs, both on-campus and off-campus, and enhance teaching and learning in the liberal arts.
- Introducing Change: Introductory Courses and the Nature of Faculty Work, supported by a grant from the Teagle Foundation, explores ways to help students become "higher-order thinkers" in introductory-level courses, and what kind of impact such changes would have on the structures of faculty work.
- With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the ACM-Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowships place new PhDs in two-year teaching and research residencies on campuses of the ACM member colleges. The program combines campus-based mentoring with consortial orientation and workshops to introduce Fellows to the challenges and rewards of teaching, scholarship, and professional development in the residential liberal arts college.
- In a partnership supported by a planning grant provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ACM is exploring areas of potential collaboration with major research universities. Enhancing the Midwest Knowledge Ecosystem (EMKE) links ACM with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), an academic consortium of universities in the Big Ten Conference along with the University of Chicago.
- The Study Abroad Learning and Cost Alliance, funded by a grant from the Teagle Foundation, is a ground-breaking partnership aimed at helping colleges and organizations like ACM develop study abroad programs that are more affordable and that provide the best experience for liberal arts learning.
The Teagle Collegium on Student Learning
was designed to deepen faculty members’ understanding of how students learn, and more specifically, of how students acquire the skills and knowledge that are the hallmarks of a liberal education.
Through ongoing committees like the Committee on Minority Concerns and the Committee on the Status of Women, ACM colleagues come together to address pressing campus issues.
ACM institutions have also partnered through the years to share information about admissions data and approaches, to collaborate on meetings to reach college-bound students, and to support publication of pre-college planning materials for high school students and guidance counselors.
Each year, ACM holds the Nick Adams Short Story Contest, which is open to students at ACM colleges. The winner, selected by a professional writer who serves as the final judge, receives a cash prize provided by a gift from an anonymous donor.