Giving Priorities: Undergraduate Education

Enhancing Undergraduate Education

The College of Arts and Sciences embraces the responsibility of providing an education that matches the talents of its outstanding students. We respond to the needs of students in a new century in many ways—from integrating theory and practice to developing interdisciplinary programs to preparing students for their professional careers through internship programs. Your generosity will help us strengthen existing programs and develop new ones, with the goal of enabling our students to become leaders in their chosen fields and thoughtful, engaged citizens of their community, nation, and world. In order to enhance our capacity to meet the needs of students in a new century, the School is seeking to raise support for a variety of undergraduate initiatives.

These funds will allow us to strengthen existing programs and develop new ones that will enrich education at Penn and serve as models for other universities and colleges.

The Integrated Studies Program

The Integrated Studies Program is building a powerful foundation of core liberal arts for those incoming freshmen in the College accepted as Benjamin Franklin Scholars. In each semester of their freshman year, BFS students in the College participate in a single, demanding course, woven together from three “threads”: science, social science, and the humanities. The course is built upon a set of integrating topics that cut across these threads in order to present big and demanding ideas in these distinct domains of knowledge.

  • A gift of $150,000 will fund the Integrated Studies Program for one year.

Summer Research Internships

Internships provide students with practical, real-world knowledge, augmenting their classroom education and strengthening their professional preparation. Penn Arts and Sciences seeks to expand research and internship offerings for students in all disciplines. Valuable internships experiences are provided through several School programs and centers, including the Center for Advanced Study of India, the Fox Leadership Program, and the Life Sciences Management Program.

Internship costs range from $4,000 to $7,500 per student. Giving opportunities range from term gifts of $20,000 to $35,000 over five years, or an endowment of $100,000 to name an internship program.

College Technology Fund

Penn professors have made great strides in creative uses of technology in the classroom; dedicated funding would give them the latitude to do even more. Applications include audience participation techniques that provide real-time feedback on students’ understanding of concepts; the facilitation of student-created videos and websites; and the adaptation of Structured, Active, In-class Learning (SAIL), also known as the “flipped classroom.”  SAIL inverts the traditional method of teaching, in which the professor lectures during class time while students take notes, and then complete assignments on their own time. In a SAIL course, lectures are provided online for students to watch prior to class. Classroom time is reserved for active learning—such as small group sessions dedicated to discussing open-ended questions, or solving problems. As a result, students are more engaged—with the material, with their instructors, and with each other.

  • Donors can support the College Technology Fund at a variety of giving levels.

The College Alumni Mentoring Series

The College Alumni Mentoring Series seeks to facilitate meaningful relationships between students and alumni so that students can explore possible career paths, and so that alumni can maintain a fulfilling relationship with current students in the College.

  • A gift of $2 million will endow and name the College Alumni Mentoring Series.
  • A term gift of $80,000 will support the program for one year.

The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW)

CPCW brings together all of the University’s exceptional writing programs, services, and projects that, taken together, create a unique culture of writing at Penn and help students become better writers. CPCW has three main components: the Critical Writing Program, the Creative Writing Program, and Kelly Writer’s House. Opportunities to support CPCW exist at all levels. The following are just a few options that will help to sustain and promote excellence in writing at Penn.

  • A gift of $10 million will endow and name the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.
  • A gift of $5 million will endow and name the Critical Writing Program.
  • A gift of $1.5 million will endow and name the Director’s position for either the Critical Writing Program or the Creative Writing Program.
  • A gift of $100,000 will endow the Writing Apprenticeship Program, where undergraduates work closely with a faculty mentor for one semester on a project that is at the heart of the mentor’s work as a practicing writer.
  • A gift of $50,000 will provide term support to the Director’s Discretionary Fund for either the Critical Writing Program or the Creative Writing Program.