Winston-Salem State University has received a historic $600,000 humanities academic development grant from the Mellon Foundation, funding that officials say will support critical student success programming.
The three-year grant will help to revamp curriculum design in English, history, music and the visual arts, with specific emphasis on helping students to think and develop more creatively in a range of disciplines.
“Our strategic plan calls for a high-touch approach to bridge the gaps between students and their abilities to engage their education,” said Anthony Graham, provost and chief academic officer. “This grant will provide us with the resources to introduce these equitable practices throughout our humanities offerings. Research has found that this high-impact approach fosters student success and ensures that students obtain the essential skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing economy.”
The grants will also support research and development stipends for select faculty members in humanities disciplines.
Research and industrial practice, particularly in tech industries, indicates that workers will need to be more innovative in applied science and technical fields to keep pace with the growth of automation in industries, and that soft skills like communication, writing and team building are valuable traits among hiring managers.
According to officials, Winston-Salem State is one of just a handful of HBCUs and among only five schools in the University of North Carolina System to receive funding from the Mellon Foundation.