About the Grants

Both the University of Chicago and Michigan State University received grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build on course sharing initiatives in the LCTLs, such as CourseShare (Big Ten Academic Alliance). Descriptions of each grant project and links to their respective websites are below.

Mellon Transforming Language Instruction at the University of Chicago

In June 2016 the University of Chicago Language Center (CLC) received a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the project “Transforming Language Instruction at the University of Chicago and Beyond: Collaborative Curricula and Professional Development.” The grant, initially for five years but extended until June, 2024, supports less commonly taught language (LCTL) instructors through profoundly impactful professional development. Pairs (two or more instructors of the same language on different campuses) and cohorts (instructors of different languages on the same campus) collaborate to set end-of-year proficiency levels based on the ACTFL Guidelines, use end-of-year proficiency tests as an integral part of their curricula, collaborate on development and realignment of curricula and materials, incorporate these materials into their teaching, engage in iterative re-evaluation of assessments and curricula on a regular basis, and, share students when and if necessary and feasible.

Watch the University of Chicago’s 2021 Grant Update Video

The Less Commonly Taught and Indigenous Languages Partnership at Michigan State University

The LCTL and Indigenous Languages Partnership is housed in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) at Michigan State University and aims to create sustainable models for language instruction. The first cycle of the grant ran from September 2016 through August 2019. In 2019, Michigan State University was awarded a $2.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a second cycle of the LCTL and Indigenous Languages Partnership, which runs 2019-2023. This grant supports further development in the research and teaching of LCTLs, with an emphasis on Indigenous languages.

Watch Michigan State University’s 2021 Grant Update Video