2017 CCHA Conference Poe Cover (HP)

CCHA Thankful (to you) for a Successful 2017 National Conference

Dear CCHA Members,

As this is a time for reflection and giving thanks, we just wanted to thank you for helping make the 2017 CCHA National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, a success. From all of the feedback we have heard, the conference was enjoyed and considered a resounding success by our attendees, and we have had many emails about feeling re-energized and ready to return to the classroom for a strong “final push” this semester. This is so encouraging to us as we want to continue to be an organization that supports and represents our countless strong faculty, staff, and administrative members in the humanities nationwide. 

We also want to say that it re-energizes us at CCHA to continue to find ways to support our members by creating connections and opportunities for grants, fellowships, and other possibilities; so we promise that we will keep working for you. We are thankful that we have so many amazing members to continue advocating for. 

In closing, we hope you enjoy the holiday and return to work afterwards continuing to feel the positive energy from the conference.

Thanks again,

Your CCHA Friends and Colleagues

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Diversity on the Rise in the Nation’s Community Colleges According to AAA&S

According to a new article from Inside Higher Ed, diversity is on the increase at the nation’s two-year colleges. The article is based on information from publicly available degree completions data.

More information from American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAA&S) survey that CCHA assisted in will be available in the future.

According to the results of the survey, “in 2015, 32.1 percent of the associate degrees in the humanities were awarded to black, Hispanic or Native American students — a 149 percent increase from 1989, when the data were first collected.” This is just some of the great news according to the data collected by AAA&S, and the rest can be found in the article at the link below.

Read the Inside Higher Ed Article

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NHA Quarterly Column: Next Steps in the Fight to #SavetheNEH

Next Steps in the Fight to #SavetheNEH

By: Beatrice Gurwitz

Two days before President Trump’s inauguration, we awoke to reports that the transition team was contemplating a proposal to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). On March 16, after almost two months of near silence on the subject, the administration released a budget blueprint even more threatening to humanities programs than had been initially reported. The administration’s proposal not only recommends the elimination of the NEH and the NEA, but also the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Additionally, it calls for the “reduction or elimination” of the Department of Education’s Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs.

Over the past four months, the National Humanities Alliance has been working in close partnership with [association] and our other members to demonstrate support for the NEH. This campaign has resulted in nearly 150,000 messages and phone calls to Members of Congress and President Trump. A record-breaking number of humanities advocates joined us in Washington D.C. for Humanities Advocacy Day in March, visiting their congressional offices and making the case for robust funding for the NEH and other humanities programs. Advocates have published op-eds highlighting the local and national import of the NEH. Subsequent to the release of the budget blueprint, we have also launched grass-roots campaigns in support of the other agencies.

Since the Trump Administration released its plan in March, our attention has turned primarily to Congress, which will ultimately decide whether and at what level to fund the NEH and the other cultural agencies for FY 2018. As Congress begins its work, the budget committees will release their Congressional Budget Resolutions, which set an overall spending limit, but whose recommendations for specific discretionary programs are just advisory. The appropriations committees in each house will then draft twelve appropriations bills proposing funding levels for all discretionary spending, including for the NEH and other humanities programs. If those bills clear their committees, the full House and Senate will have to pass them. Finally, bills from each house will need to be reconciled in a conference committee. This is a long process that will likely stretch into the fall. Proposals to eliminate funding for the NEH and other humanities programs could gain traction at any point.

Reasons for Optimism

Trump’s budget proposal is just a proposal. Members of the appropriations committees have their own agendas and priorities, and have been largely supportive of the NEH and other humanities funding, particularly in the last two years. After passing a $2 million increase for NEH in FY 2016, Congress passed another $2 million increase for FY 2017 in early May. Further, Republican members of the House and Senate subcommittees that allocate funds to the NEH and the NEA have gone on record supporting the programs even in the face of the President’s proposal for FY 2018. Finally, letters to the President and to the appropriations committees requesting a $5 million increase for the NEH in FY 2018 have received bipartisan support.

Causes for Concern

While we anticipate that the appropriations committees will be supportive of the NEH, the upcoming FY 2018 appropriations process is likely to be prolonged and contentious as Congress struggles to abide by budget caps that were put in place as part of the 2011 budget deal. While the current cap may be renegotiated, if the resulting cap is still low, the Trump Administration’s efforts to increase defense and military construction spending would necessitate severe cuts to non-defense discretionary spending. This would leave the NEH, along with a wide range of other domestic programs, vulnerable to deep cuts or even elimination as appropriators are forced to make difficult choices. If the new budget cap is higher, appropriators will have more room for domestic spending.

We are also concerned that the call from the Trump Administration to eliminate funding for the NEH, the NEA, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will embolden those within Congress who have long sought to defund these agencies in particular. While this is unlikely to happen within the appropriations committees, opponents of the NEH could introduce an amendment to eliminate funding when either chamber considers the appropriations bill or during negotiations over the differences between House and Senate appropriations bills.

Advocacy Strategy

Given these concerns, we are working to raise awareness of the work that the NEH supports around the country and the diverse communities it serves. We are encouraging leaders of higher education institutions and other humanities organizations—as well as individual NEH grantees—to write letters to the editor about the transformative impact of the NEH. We are also working to expand our list of grassroots advocates so that Members of Congress receive as many calls and messages as possible at critical points in the appropriations process.

The [association] has been an indispensable ally in these efforts. Individual members can also play a key role as well. By starting with our Take Action page (http://www.nhalliance.org/take_action), you can sign up for our action alerts, write your Member of Congress, and share these links to our resources with family, friends, and colleagues. Sharing this advocacy campaign and other social media assets will help expand our network and demonstrate to Congress the deep support for NEH across the country.

While it is important to build support among all Members of Congress, the support of particular Members will be key at certain stages of the appropriations process. By signing up for our action alerts, encouraging others to do the same, and sharing our alerts on social media, you will also increase the likelihood that we can reach advocates in key districts.

This challenge to the NEH and other humanities programs has inspired an outpouring of support for federal humanities funding. Over the coming months, it is critical that we continue to mobilize even more advocates to increase public awareness of the impact of these programs and to ensure that Members of Congress continue to hear from their constituents.

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The 2017 Literary Magazine Competition is Underway!

One of the highlights of the Community College Humanities Association is its annual literary magazine competition, which highlights student work from all over the nation. The competition reinforces the mission of CCHA to help shape and strengthen students with their personal and professional growth in the Humanities.

Continue reading The 2017 Literary Magazine Competition is Underway!

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Opportunity: Summer Poetry Teachers Institute from The Poetry Foundation

Summer Poetry Teachers Institute

July 10-14, 2017

The Poetry Foundation will be hosting its third annual Summer Poetry Teachers Institute in Chicago, July 10-14, 2017. The week will include seminars and workshops with some of today’s most compelling poets. Also, participants will study and discuss poetry with renowned poetry practitioners and expert teachers to develop lesson plans to bring back to their classrooms. Teachers will receive 30 Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) for completing the Institute, and tuition will be paid by the Poetry Foundation.

The Institute encourages conversations among teachers about past successes, challenges, and insights in bringing poetry to students in their various communities. The Institute offers participants a fresh, energizing approach to reading poems, invaluable materials for teaching, and new ways to invigorate their instructional habits and practices. The central idea is that the experience of the poem should precede analysis.

The Poetry Foundation invites teachers across K-12 grade levels and community college instructors to apply. The Institute seeks a range of participants: new and experienced teachers, those who enjoy teaching poetry, and those who have shied away from it. To apply, please fill out and submit this Google Form. Spots are limited and the deadline for applying online is March 31st. We strongly encourage applying early.

The Poetry Foundation believes that poetry is broad and inclusive; there is a place for everyone in poetry. And yet poetry is mysterious and open, so teaching poetry is uncertain and no one has the answers. A poem can be something you can carry with you and experience again and again in different ways. We believe teachers can instill a passion for poetry as they find multiple entry points for different students.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

For more information, to apply, and to read the frequently asked questions, please click HERE.

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NEH Summer Institute: Transcendentalism & Reform in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, & Fuller

Spend two weeks in historic Concord, Massachusetts, immersed in this topic with a small group of two- and four-year college instructors. Working with a line-up of senior scholars, Including two Pulitzer Prize recipients, professors of literature and history, curators of museums and special collections  librarians, you will conduct research in prestigious archives, such as those to be found at the Concord Free Public Library, Concord Museum, and Massachusetts Historical Society.  Additionally, there will be opportunities for field studies at historic sites and homes. More info can be found here.

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Fall 2016 Community College Humanities Review (CCHR) Journal Now Available!

CCHA’s flagship bi-annual publication, the Community College Humanities Review (CCHR), is back after being revamped by the new CCHR Editor, Sydney Elliott. You Copies of Volume 1 Issue 1 of the CCHR are now available for purchase through Amazon, and it is also available as a free digital download on the website for our CCHA members. CCHR 1.1 can be accessed HERE.

Continue reading Fall 2016 Community College Humanities Review (CCHR) Journal Now Available!