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Bridge to the Liberal Arts through Primary Source Texts

Image of AACC and St. John's logos.

Anne Arundel Community College has partnered with St. John's College in an initiative to make liberal arts accessible for all. The project, titled "Bridge to the Liberal Arts through Primary Source Texts (BLAST)," is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

BLAST is a three-year partnership that integrates a Great Books curriculum and St. John’s seminar-style classes into AACC's current Humanities courses, simultaneously creating a pathway for AACC students to transfer to St. John's college. St. John's faculty will lead professional development seminars for AACC faculty members to learn how to teach from Great Books and how to lead seminar-style instruction in their classes.

The overall theme of this project revolves around two key values of AACC, equity and inclusion. This program will enhance understanding of these themes while becoming active and engaged citizens ready to grapple with difficult, age-old questions through class discussions.

Anne Arundel Community College’s Bridge to the Liberal Arts through Primary Source Texts project is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). NEH provided $100,000 to support this project, which is 100% of the cost of the project.


Courses

The AACC courses identified below for the BLAST program were selected because of their similarities to a Great Books curriculum. The courses are naturally suited for teaching and learning from primary sources and will reflect the themes of equity and inclusion. AACC students who enroll in the BLAST program will benefit from faculty expertise, by learning from original texts and through the universal transferability of these general education courses regardless of their baccalaureate institution.

Fall 2021 Courses

CourseFaculty Days Dates Times 

Academic Writing & Research 1
(ENG-101-006)

Tim May

MW

Aug. 30-Dec. 24

8-9:15 a.m.

Academic Writing & Research 1
(ENG-101-009

Steve Canaday 

MW 

Aug. 30-Dec.19 

9:30-10:45 a.m. 

Academic Writing & Research 1
(ENG-101-012)

Candice Hill

MW

Aug. 30-Dec. 24

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Academic Writing & Research 2
(ENG-102-005

Marjorie Paoletti 

 M

Aug. 30-Dec. 19

11 a.m. -12:15 p.m.

Academic Writing & Research 2
(ENG-102-006)

Dave Meng

 TTh

Aug. 31-Dec. 19

11 a.m. -12:15 p.m.

World Civilizations to 1500
(HIS-113-001)

Richard Hardesty

 TTH

Aug. 30-Oct. 24

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Introduction to Philosophy
(PHL-111-002)

Michael Birdsell

 MW

Aug. 30-Dec. 19 

11 a.m. -12:15 p.m.

The goal in these courses is to give students greater exposure to discussion-based learning. Through skillfully led discussions from faculty, students are enabled to become active collaborators in their own educations. Students find their voices in classes where they are listened to respectfully and openly, challenged to support their positions but also helped to do so. This mirrors the civic participation of citizens in a functioning democratic society and enables the student to experience and reflect upon the ideals of equity and inclusion through the very process of their own participation in class.


Transferring to St. John's College

An additional opportunity for students in this program is that students can create a transfer pathway to St. John's College. Although St. John's does not accept transfer credit, an important component of the BLAST program is a tuition discount of $4,000 per year for four years for participants who transfer.

St. John's College is a leader in making liberal arts education affordable and accessible. Last year a tuition reset made St. Johnn's the most affordable liberal arts college in Maryland, and one of the most affordable in the United States. They are committed to offering substantial, need-based financial aid and increasing the diversity of their student population.

Students can work with their transfer advisor to make plans for a smooth transition.