Doane University was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a Certificate in Integrated Humanities. This program is scheduled to launch in Spring 2021, a Doane University press release on April 27, said. 

Doane will offer three pathways for students to pursue when choosing their general education curriculum: “Opioids and Addiction,” “Fear in the Present Age” and “Medicine in America.” 

Doane is one of four universities to be awarded an implementation grant from the Humanities Connections program. This program seeks to expand the role of the humanities in undergraduate education at two- and four-year institutions. 

This grant comes two years after Doane received a $35,000 planning grant from NEH, which supported the design of the new Integrated Humanities program. 

The Certificate in Integrated Humanities is open to all students on Doane’s Crete campus, but is designed primarily for students planning on going into physical and mental health professions. Students will take three designated courses in the core curriculum, plus a one credit capstone course where students design their project based on their courses and post-graduation plans in order to receive the certificate. 

The grant also allows Doane to work with community partners in experiential learning and programming public events pertaining to the topic. The partnerships will allow students to meet and learn from professionals in the field in which they plan to work. 

This concept introduced one new, interdisciplinary team-taught course to each pathway. For example, in the Opioids and Addiction pathway, an English professor and a Biology professor will each be teaching one eight-week session of the course. Students will also enroll in linked sections of Introduction to Psychology and Introduction to Biology, which will explore the topic from their particular perspective. 

Katy Hanggi, associate professor of English, and Brad Johnson, professor of English, are the lead faculty members driving this project. 

“Through the Integrated Humanities pathways, students will experience more directly how disciplines operate in concert with each other,” Johnson said. “They will see why the empathy one finds in storytelling has such a powerful practical use for a physician, or how a biologist’s understanding of addiction provides such important context for the psychologist who is treating it. In short, students will understand that being ‘well rounded’ through the liberal arts is just a start. They will discover that the direct application of the liberal arts to their pre-professional studies will transform their understanding and make them more attractive candidates for graduate school and employment.”