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The campus' most recent Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation self-study resulted in a set of emerging campus priorities: to leverage Berkeley's strengths as a research university in the service of undergraduates by promoting research-based learning; to rethink large enrollment courses; to increasingly utilize learning technologies; and to improve campus teaching and student learning.

Berkeley's is a highly decentralized campus culture. In lieu of a campus-wide general education curriculum, each of Berkeley's five undergraduate colleges has its own curriculum and requirements. Faculty possess sole ownership of their syllabi, course goals, and pedagogical innovations, and it was through individual faculty and individual courses that the Mellon Steering Committee intended to address these campus priorities.

In selecting each year's cohort of Fellows and courses, preference was given to those faculty seeking to redesign large-enrollment, lower-division, gateway, and core courses, and courses designed to meet UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement. Courses rotated among two or more instructors committed to sharing or coordinating syllabi were also preferenced. Finally, the Selection Committee sought proposals that promoted the sequential development of undergraduate research competencies, articulated sustainable changes to departmental or interdepartmental curricula, or demonstrated strong support of the sponsoring academic department(s).

From 2003 to 2007 forty-four distinct Mellon courses across a broad range of disciplines were redesigned to incorporate information competencies, research skills, and the use of the Library's print and digital collections as integral components.  Thirty of these courses were taught more than once during this period.  Four were not yet offered as of  December 2007.  Twenty-nine of the Mellon courses were lower division offerings and fifty-nine had enrollments of over 100 students, reaching some 12,576 distinct undergraduates.

Project Manager: Pat Davitt Maughan | Project Director: Elizabeth Dupuis

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