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University of Notre Dame
Private Higher Education
Date Approved

The University of Notre Dame proposes a three-year project to design, pilot, and begin evaluating an interdisciplinary, selective undergraduate fellowship program for rising Notre Dame sophomores exploring questions of moral purpose in the context of the pursuit of the common good. Called to the Common Good will emphasize both thought and action, structured discernment and practice, and will combine both curricular and co-curricular elements. This program targets a range of current trends developing across colleges and universities nationally, trends amplified by COVID-19. Student anxiety, stress, and social isolation are at all-time highs, especially at elite universities. Student fascination with courses on life design and the pursuit of happiness is on the rise. Productivity software and systems are increasingly prevalent as are student calls for communities of value. At the same time, there is a renewed interest among faculty and students in the role universities ought to play in the cultivation of virtue and character. Colleges and universities are struggling to find the most effective responses to this emergent set of overlapping trends. The hope is that this program will be one evidence-based, easily replicable, effective, and scalable response.