The Civic Humanities Project at North Central College

Begin your college journey as a Freedom Scholar! Join the Civic Humanities Project and explore big ideas and life as a student on a liberal arts campus. 

As a Freedom Scholar, you will

* spend three weeks on the North Central College campus in a summer program of small Socratic seminars on human nature and good government;

* return in the fall semester of your senior year for support with college applications, including intensive mentoring on personal statements;

* conceive and complete a year-long project of civic leadership with your fellow Scholars in your home community.

There will be no costs to Freedom Scholars for all these opportunities and more: * Room and board on the North Central College campus * Transportation to and from Naperville, IL for all Project activities * All books and other learning supplies * Costs for field trips in and around Chicago and the western suburbs

Freedom Scholars will also be eligible to receive transferable college credit for successful completion of the Civic Humanities Project, letters of recommendation from North Central College faculty and intensive preparation for fundamental college readiness in writing, reading, critical analyses of complex texts and communication skills necessary for claiming the best education you can get.



Freedom Scholars should be rising high school seniors who are eager to work with North Central College faculty and students on exploring great texts from ancient to contemporary societies around the world. They should also expect * to read complex texts on real problems facing all of humanity * to discuss these issues seriously and intensively with their fellow Scholars * to improve their writing skills through daily practice * to participate fully in the weekly routine of a college student, including extracurricular outings, lectures, film presentations, and * to build on these experiences in their college applications and through civic engagement in their home communities.

We are looking in particular for students who are in the first generation in their families to attend college or university, who are from low-income households, or who attend under-performing high schools in Chicago and its western suburbs.

To apply, please follow this link to our application form. Applications for the program beginning in June, 2023 will open in January and run through April, 2023.

Students and their parents, teachers, counselors, coaches and other mentors are encouraged to get in touch with any questions, including details on our summer and academic year programming, students' eligibility, procedures for applying

Dr. Stuart Patterson, Chair of the Shimer Great Books School at North Central College, at or Dr. Janis Fitzsimmons, President of the Center for Success in High-Need Schools, at

We thank the generous, combined support of the Teagle Foundation, the alumni of Shimer College and Heirloom Books in making these opportunities available!