Civic Education Program
For more than 15 years, the McConnell Center's Civic Education Program has served Kentucky educators and students. Our key efforts center on offering opportunities for teachers to broaden their knowledge of great books and ideas and to strengthen their ability to lead in the classroom and community, as well as encouraging students to advance in their studies of American history, civics and leadership.
Professional Development Opportunities (K-12):
- Download the Spring/Summer 2021 Schedule of PD Opportunities
- Teacher Scholars Program: a free, yearlong, web-based professional learning program for a small cohort of K-12 Kentucky-based teachers. Program includes monthly lectures and private discussions with experts in the fields of United States history, government, politics, and leadership, as well supplementary podcasts and reading guides for classroom and personal development.
- Weekend Professional Development Retreats: Weekend conferences for select Kentucky K-12 teachers with expert-led, focused discussions on a particular theme of subject area in American history. Room and meals provided for participants. (topics and locations vary)
- Episodic Professional Development Programming: Each semester we host programs which Kentucky teachers are welcome to attend and participate in for PD credit (outside of the Teacher Scholars Program).
For Your Classroom:
- Request educational resources and publications from the McConnell Center for your classroom
- Download select McConnell Center publications to share and discuss with your students
- Bring your class to learn about the structure of federal government, archival work and the public service legacies of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao at the McConnell Chao Archives. (Currently closed due to COVID-19)
- Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to learn of our latest news and events
- Join our Facebook community to network with teachers across the state
- Young Leaders Academy (Grades 9-12): Four-day, all-expenses-paid summer residential program for high school aged students at the University of Louisville. Features discussions and seminars regarding United States history, government, politics, and leadership strategies.
- Essay Contest: High school students engage research on a topic related to United States history, government or leadership. Awards offered to top submissions.
- Monthly Lecture Series and Distinguished Speaker Events: Join our (currently virtual) public lectures with prominent local, state, and national leaders discussing a range of civic issues and responsibilities.
- Class Visits: Tour the Civic Education Gallery of the U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Secretary Elaine L. Chao Archives at the University of Louisville. The gallery contains an interactive educational facility built around the lives and careers of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Chao, the gallery is designed to educate visitors about American government, history and politics. (Currently suspended due to COVID-19)
- Podcast Series: Enjoy episodes of the McConnell Center Podcast, which offers thought-provoking conversations with authors, scholars, leaders in the U.S. military and political professionals. Interviews focus on leadership, literature, history, education, politics and life.
- McConnell Scholars Program: Prestigious academic and scholarship program for 10 graduating Kentucky seniors. McConnell Scholars meet a variety of national, state, and local leaders and study with some of the finest faculty in the nation. Benefits include full tuition to the University of Louisville, study abroad opportunities, grant assistance for academic programs and internships, and mentored connections with more than 200 McConnell Scholar Alumni.
- McConnell-Chao Archives: Students can engage with primary sources marking the work of two prominent national leaders – U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, and former Secretary of Labor (2001-2009) and Transportation (2017-2021) Elaine L. Chao.
Natalie C. Smith
McConnell Center Civic Education Coordinator
About the McConnell Center's Civic Education Program
The McConnell Center began the non-profit, non-partisan Civic Education Program in 2005 to assist Kentucky citizens in developing a better understanding of the U.S. Constitution and history and to encourage open and free discussion of perennial concerns that inform contemporary politics.
The McConnell Center conducts educational programs for teachers, students (K-12 and college), and the general public focused on developing a strong knowledge of U.S. history and fostering creative thinking about the possibilities and problems of citizenship in the 21st century.
“American democracy will only flourish as long as our citizens are knowledgeable and engaged. Through intense seminars, lectures, discussions and retreats, we hope to contribute to the teaching of American government and U.S. history in Kentucky schools.” - Gary Gregg, PhD, McConnell Center Director