Teagle Foundation: Grants for College Readiness


OVERVIEW: The Teagle Foundation wants to boost the college readiness of New York City's youth, and believes a traditional liberal arts education is an excellent vehicle for achieving this goal. This funder works with nonprofit organizations, often in partnership with New York-area colleges and universities.

IP TAKE: If you are a nonprofit in the New York City area, share this funder's commitment to the value of a liberal arts education, and are committed to fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the Big Apple's youth, the Teagle Foundation may be the grantmaker for you.

PROFILE: Headquartered in New York City, the foundation was established in 1944 by Walter Teagle, the former chairman of Standard Oil, now Exxon Mobil Corporation. In an economy driven by technology and with so much attention focused on STEM subjects, the Teagle Foundation remains committed to the value of a traditional liberal arts education, which cultivates critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.  The foundation’s mission, as it describes it, is “to support and strengthen liberal arts education,” which it describes as “fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life.”

In support of that goal, Teagle “supports innovation in curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment with an eye towards combining improvements in quality with considerations of cost.”  Its belief in the long-term benefits of such an education helps shape its college readiness agenda, which concentrates on better preparing New York City students for college and career success.

College readiness grants are awarded through Teagle's College-Community Connections program. This program’s goal is “to help financially disadvantaged but talented high school students prepare for and succeed in college.” It does this “through the development of programs that engage students in academically ambitious programs that increase their knowledge and skill base even as they encourage students to think expansively about the colleges to which they might ultimately apply.”

More specifically, this means “partnerships between community-based organizations (CBOs) that offer college preparatory programs and colleges and universities in the metropolitan area.”

The foundation is especially interested in programs that forge partnerships between community-based organizations that offer college preparatory programs and institutions of higher education in the New York City area, and that encourage students to “aim high” in applying to universities and receive the opportunity to work with professors at partner universities. Recent grants awarded under this program are listed on the foundation’s grantees page.

The Teagle Foundation sends Requests for Proposals to organizations it is interested in funding, but does not accept unsolicited proposals. However, the foundation welcomes introductory emails that describe an organization and how its work reflects the funder's priorities. Teagle does not typically reply to these messages, but tries to expand its RFP contacts as resources become available.


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