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Master of Liberal Studies

Civics and the American Founding Program

A program of graduate courses designed to help teachers respond to the new Illinois civics requirement for high school students, offered through the Master of Liberal Studies Program of Lake Forest College. 

Civics and the American Founding program brings together small groups of high school teachers in special graduate seminars, led by members of the faculty of Lake Forest College’s Master of Liberal Studies program. These seminars focus on key issues and documents of political thought that have shaped our nation’s history.  Support for this program is provided by the Jack Miller Center through the Harvey L. Miller Founding Civics Initiative and we work in collaboration with the Newberry Library. 

Key information:

  • Each course carries 4 semester hours of graduate credit or 60 PD hours.
  • Full tuition grants for working high school teachers thanks to the support of the Jack Miller Center.

  • Each course meets Saturdays from 10 a.m.–12 p.m., with seven face-to-face meetings and the remainder of the course online.  Fall course meets at the Newberry Library in Chicago; Spring course meets on the campus of Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL.
  • Teachers may take a Civics seminar as a stand-alone course or matriculate into the MLS program.  Ideal for American history, government, or civics teachers, given the new State of Illinois civics requirement. 
  • Registration for the coming academic year is now open. Click here for application form.

Seminars: Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

Fall 2017 — “The American Founding: Principles, Practices, Controversies,” taught by Professor Evan Oxman. Course meets at the Newberry Library and starts August 26 (face-to-face meetings are: 8/26, 9/9, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21, 11/4, 11/18)
Spring 2018 — “Liberty,” taught by Professor Siobhan Moroney. Course meets at Lake Forest College and starts January 20 (face-to-face meetings are: 1/20, 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/10, 3/24, 4/7)


Full tuition grants for high school teachers in the Civics and the American Founding Program are supported by the Jack Miller Center through the Harvey L. Miller Founding Civics Initiative. For more information about the Jack Miller Center, see here.


For more information about the program and the Fall and Spring seminars call Carol Gayle, Associate Director of Lake Forest College’s MLS program, at 847-735-5083, or email her at gayle@lakeforest.edu.