Welcome to the Center

Since 1984, the Center for the Liberal Arts has made a commitment to content enrichment for K-12 teachers across Virginia and beyond. Every year hundreds of teachers attend our programs that are offered in a wide array of disciplines, including Art and Architecture, Classics, English, French, German, History, Mathematics, Politics, Science, and Spanish. CLA invites you to explore our website–check out our upcoming program offerings, our resources for teachers, and our institutional history. And please, feel free to contact us at any time with requests for programs, or for more information about the Center.


The Center for the Liberal Arts at the University of Virginia has, since its founding in 1984, offered programs for K-12 teachers designed to increase their knowledge of the content that they teach. Distinguished university faculty in a variety of disciplines engage K-12 teachers as fellow scholars and collaborate with education and technology specialists and master teachers to create pedagogical tools and materials that are used around the globe.

Center Activities

Since its inception in 1984, the Center has:

  • initiated projects in American Studies, the arts, chemistry, Classics, English language and literatures, French, German, government, history, mathematics, physical science, physics, Spanish, theatre arts, and Women’s Studies;
  • created, for 8,807 Virginia teachers, graduate courses, lecture series, summer institutes, and in-service programs in the fifteen disciplines listed above, as well as a variety of special programs: statewide satellite TV courses in physics, chemistry, and physical science; language and culture workshops for French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Classics teachers; instruction in applied technology; year-long paid sabbaticals and summer grants for teachers; summer study programs in Spain, Greece, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, China, France, and Germany;
  • involved 386 arts and sciences faculty members–235 from the University of Virginia and 151 from 57 other colleges and universities;
  • raised $2,705,336 for program support in addition to state and University funding;
  • established partnerships among institutions of higher education here and abroad (such as the Virginia Institute for Theatre Arts offered jointly with Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, and UVa’s Heritage Repertory Theatre; the Centre International d’&Études Françaises d’Angers; the Institut d’&Études Françaises d’Avignon, the American Academy in Rome; and the TransAtlantic Summer Academy of the University of Bonn); and regional programs with the schools (including the Jefferson Area Mathematics Teachers’ Project, the Charlottesville program in “Understanding Diversity,” and the Peninsula area summer seminars). Other programs have been conducted in cooperation with the Valentine Museum of Richmond, Folger Shakespeare Library, Monticello, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Piedmont Virginia Community College, English-Speaking Union, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Council of Higher Education of Virginia, Virginia Department of Education, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts; and, at the University of Virginia, departments of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Continuing Education, and the Curry School of Education;
  • received state and national awards and recognition for “leadership in the rejuvenation of secondary and elementary education”(Virginia Board of Education); “innovative and creative programming” (NUCEA); directing”the scholarly and intellectual resources of the university toward the improvement of teaching in our secondary schools” (AAHE); providing a model “unprecedented in its cooperative action between a leading university and a state school system” (NEH); and for serving as a “mentor institution” in the AAC’s national consultation and planning project.