Request for CURFA members to work with NAROPA

The following proposal has been received from Dr. Eric Fretz of Naropa University. CURFA members who are interested in cooperating in this activity should contact Dr. Fretz directly via the contacts given below.


This proposal is to describe a possible collaboration between Naropa University and the CU Retired Faculty Association. We are looking for 5-10 retired CU faculty to work with us on our Public Achievement Project during the 2005-06 academic year. Public Achievement is a youth civic engagement initiative focused on the most basic concepts of citizenship, democracy and public work. Public Achievement draws on the talents and desires of ordinary people to build a better world and to create a different kind of politics. The Public Achievement web site is:

Naropa University’s Public Achievement Project is part of a class I teach, “Democracy, Education and Social Change.” It is a two-semester course that gives students opportunities to practice and theorize about the arts of democracy. On Wednesday afternoons, we go to Centaurus High School in Lafayette where the Naropa students work as Public Achievement “coaches” with small groups of Centaurus students. The role of the “coach” is to help the Centaurus students identify salient community problems that matter to the youth and then work with the youth to develop social action projects that work toward the resolution of those problems. This past year, we had groups working on acquiring driver’s licenses for immigrants, encouraging Colorado legislators to pass the Dream Act, Tsunami Relief, Homelessness and even shifting the public perception of break dancing from gangster culture to artistic expression. On Fridays, we meet on the Naropa campus where we read and write about democratic theory from Aristotle to Dewey and then apply those theories to the work we are doing at Centaurus.


I would like to find a few retired CU faculty to serve alongside the Naropa students as Public Achievement “coaches.” Specifically, I would like to team up one Naropa student with one retired faculty member and have each group work together as a Public Achievement coach team. The CU faculty would meet with us on Fridays for our seminars and they would travel with us to Centaurus each Wednesday.


I have a great deal of information about our Public Achievement project, and I would be happy to share it with anyone who may be interested in working with us.

Eric Fretz, Ph.D.
Director, Community Studies Center
Naropa University
2130 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Phone: (303) 245-4719