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Faculty Development Grants

Applications for Faculty Development Grants (2017 – 2018) have not yet opened. Grant applications should open in the near future. Please review the information below about Faculty Development Grants to better prepare for the 2017 – 2018 application process once it opens.

Program Overview

The Experience Learning Faculty Development grant program seeks to support and assist faculty members, academic departments, and colleges with the initial or enhanced implementation of experiential learning within their programs and curricula.

The purpose of these grants is to strengthen the design and implementation of academic courses and curricular opportunities incorporating one or more of the 12 types of experiential learning identified in our university’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

Need for this Program

The Experience Learning grant program is a significant portion of our university’s QEP, approved by our accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, in the spring of 2015.

The EL Faculty Development grant program will provide funds to help the university bolster existing experiential learning courses, as well as empower faculty members to create new courses and opportunities as mentioned within the university’s QEP and strategic plan, Vol Vision 2020.

Nomination and Award Process

Faculty members do not need to be nominated in order to apply for an EL Faculty Development grant. All EL Faculty Development grants recipients will be named 2017 EL Faculty Fellows and will be required to participate in the 2017 Experience Learning Summer Institute.

The Experience Learning Faculty Fellows 2017 Summer Institute, seeks to provide intensive and intentional training in experiential learning to faculty members and instructors seeking a cohort based peer-to-peer educational approach to Experience Learning. Fellows selected to participate in the program will attend a series of required workshops and consultations from May 2017 to June 2017 focused on key components of the university’s Experience Learning initiative, including prominent best practices and teaching strategies.

Fellows selected to participate in this program must agree to redesign at least one of their classes offered in the 2017-2018 academic year to incorporate significant experiential learning and assess student learning on that experience using the Experience Learning Student Learning Outcomes.

Fellows will receive individualized consultation and mentoring from professional staff and long-time faculty members who have used experiential learning successfully in their classes. Those who participate in this program will also receive support from university offices and areas such as the Teaching and Learning Center, Office of Information Technology, the UT Libraries, and the Office of Online Programs, depending on the Fellows’ needs and goals.

Faculty members who successfully complete all institute requirements will receive $3,500. To receive this additional pay, faculty participants must attend all required weekly workshops and consultations, share a copy of their redesigned course syllabus with the Experience Learning director, and complete the student assessment process during the semester in which their new course is offered. The Experience Learning assessment coordinator will assist with student assessment as needed. Fellows who complete this program could also be recognized as Experience Learning Faculty Leaders in future semesters.

Grant Categories and Applications

These grants seek to provide funding to colleges and academic departments to revamp, redesign, and even create new courses, or academic experiences, that include one of the 12 types of experiential learning identified in our university’s QEP.

These grants also provide funding to support changes to more than one course in a curriculum, with the goal of strengthening the connections across semesters to increase students’ learning as they move through their major toward graduation. All proposals must include at least one of the 12 types of Experience Learning mentioned in the QEP, as primary or secondary strategy for helping the department and/or college meet its identified need(s).

Priority will be given to proposals that seek to develop multicourse curricular experiences for their students tied together with one of the 12 types of Experience Learning, versus simply a one course curricular change or update. Priority will also be given to curricular changes that address Vol Vision 2020 priorities such as student retention and student persistence to graduation. With this in mind, up to 2 additional faculty members can be listed if the applicant is choosing to apply for this grant, potentially providing up to $10,500 of support for a selected project.

The application deadline for College-level and Academic Department Curriculum Grants has passed.

These grants seek to provide funding for opportunities that incorporate at least one of the 12 types of experiential learning identified in our QEP to help the university meet one of its strategic priorities mentioned in Vol Vision 2020.

In particular, funds from these grants will be awarded to opportunities that address and seek to improve Vol Vision 2020 priorities such as:

  • undergraduate and graduate student retention,
  • persistence to graduation,
  • increasing access for students to participate in research opportunities, and
  • diversity and inclusion.

Priority will be given to instructors seeking to re-design classes that are likely to impact a significant number of students including 100- and 200-level courses, General Education courses, and courses with historically lower pass and completion rates.

The application deadline for Vol Vision Priority Grants has passed.

These grants seek to support new and innovative opportunities developed by our faculty that teach our students using one of the 12 types of experiential learning identified in our QEP.

Priority will be given to proposals that seek to develop multicourse curricular experiences for students tied together with one of the 12 types of Experience Learning, versus simply a one course curricular change or update. In this category, we are looking to support fresh and new ideas that engage a large number of students in experiential learning, or that significantly impact a smaller group of students in a more focused and in-depth way.

The application deadline for BIG Idea Grants has passed.

Additional Information for Applicants

  • All EL Faculty Development grants recipients will be named 2017 EL Faculty Fellows and will be required to participate in the 2017 Experience Learning Summer Institute.
  • All grant recipients will receive $3,500 for participating in all required summer institute programming and successfully satisfying program requirements, including student assessment.
  • Priority for grants will be given to faculty members and instructors who are likely to teach the course more than once.
  • The EL Faculty Development grant recipients will be required to work with the Teaching and Learning Center staff and other related offices, when appropriate, in order to redesign their course or academic learning opportunity.
  • All approved proposals must agree to assess their course or project using the Experience Learning Student Learning Outcomes required by the university’s QEP. The Director of Experience Learning and the Experience Learning Assessment Coordinator, will support all Faculty Development grant award recipients with implementing the assessment process, in order to complete the assessment requirements.
  • The Experience Learning Risk Manager will serve as a resource for opportunities that are seen as having “high risk” or “high liability” for faculty members, student participants, alumni, or others associated with the university, in order to help mitigate and decrease the risks associated with this experience prior to the implementation of the course.
  • The Experience Learning Faculty Development Grants Review Team will review all submissions and award funds to those faculty members with proposals that strongly align with the goals of the university’s QEP and the priorities of Vol Vision 2020.
  • Funds will be distributed with the desire to support and enhance the academic curriculum across our campus.

Program Timeline

Spring 2017

  1. Faculty participants will apply for an Experience Learning Grant. Applications will be due on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
  2. After a complete review of applications, applicants will be contacted and the 1st cohort of Faculty Fellows will be named by Monday, March 20.
  3. Once selected, Faculty Fellows will be announced to the campus community via Tennessee Today, the Experience Learning website, DDDH listserv.
  4. Prior to the end of the semester, all Fellows will be invited to attend the mandatory “Summer Institute Kickoff” event, or Opening Session, before the end of the semester.

Summer 2017

  1. All Faculty Fellows will be required to attend the 2017 Experience Learning Summer Institute. The Institute will be held from May 22, 2017 – June 30, 2017 and is designed to provide support to participants through workshops, training and individual consultations.
  2. The topics listed below will be addressed in workshops (on campus and online) requiring approximately 18-24 total hours of time over the six-week period. The list of topics is by no means exhaustive, nor does it represent the only topics that will be covered.
    • Introduction to Experience Learning
    • Experience Learning Assessment/Student Learning Outcomes
    • Risk Management in Experience Learning
    • Best Practices Review of Community and Campus Partnerships
    • Using Technology to Enhance Learning
  3. Each Faculty Fellow will be required to participate in 3 consultation sessions during the six-week period with a faculty development professional from one of the university offices sponsoring the institute.
  4. All Faculty Fellows are required to attend the Summer Institute Kickoff and Closing sessions.

Academic Year 2017-2018

All Faculty Fellows must offer their newly redesigned course at least one time during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Program Evaluation

Faculty Fellows will complete a brief series of surveys throughout the summer institute aimed to gauge the amount of knowledge they have learned by attending each session.

There will also be a focus group session for all Faculty Fellows to attend at the end of the summer institute. The focus group will seek to gather the perspectives of each Faculty Fellow at the end of the experience in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the summer institute to improve the experience for the 2nd cohort of Fellows.

Faculty members who successfully complete all institute requirements will receive $3,500. The first $1,500 will be allocated at the end of the summer institute. The other $2,000 will be allocated once the assessment process (direct and indirect assessment) for the course is completed during the semester in which it is taught.

To receive this additional pay, faculty participants must:

  • attend all required weekly workshops and consultations. All workshops will be offered at least twice each week to accommodate faculty schedules.
  • Fellows must also share a copy of their redesigned course syllabus with the Experience Learning director, and
  • complete the student assessment process during the semester in which their new course is offered with the assistance of the Experience Learning assessment coordinator.

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