INNOVATE 2.0: CLA Undergraduate Education Fund // Request for Proposals


The College of Liberal Arts champions an energized commitment to undergraduate programs as essential to a Purdue education that prepares sought-after graduates for meaningful careers and inspired leadership. Liberal Arts works to enhance the education of our majors and students across campus. In support of that commitment, Dean David Reingold announces INNOVATE 2.0, a recurring undergraduate education fund, that will support the development of certain programs that enhance undergraduate education and help to attract larger enrollments of students within and beyond the College

Creativity among out faculty is the most important asset in developing new advances in undergraduate education. INNOVATE 2.0 will support bold, new ideas that reimagine gateway course offerings, develop CLA learning communities, and incorporate experiential learning into existing courses to enhance the student experience and explore opportunities to apply lessons of liberal arts disciplines in real world situations.

For 2016-17, the INNOVATE fund will distribute up to $150,000 for proposals to enhance undergraduate education. Proposals will be reviewed by the Dean’s Office beginning September 1, 2016. Awards will be made until all funds are expended for the year.

Proposal Categories

Gateway coursesGateway courses often provide an introduction to a discipline and play an undeniable role as a recruitment tool for new majors. Faculty will reimagine gateway courses to attract larger enrollments and expose students to interesting and foundational material within the context of important contemporary issues facing the modern world.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty are encouraged to submit proposals that build upon existing curricula, establish clear connections to contemporary issues, and demonstrate new, innovative approaches to undergraduate liberal arts education.

Faculty teams of up to three members whose proposals are funded each will receive up to $5,000 for S&E or summer salary, at the discretion of each faculty member.

Learning communitiesLearning communities serve as a recruitment tool and enhance the experience of students who enroll. To help Liberal Arts move forward as a destination college, faculty teams are encouraged to develop new learning communities, residential or non-residential.

Faculty teams of up to three members whose proposals are funded each will receive up to $5,000 for S&E or summer salary, at the discretion of each faculty member. All faculty, tenure track and non-tenure track, are eligible to submit a learning community proposal.

Experiential learningExperiential learning fulfills student interest in service and provides real world experience that complements classroom instruction. Experiential learning also responds to prospective student and parental interest in improving the employability of students after graduation. Faculty are encouraged to develop new experiential learning components to existing classes.

For the purpose of the Innovate Fund, experiential learning is defined as learning outside the classroom that has clear connections to real world opportunities and challenges.

Faculty whose proposals are funded will receive up to $5,000 for S&E or summer salary, at the discretion of the faculty member. All faculty, tenure track and non-tenure track, are eligible to submit an experiential learning proposal.

Application Process

The application process is intended to be quick and efficient. Faculty should first consult with their department head to solicit support for the project.

To be considered for funding, faculty will complete an online application including:

  1. General applicant information such as name, title, department, etc.
  2. Title of proposal (ex. name of gateway course, learning community, or experiential learning component ).
  3. Project summary: A brief description of the project, detailing specific educational goals.
  4. Opportunity: Explanation of why the faculty member(s) and program(s) are uniquely positioned to offer the new educational initiative.
  5. Relevance: Assessment of the proposed project in terms of student stakeholders, interest and enrollment, employer demand, and/or societal need.
  6. Plan of development: A step-by-step action plan and timeline, including necessary resources.
  7. Project components: Sample drafts of plans of study, syllabi, projects, assignments, etc.

Completed applications will be routed to the appropriate unit head and the CLA Dean’s Office for review and preliminary approval. All proposals must follow the approved rules and procedures currently governing curricular changes as outlined by the CLA Faculty Senate. 

Funding will be delivered when established benchmarks are reached and communicated to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. A final summary will be required at the completion of the project.

Last Revision: 8.18.16

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