Assessment Grant Incentive Program

AY 2019-2020 Call for Proposals
 

Purpose, Overview, and Available Funding
This grant award is made to either an academic unit or a student-service unit to help propel improvements related to student learning. Academic year awards of up to $2,500* will be made; total funds available for this RFP are $5,000. Funds will be available on or after July 1, 2019 and must be expended by June 2020 (i.e., by the end of the 2019-2020 academic year (AY)). Funding requests that include stipends will only be considered if stipends support activities that would occur outside the course of the normal academic year, as defined by the MSCA contract. The award would be based upon a proposal that describes how the project would advance assessment efforts beyond those possible given existing resources (see the attached rubric for complete evaluation criteria).        

Eligibility and Exclusions
The grant is open to all MMA academic and student-service units. Project leaders and team members may be full-time faculty (including those on sabbatical), part-time faculty, and staff. Students are also welcome to serve as team members. Priority will be given to projects that are broad-reaching (e.g., those that span multiple departments or programs). Stipends may only be used to support activities that would occur outside the course of the normal academic year, as defined by the MSCA contract. Stipends can only be used to support work that is not being funded through other means.

Use of Funds
Funds may be used for any of the following purposes:

  • Funding for a team to attend an off-site institute (e.g., NEean Summer Institute; AAC&U summer institutes) to work on curriculum development and/or new programmatic activities based on assessment data;
  • Support for faculty participation in short-term professional development programs to study disciplinary topics in need of being integrated into course offerings (e.g., National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Programs, CIEE International Faculty Development Seminars, MIT Professional Education Short Programs);
  • Training of faculty in assessment methods (e.g., team travel to relevant conferences and workshops);
  • Summer stipends to advance assessment efforts (e.g., evaluation of student work; development of new measures or rubrics to assess student learning; focus groups or interviews to provide information on students’ experiences);
  • Support to engage with external consultants to assist with assessment efforts (e.g., data analysis; development of new measures or rubrics to assess student learning; focus groups or interviews to provide information on students’ experiences);
  • Purchase of resources and materials (e.g., books, software, or commercially available instruments) to support assessment of student learning;
  • Funding a department or interdepartmental retreat for discussion of assessment plans and activities;
  • Hosting of external speakers or workshop facilitators on campus.
     

Application Procedure and Review Process
Proposals should follow the format noted below. They should be submitted electronically no later than May 4, 2019, to the MMA Office of Institutional Effectiveness (oie@maritime.edu). They will be evaluated by the campus-wide assessment committee using the attached rubric. The campus-wide assessment committee will make award recommendations to the Provost/Chief Academic Officer, who will make the final selection(s). Notifications of awards will be made on or before May 31, 2019. Any stipends will be paid out through an O3 contract.

Proposal Format

The proposal should not exceed eight double-spaced pages. It should include the following components:

  • Identification of the project leader(s) and team members responsible for project work;
  • A detailed project description, including its connection to student learning assessment;
  • A statement of the anticipated impact or how the project moves assessment efforts forward (whether within the unit or beyond);
  • A statement of how the project would advance assessment efforts beyond those possible given existing resources;
  • A statement of how the project is engaging, creative, or novel in approach, content, or delivery;
  • An evaluation plan for how success in meeting desired project outcomes will be measured;
  • Identification of key project deliverables;
  • A budget and timeline;
  • Any additional supporting materials.
     

Campus-Wide Assessment Symposium
Recipients will be expected to share their work at a campus-wide assessment symposium to take place in fall 2020 (i.e., the fall semester following the end of the grant period). Project teams should prepare a one- to two-page summary of their work and prepare a poster or other visual aid to display at the symposium. The prepared summary will be shared with the Provost/Chief Academic Officer, posted to the MMA website, and made available to symposium attendees. Summaries should include the following minimum components:

  • An abstract of 100 or fewer words describing the project.
  • Identification of the project leader(s) and team members responsible for project work;
  • A brief project description, including its connection to student learning assessment;
  • Key highlights of the project’s impact or how the project moved assessment efforts forward (whether within the unit or beyond);
  • Reflections on the successes and challenges of the project, including details of the degree to which proposed project outcomes were met;
  • Any next steps based on project outcomes;
  • Recommendations of processes, strategies, tools, etc. that others may adapt or adopt based on project outcomes.

Project teams may also share any supplementary materials that help to explain the impact of the work (e.g., copies of submitted articles, conference proceedings/presentations, rubrics, or in-house assessment instruments).

*Awards for proposed projects spanning multiple departments or programs would be shared among those units.

Printable Version

 
Assessment Grant Incentive Program Rubric
 

Poor (1-3)

Adequate (4-6)

Excellent (7-10)

1. Description of the project
  The project description lacks adequate identification of the project purpose, goals, and criteria for success. There is little/no discussion of the connection between the project and improvements related to student learning. The project description offers some identification of the project purpose, goals, and criteria for success. Some discussion of the connection between the project and improvements related to student learning.  The project description provides detailed identification of the project purpose, goals, and criteria for success. There is a clear and detailed connection between the proposed project and improvements related to student learning. The significance of the proposed activities are clear and well-defined. Explains how the project advances assessment in the program/s or department/s.
2. Anticipated impact
  Discussion of anticipated project impact is absent, incomplete, and/or unclear. As relevant, objectives for advancing assessment are not readily attainable or measurable, and/or not firmly connected to problems/needs. Some discussion of anticipated project impact is included. As relevant, some objectives for advancing assessment may not be readily attainable, measurable, or firmly connected to problems/needs. Anticipated project impact is thoroughly described. Project includes broad-reaching goals, spanning multiple departments or programs. As relevant, objectives for advancing assessment are readily attainable or measurable and firmly connected to problems/needs.
3. Relationship to assessment activities
  Unclear which, if any, assessment activities have informed the proposed project, or will be supported by the grant. If assessment activities are described, it is unclear how they relate to the goals and objectives of the project. Includes some discussion of how prior assessment of student learning informs the proposed project or how assessment of student learning will be used in the project. There is some connection between either the findings of prior assessment or the proposed assessment methods and the stated project goals and objectives. It is clear either how prior assessment of student learning informs the project or how proposed assessment of student learning will be used in the project. There is a clear connection between either the findings of prior assessment or the proposed assessment methods and the stated project goals and objectives.
4. Evaluation of the project
  Lacks information about how the project will be assessed. Specified evaluation method is incompatible with project goals and/or objectives. Includes an explanation of how the project will be assessed but could benefit from further detail. Some components of the project assessment plan and/or methods may be unclear. Clear and thorough explanation of how the project goals and objectives will be assessed. Appropriate evaluation methods are presented and explicitly connected to the stated project activities.
 5. Timetable
  Project timeline is not provided. Includes a description of scheduled activities but could benefit from further detail. Clear and detailed project timetable. Schedule of activities is logical and feasible in relation to project goals, objectives and budget.
       
 6. Program deliverables & dissemination
  Fails to describe how the findings from this project will benefit the department or program. Outcomes and/or deliverables are not described. Provides information on how the findings will benefit the grant awardee and/or how the project may serve as a model. Includes a partial explanation of project outcomes and/or deliverables. Clearly states how the project will address priorities and will serve as a model to others. Project outcomes and/or tangible deliverables are thoroughly described (e.g. assessment tool, syllabus for a redesigned course, presentation of results to academic unit on campus, conference proposal, etc.).
7. Innovation
  Proposal does not address how the project will be engaging, creative, or novel. Proposal identifies how the project will be engaging, creative, or novel in approach, content, or delivery. Proposal provides strong evidence that the project will be engaging, creative, and novel in its approach, content, or delivery
8. Budget
  Key expenses are neither described nor justified. Some expenses are described and justified. May be unclear how the budget expense categories or amounts were determined. Key expenses are fully described and justified. The method for arriving at the budgeted expense categories and amounts is clearly explained. Budget is directly connected to project description, goals, and timetable. Explains how the project advances assessment beyond what is possible with existing resources.
9. Clarity
  Too short or too long, vague and/or includes extraneous information. Difficult to read or understand. Contains unsupported statements. Generally well-written with clear, concise statements. Thinking is clear and easy to follow. Pages are numbered. Stays within guidelines. Proposal is appropriate. Very well-written, supported by factual statements and statistics. Key elements of the proposal are highlighted with headings, bullets, etc. Interesting to read. Concrete, specific language. Includes supporting documents that enhance the understanding of the project.