By Dr. Brad K. Mazon
Director of Fundraising and Advancement
Since we announced our inaugural competitive IDEA Impact Grant Call for Proposals, we have been astounded by the degree of interest. Whether it was an inquiry from a client institution, a discussion at a national conference, or a LinkedIn information request, it became clear early on that interest was high. We couldn’t have known then that there would be over 450 downloads of the application, with 126 institutions around the world ultimately submitting their applications. We were humbled and excited by the prospect of reviewing such carefully conceived and written projects that represented new thinking in higher education teaching, learning, and issues of campus climate.
Recently, six institutions were awarded a 2016-2017 IDEA Impact Grant. The schools and their projects, which include five focused on Teaching and Learning and one focused on Campus Climate, are:
- Cameron University, Lawton, OK – Embedded Peer Tutoring Project
- Everett Community College, Everett, WA – Using Formative Feedback to Improve Learning Outcomes
- Marian University, Indianapolis, IN – Bridging Faculty Development to Student Learning: Training, Intervention, and Impact
- Nazareth College, Rochester, NY – Improving Interdisciplinary Integration and Meaningful Assessment Practices through Pedagogical Support
- Tufts University, Medford, MA – Documenting the Impact of Inclusive Excellence in Faculty Development Programming
- University of Massachusetts (Lowell), Lowell, MA – Teaching the Science of Learning
With their projects, grantee institutions seek not only to improve student learning, enhance faculty development, and provide training and support, but to also engage in meaningful assessment. Grantees evidenced budgets that supported their narrative proposals, and clearly indicated in their proposals how they would work collaboratively with IDEA to disseminate their project findings in ways that have general applicability to a broad audience. We look forward to working with these institutions over the next year to leverage IDEA Impact Grant funds in meaningful ways.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the individual donors who gave their support to our inaugural round of Impact Grants. Their donations, in combination with institutional funds, made these grant awards possible. I look forward to remaining in contact with these donors, and with new donors to IDEA, to communicate the impact that these grant awards will ultimately have. It is certain that the stories that result from these projects will be ones that will resonate not only with our donors, but with all of IDEA’s many constituencies.
The great educational reformer Horace Mann said, “Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.” I firmly believe that our Impact Grants will help make the right things happen. I look forward to the journey with our grantees, donors, and with the broader higher education teaching and learning community.