Academic Growth and Innovation Fund

Purpose and Description 

This pilot initiative grew out of the College’s focus on academic excellence, innovation, and financial sustainability and the recognition that the College needs to grow revenue beyond traditional undergraduate and graduate tuition.  The purpose of the fund is to encourage and support innovative academic ideas that will positively impact our revenue within the next three years.

The definition of “idea” is fairly broad.  It may involve new academic programs, revisions to existing programs including delivering them in a new way, continuing education programs, “bootcamps” or bridge programs, co-curricular programming or enhancements, new advising systems or processes, experiences that bring students to the College, or any other academic innovation that may enhance the College’s academic excellence and revenue, including realizing savings (budget relief).

The stage of development of the idea is also somewhat open.  Projects may be in the early stages of development and involve the collection of data needed to fully conceptualize an innovative idea, or they may be more fully developed and require resources to move to the implementation phase.

The types of support you may request depends on your idea’s stage of development:

  • Ideation
    • Description:  At this stage you have an idea that you want to flesh out in more detail.  You might need support to gather benchmarking data or attend a conference to learn about good practice.
    • Eligible Expenses:  Stipends, support for data collection activities, support for professional development activities or materials
  • Concept Stage
    • Description:  At this stage you have a fairly well developed idea which you would like to test for viability/marketability.
    • Eligible Expenses:  Stipends, support for data collection activities, support for professional development activities or materials
  • Working Model Stage
    • Description:  At this stage you have a fairly well developed model that you would like to test out and bring closer to implementation.
    • Eligible Expenses:  Stipends, materials, equipment, student or staff assistant

 

Eligibility

All full-time faculty and staff are eligible to submit proposals.  Multi-author team proposals are accepted and encouraged; however, the lead author on the proposal must be a full-time, non-contingent employee.

 

Application Materials

Applicants should submit proposals and other application materials to Innovation@stmarys-ca.edu.  Required materials include:

  • A formal proposal (proposal template can be found here)
  • Letter(s) of Support from department chair/unit head and Dean/VP
  • Letter(s) of Support from other internal entities (as appropriate)
  • Budget Narrative and Budget

There will be an information session in early December in which detailed information and tips will be provided for completing the application materials, writing a strong proposal, and developing a budget for your project.

In addition, if you have questions about this grant program you can submit them to Innovation@stmarys-ca.edu.

 

Evaluation Criteria

Project proposals will be evaluated on the following dimensions:

  • Alignment with mission and strategic priorities
  • Potential impact on revenue
  • Potential impact on academic quality
  • Leveraging existing infrastructure
  • Impact on student success (especially for students who are in higher risks groups or circumstances)
  • Impact on equity and inclusion
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-department collaboration
  • Likelihood of successful completion within time specified

 

Please click here for the Information Session Powerpoint