Scholarships in this category are designated specifically for those activities, materials, or equipment that focus on the development of a faculty member’s skills, teaching methods, and/or techniques and strategies for the improvement of instructional effectiveness in the classroom. These grants do not usually fund travel to annual or general purpose meetings unless directly linked to pedagogical outcomes. They can fund travel to special or one-of-a-kind meetings that have a narrowly-defined pedagogical or curricular focus. They may also fund extra expenses incurred by faculty who wish to attend particularly relevant pre-convention or post-convention workshops.
To be considered for funding in this category, the applicant must:
- On the application, discuss anticipated linkages among proposed activity, learning objectives, and instructional effectiveness.
Provide a program or list of activities clearly and directly connected to the applicant’s teaching field. Specific sessions to be attended should be clearly indicated.
Provide the syllabi of the particular courses that are being improved by this activity with particular learning objectives impacted.
Examples of proposals the committee has funded:
(1) An Assistant Professor of Biology attends a National Science Foundation Seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn the latest strategies for engaging students in laboratory learning, which relates directly to a course the professor teaches, ___________. The delivery of very detailed and difficult information will be modified based on strategies learned at the seminar, which are designed to now provide students with organizational tools for storing, retrieving, applying knowledge and techniques for laboratory applications and practice.
(2) An Associate Professor of History attends a Humanities Endowment Workshop in Atlanta to learn about methods of interpreting and synthesizing information from reports on Civil War battles fought in Georgia. The methods learned will help the instructor to communicate social and political contexts of the Civil War period more effective and engage students in comparison with contemporary contexts.
(3) A music professor attends a conference where one of the sessions explores a new technique of performance. The professor explains how learning this new technique will enhance his/her teaching in the applied studio and beyond. The information in the session the professor will attend cannot be learned properly without physically being at the conference and learning first-hand from the presenter.
Examples of common mistakes which resulted in the committee not awarding a Scholarship:
(1) Objectives are weak. The applicant does not make direct connections between the request being funded and the courses taught. In addition the application is missing course numbers, titles, and syllabi for specific courses that will be enhanced by attending the conference.
(2) Weak or missing outcomes. A music professor wishes to attend a festival or conference of music in order to gain insight into new music practices or performances. He/she does not have a specific purpose of how the conference will enhance his/her teaching techniques, methods, strategies or skills.
(3) Workshops, seminars, courses, etc. on the subject matter or skill development outlined in the request are offered through VSU.
(4) The application is not complete (Missing: Documentation of the event, itemized budget, syllabi etc.) or the applicant has submitted old outdated forms.
(5) Requests are being requested which are retroactive to the event.