What is student success within the context of SIF SEED funding grants?
This broad area could include projects from any university division. For example, a traditional area of student success is academic achievement, such as post-graduation achievement in graduate school or post-college employment. This type of definition is also linked to student outcomes that benefit the student or society, such as proficiency in writing, speaking, critical thinking, scientific literacy, and a capacity to work with people from different backgrounds, so projects that support students in these areas would be appropriate. More recent notions of student success are associated with the student experience outside the classroom, such as advising or co-curricular activities. For these proposals, even our business practices might be linked to student success. For example, financial advising or certain human resources processes could qualify. The Strategic Planning Committee will be looking for proposals that clearly demonstrate how the project will impact student success. Here are a few specific types of proposals:
Development of a process to track alumni after they graduate.
A project such as this one could inform a department of the kind of employment alumni pursue. It could also give a department specific information about students who go on to graduate school or other forms of post-graduate work. This information could inform curricular development as well.
Development of supplemental instruction.
Based on information regarding high failure rate courses, a department might use SEED funding to develop a peer tutoring opportunity in these courses. This type of project could improve progress toward a degree, help alleviate bottleneck courses, and help struggling students succeed.
Development of a tool to assist student athletes in the time management of studying, training, nutrition, and physical and mental health routines.
These are only a few examples.
It is not expected that projects will improve graduation rates in a couple of years. This sort of claim would not be realistic. However, it is possible that assessment results could indicate that a particular practice might lead to student success. For example, an alternative pedagogy that showed greater student achievement in a subject area over a two-year period compared with the usual teaching methodology would be an acceptable approach to demonstrating improvements in student success. Qualitative approaches that might measure students’ perceptions of their experience on a project would also be an acceptable form of evaluation.