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Engaging Pedagogies for Student Success (Grants)

Engaging Pedagogies for Student Success – Making Good Courses Great

A focus on Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


Academic departments are invited to submit a proposal to transform course structures and/or pedagogy to increase student retention, success and learning.

Supported by the Provost’s Office, this program is designed to support the exploration and implementation of Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (EBIPs) in arts, humanities, and social science courses. EBIPs are engaging pedagogies that promote student learning and persistence.  They benefit all students, but are especially important to under-represented students, and those most at risk of failure.  EBIPs promote deep learning, self-efficacy, rapport with instructor, sense of community, degree commitment, and academic satisfaction. Information on a variety of EBIPs, including active/inquiry-based learning, discussion, and team-based learning is available on the CTL’s website: The CTL will host an open session for faculty in the arts, humanities and social sciences to explore ideas for supporting effective teaching practice through this grant program on January 25 from 1-2 PM in ILC 315.

The 2017 Engaging Pedagogies program is focused on foundational, lower division courses in arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Projects may be big or small, but must be ready for implementation no later than Spring 2018.

  • The ultimate expectation is that there is an intentional plan for incorporating engaging pedagogies in significant courses focused on students’ early academic careers.
  • All faculty involved in project implementation will attend a series of cohort meetings over the next academic year. A preliminary meeting will take place shortly after the recipients are announced.
  • During the week of May 15-19, 2017, faculty involved in the project are invited to participate in the CTL’s Course Design Institute. This experience will engage participants in sessions designed to support the project proposal and will earn each participant an additional $400 stipend.
  • Grant teams will submit status reports to the Grant Project Committee during the fall, spring, and summer terms. A notice will be sent to project leads when reports are due. See Report Requirements” for more information.
  • A course design document detailing the methods, tools, strategies, etc. planned for the redesigned course(s) will be submitted. Cohort meetings during Fall 17 will provide the opportunity to refine plans and prepare for its implementation.
  • Initial implementation of the redesigned course(s) will be in Fall 2017/Spring 2018.
  • A final report of the project, including a course design document detailing the methods, tools, strategies, etc. used in the redesigned course(s) will be submitted at the conclusion of the project.
  • Support for formative assessment and continued program improvement will occur through Spring 2018.
  • Program personnel will share ideas, knowledge, and best practices regarding innovating teaching practice with their colleagues at Boise State by participating in workshops and other faculty development offerings.


  • Eligible departments are those in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Public Service that offer courses in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Disciplinary Lens courses from other colleges focused in the arts, humanities, and social sciences are also eligible.
  • Faculty, inclusive of lecturers, in arts, humanities, and social science programs may apply.  Adjunct faculty are welcome to be involved as a part of a project team. If the project will involve adjunct faculty, please contact Teresa Focarile at to discuss additional budgeting and workload options.

Benefits for faculty participants

  • Time and financial resources for making good courses great.
  • Opportunity to support and expand the department’s student success and retention efforts.
  • Connection to a community of faculty within and beyond the department interested in exploring pedagogical issues and shaping campus culture.
  • Cultivation and demonstration of leadership skills as participants share strategies with their departments and colleges.
  • Potential to diversify research portfolios to include the scholarship of teaching and learning.  
  • During the week of May 15-19, 2017, faculty involved in the project are invited to participate in the CTL’s Course Design Institute. This experience will engage participants in sessions designed to support the project proposal and will earn each participant an additional $400 stipend.

Application Review Criteria

  • Anticipated course learning outcomes are clearly stated, with a clear articulation of how new pedagogies can be used to help achieve them.
  • There is a viable process for assessing results.
  • The proposal provides feasible plans for coordination/support in terms of resources and personnel.
  • The probability that the pedagogical change, if effective, will be sustainable, and/or that it will generate replicable models that will be synergistic with University initiatives/goals, is high. One way to improve the chances that change will be sustained is to involve a group of faculty in transformation of multiple courses.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that
    • Impact a significant number of lower division students.
    • Are focused on courses where students typically face significant challenges as indicated by high DWF rates (courses with high rates of Ds, Withdrawals, and Fs).
    • Specifically address the needs of students “at-risk” of dropping/stopping out.
    • Are from departments/programs that have not yet participated in the Engaging Pedagogies Grant Program.  (If a group has previously received funding, new applications must include information about the impact the previous funding had on student learning.)


  • Proposals may request funds for summer stipends for planning and development, course reductions for lead faculty to coordinate efforts and conduct assessment, student assistance (including learning assistants), training/workshops, academic materials and supplies, and other costs associated with the project.
  • Requested costs should be focused on supporting faculty to make changes to their teaching and/or strategies to engage students in courses.
  • Projects are recommended not to exceed $10K per project. Smaller-scale proposals are also welcome. All proposed costs must be clearly justified.

Application Procedure and Timeline

  • Letters of application and project budgets are due by 5 pm on Feb. 13, 2017.
    • Letters should address the following questions:  
      • Which course(s) would you target for pedagogical development or experimentation? Why?  
      • What ideas would you like to implement to foster student success in your target course? Or, if you’re just beginning to explore engaging pedagogies, where might you turn to learn about best practices?  
      • How would you characterize your department’s readiness and willingness to engage in conversations around pedagogy? Why is your target course a good place to begin or expand the conversation?  Who will participate in the project? What do you expect each team member will contribute?  
      • What impact might increase student success in the target course have on university-wide retention, and/or how might increased student success in the target course impact the department’s retention goals for majors?  
      • What support would your department need to develop and implement engaging pedagogy in your target course and elsewhere in the department’s curriculum?  
      • How will you assess the effectiveness of your project?  
      • How might you sustain the work of the project, if it proves effective, after the grant period ends?
    • Budgets should follow the the following format:
Work effort Payee Payment Amount Pay Date
  • Selection will be made by the Engaging Pedagogies for Student Success—Making Good Courses Great Project Committee (Leslie Durham, Andy Giacomazzi, Jim Munger, and Susan Shadle) and announced via email by March 17, 2017.

Potential applicants who would like to see examples of successful applications from the Spring 2016 call for proposals can view these proposals here.


This program is funded by the Complete College Idaho funding allocated by the State Board of Education to Boise State University to increase retention, graduation and student success.  


Questions can be directed to Susan Shadle (Center for Teaching and Learning), or Brittnee Earl,