Teagle Grant to Improve Student Engagement
The Teagle Foundation has awarded a three-year, $150,000 grant to Occidental College to fund an academic support assessment project designed to improve student learning.
The goal is to strengthen student engagement and learning by more closely aligning the goals of student academic support services with those of the academic program.
“It’s very unusual for a small liberal arts college to formally assess its support functions,” said Dean Eric M. Frank, who will serve as the principal investigator on the project. “We’ll be able to gather some real data and use that information to improve the student experience and enhance the educational partnership between support services and academic departments.”
The campus groups that will participate in the project include the Center for Teaching Excellence; the Center for Community Based Learning; the Office of Fellowships, Scholarships, and National Advising; the Multicultural Summer Institute; and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, among others. The ultimate goal is to more actively link these academic partnership units to the intellectual satisfaction and academic success of students, and to align support resources with the curriculum. The project will establish assessment plans with clear outcomes for each support unit, and will develop a website where findings will be posted. Experts from the outside will be brought in to help with the assessment. The data will also be presented at national conferences.
For 60 years, the New York City-based Teagle Foundation has given high priority to helping students enjoy the benefits of an intellectually stimulating college education. It supports programs that increase student engagement and learning in the liberal arts and sciences. It believes that systematic, ground-up, faculty-led assessment is one of the most powerful ways to improve student learning in the liberal arts. Teagle grants are made with the intent of generating new ideas, know-how, and approaches. For more information, go to http://www.teaglefoundation.org/home.htm.