Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning are encouraged to apply by March 15 for a Smith Teaching and Learning Grant of up to $5,000, announced Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement.

There are two focus areas of this year’s awards: increasing course completion and student progress by reducing high C‑DFW rates (grades of C‑minus, D, F, or Withdraw) and/or closing equity gaps; and redesigning large lecture courses (100+ students) for active student engagement in a flipped or hybrid course design. Proposals should address one of the areas through innovative practices that improve student learning.

“Creative faculty have received dozens of Smith grant awards over the past two decades, and their diverse projects have resulted in many educational advances and new programs and pedagogies,” said Wack. “Thanks to Smith grants, thousands of undergraduates have reaped the benefits of faculty innovation throughout their educational experience at WSU.”

Eligibility and procedures

Faculty, including those who are clinical-track and instructors, from all campuses are eligible to submit proposals. Among other qualifications, they must have instructional responsibilities and a half-time or more appointment, with continuing employment in 2021–22.

Applicants cannot have received this grant in the past four years and must be endorsed by their chair. A wide variety of information must be included in each proposal, including a budget showing proposal expenditures, plus an outline of the proposal work to be undertaken and a timetable. Answers must be provided to such questions as, “What pedagogical or curricular issue will be identified, and how does your approach address it,” and, “What is the scope of impact of this proposal?”

Details are included in the online request for proposals (RFP); frequently asked questions are noted at the end of the RFP document. Proposals are submitted through an online application form embedded in the Smith grants page. Questions can be addressed to Wack at mwack@wsu.edu, or to Jeannie Holt by email at jmholt@wsu.edu or by phone at 509‑335‑8044.

Awards announcements

Those selected to receive the awards will get word in late April. The funds can be used as summer salary; benefits are paid from the award amount. Awardees must submit a final project report by Aug. 15, 2022.

The Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment was established in 2000 when WSU President Smith retired after 15 years of service to the university. The fund’s purpose is to recognize and reward innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning at WSU.

Complete information is available on the Smith Teaching and Learning Grants page of the DAESA website.