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The purpose of the Assessment Grant Initiative is to create a culture of continuous improvement by supporting informed decision making through the use of assessment. The grants are offered as a way for programs across campus to investigate new avenues in assessment, strengthen existing assessment designs, or implement action plans.

Grants are offered up to the amount of $1,000 and will be awarded to VT faculty or staff members in academic areas to conduct assessment-related projects or initiatives that directly support student learning outcome assessment processes for undergraduate, graduate, or certificate programs.

Successfully funded Assessment Grant Initiative projects will contribute to the ongoing development of Virginia Tech by providing “seed” money for programs or units to:

  • Develop assessment initiatives to enhance student learning or the student experience.
  • Develop a community of practitioners engaged in the assessment/continuous improvement process.
  • Generate examples of sound assessment practices that can be used by others across campus.

Examples of Appropriate Projects

All proposed projects will be considered for an award. However, priority will be given to those proposals that focus on developing or implementing direct measures of student learning. Some examples of potential grant projects include:

  • Purchasing measurement instruments including certification tests, professional exams, or discipline-specific standardized tests.
  • Implementing action plans that address previously identified areas for improvement.
  • Purchasing new technologies or software to address an identified deficiency in student learning.
  • Paying faculty stipends to conduct assessments such as rating student projects, developing test items, or redesigning project materials for assessment purposes that go above and beyond an instructor’s regular course responsibilities.
  • Funding external reviewers to rate student work such as juried committees, review of student performances, et cetera.

Funds may not be used for activities financed through other sources unless additional funds are needed to complete the project. In these cases, programs need to be specific and differentiate how funding from each source will be used. Grants will not be awarded for faculty or staff travel or to cover student stipends or incentives.

Proposal Review and Award Criteria

All proposals will be reviewed by Institutional Effectiveness personnel and evaluated on the basis of the quality of the design and the grant’s potential to contribute to ongoing assessment efforts at Virginia Tech. All grants must tie directly to the assessment of student learning or student experience.

Submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Purpose: How is the project expected to enhance assessment activities in the unit or program?
  • Method of Investigation: Is the methodology being used appropriate? Or, will the implementation of the action plan likely have the desired effect?
  • Measurable Outcomes: Does the program or unit define measurable outcomes for the project and explain how these align with their overall program or unit outcomes?
  • Analysis/Interpretation of Results: How will the results be analyzed and/or findings interpreted?
  • Appropriate Use of Funds: Are the funds being used for appropriate activities?
  • Dissemination: How will the findings/information learned from this project be disseminated to the greater VT community?

Requirements After Award

Awardees of all grants must be willing to share their assessment projects and results with the greater Virginia Tech community. Awardees will submit a brief summary of their findings to Institutional Effectiveness the year following the grant award. This summary should be less than 500 words and report on the results of the project, any challenges encountered during implementation, and future plans. In addition, the activities implemented or conducted as part of this award should be highlighted in annual assessment reports submitted by the program or unit.

Submitting your Grant Proposal

Currently we are not accepting proposals for Fall 2019. More information to come.