The ACS grant program currently has three priority areas. We encourage proposals that advance Innovative Instruction, Collaborative Curriculum, and Diversity and Inclusion. Below is information based on our Mellon grant that should inform all proposals and that will guide our selection process.

Innovative Instruction

We want to develop learning-based pedagogy (the process of applying lessons from cognitive science and neuroscience) and blended learning (or technology-enhanced teaching). As research and innovation in these areas continue to grow, methods of teaching must be re-evaluated and adjusted accordingly. ACS seeks to support faculty members who are ready to adopt innovative pedagogies. We invite proposals designed to renew and invigorate teaching methods and incorporate assessment instruments that draw upon current research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Collaborative Curricula

As a consortium, ACS prioritizes multi-campus involvement in curricular projects. We want to support experimentation among a number of collaborative strategies and goals, including expanding study away opportunities, protecting low-enrolled courses, benefiting disciplines with limited representation, and supporting efforts to create collaborative departments or programs. ACS has assembled teams and will provide support to address curricular content, instructional technology, and logistical details. We will not dictate the appropriate models for these initiatives, but we anticipate highly experimental and creative approaches to curriculum-sharing.

Diversity and Inclusion

The fact that our colleges are based in the South, just a generation away from segregation, makes diversity and inclusion matters of particular salience and urgency. We will encourage grant proposals that nurture new approaches in the classroom, and approaches specifically geared toward a greater understanding of diverse experiences, and sensitivity toward building inclusive communities. We encourage proposals that incorporate inclusive pedagogies, strategies for improving student success, and interventions focused on transforming our campuses into more diverse and inclusive spaces.

In addition to considering the above guidelines, all proposals should demonstrate:

  • direct links to the grant theme/s based on the definitions provided above.
  • impact that the project will have on participating campuses (i.e., desired outcomes relative to the current campus context).
  • the scholarship related to project needs and goals (e.g., literature on inclusive pedagogy for a proposal on diversity and inclusion).
  • impact (or potential impact) across the ACS system (e.g., the intended sharing of the project results).
  • insights from relevant campus offices and leaders (e.g., Diversity and Inclusion Officers, Teaching and Learning Centers)
  • a plan for sustaining the project after the grant period ends (e.g., through campus investments or adjustments in faculty load/time).
  • linkages between project goals, outcomes, and budget requests (i.e., demonstrate that your funding requests are clearly designed to meet your project goals).

Budget information:

ACS is excited to report that we received many more pre-proposals than we anticipated. While this is good news, it also means that our budget is under pressure to fund as many projects as possible. In an effort to equalize stipend amounts across our campuses and make sure our budget can cover all stipend requests, ACS has set the following limits that should be reflected in all budgets at the final proposal stage:

  • Faculty full stipends: $2,500
  • Faculty partial stipends: $500
  • Full staff professional development funds: $2,500
  • Partial staff professional development funds: $500
    • Note that, due to labor law requirements across most of our campuses, staff are ineligible for stipends. Instead, staff will be eligible for professional development funds at the levels described.
  • Lodging: $150/night
  • Meals: $25/meal (lunch or dinner), $40/day total
  • Travel: $350 (unless otherwise justified, e.g., depending on distance/location).
  • Honoraria and consultants: ACS has not set a limit and will evaluate dollar amounts at the final proposal stage

Please also note that:

  • Conferences, workshops, speakers, events, and symposia that are deemed one-time in nature will not be funded unless their centrality to the projects is demonstrated and the explanation includes tangible outcomes and action steps.
    • For example, if a one-time class is proposed, explain how it could lead to collaborative programming in the future if successful; if a workshop is proposed, explain the cascading effects that are expected once participants return to their home campuses; if an honorarium for a speaker is requested, explain how the lecture will have benefits beyond those immediately attending).

When devising budgets, please note that ACS cannot fund:

  • Student costs (including graduate students): stipends, financial aid, wages, tuition (in sum, no direct payments to students)
  • Overhead and indirect costs (fringe benefits, FICA), i.e., anything on top of stipends
  • Alcohol

Please contact ACS if you have any questions about these budget guidelines. We will be looking carefully at all budget requests and look more favorably upon those that conform to these guidelines. Thank you for helping ACS fund as many projects as our sources will allow and for the work you are doing as part of our grant program.