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Academic Innovation & Effectiveness

Academic Innovation & Effectiveness
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Senior Assignment Fund

Established in 1994, the Senior Assignment Fund serves as an indicator of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's serious commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. Senior Assignment Funds are administered through the Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness, and are available to all departments and programs at the University with Senior Assignments (SRAs). These funds are utilized to enhance existing Senior Assignments, facilitate continuous refinement, and foster innovation and improvement of Senior Assignments.

Departments or programs applying for Senior Assignment Funds from the Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness must use the specified fund proposal format as outlined later in this document. The Committee on Assessment (COA) evaluates these proposals and selects which will be funded for the following academic year.

The Committee on Assessment, using merit criteria, evaluates the proposals and selects those that will be funded the following year (click here for evaluation rubric). COA will establish two pools of applicants; one pool for those programs who have not received SRA funding three or more years prior to the application and one pool for those who have received SRA funding in the three years prior to the application. Priority will be given to those programs that have not received funding within the past three years, however all funding is competitive. Units requesting consideration for Senior Assignment Funds in consecutive years must provide a reasonable amount of supporting funds from the department, school or college, or external source. Special consideration will be given to proposals directly related to the long-term improvement of the Senior Assignment.

Departments and programs that participate in the Senior Assignment Fund are required to write a summary report, due to the Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness at noon the last Monday in June. This report documents accomplishments as related to the intended outcomes of the project described in the SRA proposal. The report must provide an evaluation plan that includes: measurable goals or outcomes and assessment measures. Departments and programs that fail to meet this obligation may not apply to the Senior Assignment Fund for four years.

(Approved by the Committee on Assessment November 7, 2008)

The Senior Assignment Fund Structure

The Senior Assignment Fund is available to departments or programs (not individuals) to support Senior Assignments in accordance with program, departmental, and school/college goals.

The expected range of SRA Funds per department or program is $1,000 to $15,000. COA reserves the right to allocate lesser funding amounts than requested, even when proposals are rated strongly.

Guidelines for Funds

Funds can be used for:

  • Any item or activity that is clearly and directly related to the Senior Assignment. This includes: self-studies/evaluation of Senior Assignments, equipment, and special projects related to Senior Assignment.
  • Faculty, staff, graduate student, or student stipends, salaries and benefits if they are hired to work on projects directly related to the improvement of the Senior Assignment.
    • Under ordinary circumstances, summer stipends to support faculty work may not exceed $1000. Additionally, programs are limited to $3000 for summer stipends to support faculty work on a funded Senior Assignment proposal.
  • Departmental efforts that support approved Senior Assignment design and are available to all students.

Funds cannot be used for:

  • Stipends for participation in Senior Assignment activities.
  • Non-Senior Assignment program development.
  • Food.
  • Honors programs.
  • On-going stipends, salaries, and/or benefits for faculty, staff, graduate assistants, or students.
  • Stipends for faculty members who serve in an administrative capacity, such as Department Chairpersons or Program Directors, who have a 12-month contract and the expectation of leadership for senior assignment's oversight and improvement.
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