Three types of funds are available to enhance assessment of student learning outcomes at Ferris State University. The three include conference funds, program improvement grants, and assessment-enhancement grants. Descriptions and criteria for each follow.
Funds for Conferences and Other AAAC Directed Assessment Enhancement Efforts
At the discretion of the AAAC, $15,000 will be available for assessment conferences and other activities directed by the AAAC. Additional funds not used for the grants may be used in this category as well. Any conference attendance or assessment efforts funded from this budget must be approved at a meeting of the AAAC by the members present or through an e-mail endorsement. Reports of conference participation are requested to share with others. Please see Assessment Funded Travel Process for further information.
Program Improvement Grants Based on Assessment Data
One of the greatest challenges of an assessment program is to get programs and faculty to convert assessment data into action. A crucial method of encouraging the utilization of assessment data in improving curriculum is providing a publicized grant for this purpose.
The AAAC will provide that up to three grants be awarded annually, with no grant to exceed $10,000, to programs that demonstrate, based on outcomes assessment data, a budgeted action plan to make improvements in their program, or to conduct essential assessment to lead to action. Since the number of grants is limited, the grant selection process is competitive.
Assessment Enhancement Grants
There is significant variation across Ferris in the quality of assessment. While most programs have clearly specified outcomes and multiple measures to determine that those outcomes are being met, some programs are less well informed about the process. Other programs are ready to make significant progress in their assessment activities. There are ongoing activities to enhance assessment activities including training by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, a regularly scheduled assessment day, mentoring by members of the assessment committees, and assistance by the Assessment Coordinator or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
However, programs that are less experienced at outcomes assessment or may incur costs in either initiating an assessment practice or improving their assessment model would benefit from grants available to assist them in their efforts. This may include specific activities such as bringing in a guest speaker or piloting a particular external instrument. These grants underscore Academic Affairs’ commitment to supporting quality assessment.
Up to five grants are available for instituting or improving assessment practices, with no grant to exceed $6,000.