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The Teaching Development Grant (TDG) program is designed to provide a source of financial support for the instructional activities of full-time faculty members at Penn State Shenango.  It is intended to improve classroom instruction and enhance the quality of teaching and learning.


Instructional Improvement Projects


The following is an illustrative, but not exhaustive, list of examples of projects appropriate for TDG proposals:


                        1.      Developing an online or blended technologies course involving one or more faculty members in the course development.

                        2.      Requesting software to assist with the development of supplemental materials or resources for a course.     

                        3.      Hiring students to assist with the development of web site for practice exercises.

                        4.      Traveling to a pedagogical conference to learn new ways to teach a course.

                        5.      Developing alone or in a team a new course to support a campus program.

                        6.      Significantly revising and improving a course or series of courses.

                        7.      Experimenting with and documenting new teaching approaches in the applicant’s discipline.

                        8.      Working cooperatively with others to explore, document, and develop interdisciplinary teaching approaches.

                        9.      Experimenting with and documenting team teaching approaches.

                       10.      Designing and testing methods for evaluating teaching.

                       11.      Developing study abroad experiences.

                       12.      Designing a course module(s) using blended technologies.


Instructions for the Preparation of the Proposal


Components of the Proposal:


Your proposal must include the following sections (in order):


1.   Budget Summary Cover Sheet (use attached form)


2.   Proposal Text (maximum of 2 pages) written in a manner easily understood by those outside of the discipline.


3.   Previous Teaching-Related Support:  For your three most recent awards related to improving teaching, list the year and amount of the award and the outcome of the project.


4.   Itemized Budget Information:  Explain the components of the budget presented in the budget summary.  Identify any in-kind support provided by your campus and sources of support from outside the college, e.g., the Schreyer Institute, DEF.


5.   Evaluation page (use attached form)


Proposal Text


The following topics must be discussed in the proposal in plain English (i.e., without disciplinary jargon): 


1.   Objectives:  Briefly describe the course as it currently exists and the problem(s) you plan to address. State clearly and briefly what you plan to accomplish.


2.      Proposed solution:  Describe the project activities you are planning and explain how they are related to the objectives.  Explain how you plan to accomplish each objective.  This section should identify the following as appropriate for the project: active learning, learner-centered projects, cooperative and group learning, appropriate use of instructional technology, faculty collaboration, feasibility of completing a high-quality project within the time period specified and with the available resources, usefulness to other faculty at the campus or at another University college campus.


3.      Assessment of student learning: Briefly explain your plan to assess student learning as a result of the proposed change(s).


4.      Timeline: Outline the work completed to date on this project and your timeline with specific dates for the completion of the project.


Include adequate information in each section to support the evaluation of the proposal by the reviewers, including the expected impact on the learning environment and students in the course.



Budget Development


Budget items must be clearly itemized and related directly to project activities. 




Keep the following in mind as you prepare your budget:


1.      It is expected that most funded proposals will receive between $250 and $500.  However, no amount of support is too small to be requested through a TDG proposal.   Proposals that request funding at a level higher than $500 will be considered. However, these requests must clearly demonstrate the need for more extensive financial support. 


2.      Opportunities for matching funds for projects should be explored. For example, the Schreyer Institute offers several teaching grants.


3.                  The purchase of software, printed material, microfiche, supplies, small equipment, and other similar materials may be included if the purchase is directly related to the activities of the project.  The purchase of microcomputers will not be supported.


4.                  Travel may be included, but it must be clearly explained in the proposal why travel is essential for the conduct of the proposed project and its expected outcomes. Note that up to $500 for travel to disseminate findings of course and curricular change or to attend workshops and conferences on instructional methods may be requested through the Schreyer Institute Teaching Enrichment Travel Grants: http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/


5.      Stipends, summer support and released time from teaching may not be requested.


6.      Funds to hire students to assist with a project may be requested.


Procedure for submission


The call for TDG proposals will be sent to the faculty in January. Proposals will be due January 30. The completed proposal should be sent to eja12@psu.edu. 


Proposal Review Process


  • TDGs are awarded on a competitive basis. 


  • Each proposal is evaluated by a committee.  The DAA will make the final decisions on the award of funds.  Some proposals may receive only partial support due to budget constraints. 

Project Completion


At the conclusion of the project, faculty members will provide a brief report (one page) on the project to their DAA. This report should include the assessment of the planned outcomes of the project. The report may be submitted by email.

Because of the temporary nature of the funds for the TDGs, project money should be expended by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) that follows the year in which the award is granted.  However, short-term extensions may be granted with the approval of the DAA.  A request for an extension may be made by sending an email message.  A brief explanation of the reason for the extension must be provided.