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Campus Access and Success Grant

The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity Campus Access and Success Grant began in 2007 when Penn State created an alternative program to the state-funded Pennsylvania Higher Education Equal Opportunity Act of 1971 to better serve Penn State students.

 

Request for Proposals for Academic Year 2023-2024

The purpose of the Campus Access and Success Grant is to increase college access, facilitate college transition, and encourage college success for Pennsylvania students who wish to attend Penn State, but may not have a typical academic profile due to socio-economic disadvantages, under resourced high schools, or other systemic barriers.

The Campus Access and Success Grant provides seed funding for new or pilot programs and is open to all Penn State Commonwealth Campuses and University Park that serve undergraduate students. Commonwealth Campuses are strongly encouraged to apply for the Campus Access and Success Grant (CASG) and will be given priority status in the grant process, but (CASG) will also consider University Park Campus applications. Funding should be used toward co-curricular programs and academic resources for new initiatives to recruit, retain, and support students under Campus Access and Success Grant guidelines. Renewal is possible for up to five years.

Program Components 

Programs funded by Campus Access and Success Grants are intended to be new initiatives that support student recruitment, retention, success, and graduation rates through campus engagement, academic support, identity development, and ultimately developing a sense of belonging.

Strong proposals and programs will include a comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes; alignment with the University and campus strategic planning and DEIB goals; responsible stewardship of grant money; collaborations with campus partners; and use of existing University resources.

Funded initiatives must demonstrate the ability to address the following:

  • College access: recruitment and retention
  • College transition: sense of belonging, identity as a scholar and Penn State student
  • College success: academic performance, persistence to graduation


New initiatives and programs may include and are not limited to:

  • Assessment of student readiness
  • Summer pre-orientation or summer bridge programs
  • Peer mentorship
  • Faculty mentorship
  • Living-Learning Program (funding may be used to support programmatic elements, may not assist with room and board costs)
  • Cohort-based seminar to build academic skills, including time management, studying, writing skills, analytical skills (funding may be used to support programmatic elements, may not be applied toward instructor salaries or tuition)
  • Community engagement and activities (on and off campus) to encourage sense of belonging (funding may be used to purchase tickets and provide transportation; limited funding for food)
  • Service-learning programs (including alternative break trips)
  • Academic coaching or advising (on-campus only, may not be used toward external organizations, online services, or vendors; may not be used for salaries or stipends)
  • Academic planning, financial literacy, career development
  • Family engagement
  • Identity development, reflection, self-awareness, and self-advocacy programs

Program costs often must be shared with the campus or external funding sources, and programs should make use of existing campus resources, services, and programs. New initiatives funded by a Campus Access and Success Grant that prove to be successful should, in time, be supported by the regular operating budget or through external funding sources. The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity will fund ongoing projects for a period not to exceed five years, and a new proposal must be submitted each year to receive funding. After five years, funding will not be provided even if program support has not shifted to the unit or external sources.

Student Participant Eligibility

  • Pennsylvania residents, and
  • Students who may not meet the typical academic profile of an admitted student (please reference Penn State Admissions Statistics: https://admissions.psu.edu/apply/statistics/)
  • Students who may benefit from specialized support through a strong cohort-based community, including and not limited to:
    • First-generation college students
    • Economically disadvantaged students
    • Students from under resourced high schools
    • Students admitted through the Comprehensive Studies Program

Each campus is responsible for determining and delineating additional eligibility criteria and identifying participants in the proposal.

Funding Restrictions

  • Funding for campuses can only be granted from either EOPC or CASG. Campuses may not apply for funding from both programs for a single initiative.
  • Each campus may submit one grant proposal for program funding. The Office of Educational Equity encourages coordination across multiple units, which may include and is not limited to admissions, academic centers, departments, advising units, and student affairs
  • The full amount granted will be transferred to the responsible programming unit on or around July 1 with the new fiscal year
    • A detailed expense report is expected within six weeks of the close of the program
    • Unspent funding will roll over to the next fiscal year and must be accounted for in applications for renewed funding
      • If program will not be continued, responsible programming unit should discuss use of rollover funds with the Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity
      • If rollover funds are not used within two years of original grant, money shall be returned to the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
      • Funding should be used primarily for programming costs
      • Budget should include all projected costs and funding sources
      • May be used toward student salaries for hourly wages or small stipends (e.g., peer mentors, programming assistants)
      • May be used toward housing for summer bridge programs
      • May be used to subsidize student costs that may prohibit participation
      • May not be used toward tuition and fees
      • No t-shirts, gifts, or promotional items
      • No more than 25 percent of the total requested budget may be used toward book vouchers and emergency grants
      • No more than 15 percent of the total requested budget may be used toward food or entertainment
      • May not be used toward salaries of Penn State employees, including faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and instructors

 

Program Assessment Report

A program assessment report is required at the end of each program or academic year. If submitting a proposal for an ongoing program, the proposal should include a program assessment report due date. Funding will not be renewed if a report is not included with the proposal. If not applying for renewal, the program assessment report should be submitted to the Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity no later than June 1, 2023.

  • Assessment report should include:
    • Executive summary
    • Description of program components, collaborative partners, and list of activities
    • Assessment of student learning outcomes
    • Summary of participant experiences
    • Expense report
    • Participation/attendance report
    • Assessment report will be sent to the Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Chancellor, and Academic Officer

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals should follow the Campus Access and Success Grant form and include:

  • Executive summary
  • Program description
    • Eligibility and selection criteria
    • Goals and student learning outcomes
    • Curriculum
    • Assessment plan of student learning outcomes
    • Campus partners
    • Detailed budget
    • Letter of support from the Chancellor or Academic Officer
    • Signatures of Chancellor or Academic Officer, Immediate Supervisor, and Financial Officer
    • If renewal, assessment report from previous programs/year
      • Executive summary
      • Description of program components, collaborative partners, and list of activities
      • Assessment of student learning outcomes
      • Summary of participant experiences
      • Expense report
      • Participation/attendance report

 

Proposal Timeline

February 10, 2023
Request for proposals and renewals for Campus Access and Success Grant

May1, 2023 (End of Business Day.)
Campus Access and Success Grant Proposals Due

May 31, 2023
Campuses notified of proposal status

June 30, 2023
Funds released to sponsoring department (tentative)

 

Proposal Evaluation

Proposal submissions should explain clearly:

  • Purpose and goals of the Campus Access and Success Grant funded program
  • Alignment with the University or campus strategic plan
  • Program outcomes (e.g., “we will enroll twenty participants in a four-week summer bridge program,” “we will create four lectures”) and learning outcomes (e.g., “as a result of this program, students will be able to self-assess academic strengths, identify academic support resources on campus, and engage in student organizations and community events”)
  • Program components that we could reasonably expect to support the achievement of the outcomes
  • An appropriate evaluation and assessment plan inclusive of each programmatic goal and student learning outcome
  • A budget compliant with Campus Access and Success Grant guidelines and aligned well with program components

Campus Access and Success Grant Contact Information

Dr. SeriaShia Chatters
Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity
313 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
drchatters@psu.edu