Center for Teaching and Learning

Learning Inquiry Group Grant

The purpose of the EMCC Learning Inquiry Group Pilot Program is to encourage interdisciplinary engagement in topics related to student success and retention.  Participants in the project receive a stipend, which is dispersed at the completion of the project

Due to the funding mechanism for the program, the pilot will focus on residential faculty.  Anyone can participate, but only residential faculty can receive the stipend. In addition, the number of stipends that can be offered is limited to 15.  If the pilot is successful, we will work at extending the Learner Inquiry Groups to include all employees (including adjunct faculty and staff). 

A Learner Inquiry Group will consist of 3-5 people who will be committed to investigating a topic that impacts student success and engagement, These groups will:

  • Decide on a topic they wish to study.
  • Meet at least monthly to discuss their progress on the topic. 
  • Report on their progress using an online reporting tool.
  • Present their findings at an EMCC event.
  • Create an assessment on EMCC's Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System.

In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate within and across divisions and areas of the college to impact student learning. Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, November 4, 2016.  Please submit them by email to the CTL Director.

The application with timeline, checklist and rubric are available here:

What topics can be explored?

The topic to be explored is up to the group! Each Inquiry Group may choose its own area of inquiry, but the topic must be related to student success retention, and persistence. If you are looking for ideas to explore, here are some suggestions that may help generate some ideas:

  • How can open educational resources be used to increase student retention?
  • How can mobile devices be used to increase student engagement in the classroom?
  • How can service learning be implemented in the classroom to improve student learning?
  • Are there effective ways of integrating tutoring services into classroom practice?
  • How can student presentations be more effectively integrated into classroom practice?
  • How can course content and homework be used to engage students in socially relevant issues?
  • How can open-ended or inquiry-based research be integrated into classroom practice.
Who can apply for a grant?

Anyone can participate in a group, but due to the constraints of the grant's funding mechanism

  • Only residential faculty are eligible to receive a stipend.
  • Each Learning Community (consisting of 3-5 residential faculty, plus other participants) submits one grant proposal.
What are the funding guidelines?

When applying for a grant, please keep in mind the following:

  • To receive funding, a Learning Inquiry Group must score at least an 80% on the application.
  • Each participant in a Learning Inquiry Group will receive a stipend of $500 upon completion of the group project (e.g., when the final report is delivered and the CATS is complete).
  • Funding is only for the Spring 2017 semester.
  • An individual can only participate in one inquiry group to get compensation. Faculty are welcome to participate in more than one group, but cannot be compensated for more than one.
  • There are only sufficient funds for 15 faculty members.
  • If there are more fundable applicants than funds available, Learning Inquiry Groups will be funded in the order of the application scoring. 
  • If there are insufficient funds available to fund all members of a group (e.g., the lowest ranked group for which funds still exist), the group has the option to receive the remaining funds and have them evenly distributed to participants for less than $500.
What are the general expectations?

A Learning Inquiry Group should:

  • Address a topic directly address EMCC’s student completion and retention initiative.
  • Submit a proposal for funding by the first week of November.
  • Meet at least monthly (January-May, 2017) and post their findings on a pre-made Google site, which will be provided to each group.  All group members will actively participate in the meetings and discussions.
  • Create an assessment using EMCC’s CATS at the end of the project. 
  • Present at one or more events (e.g., Five Minutes of Fame, an “Assessment Happens” event, or Leadership Council).
What is the timeline of the learning inquiry groups grant?
  • October: Call for applications goes out the first week of October; Project submitted for approval to appropriate supervisors; Proposal is created.
  • November: Proposal is submitted to the CTL Director no later than the Friday of the first week of November.
  • December: Proposals are evaluated by the CTL Advisory Committee and determination of funding is sent to applicants by the Friday of the first week of December.
  • January: Funded Learning Inquiry Groups meet for the first time to work out the specific issues of their proposal, assign roles, and agree to protocol. Results are posted to a Google site provided by the CTL.
  • February-April: Groups meet at least monthly, reporting monthly on the provided Google sheet.
  • May: Outcomes of the project are shared with EMCC stakeholders (e.g.,“Five Minutes of Fame” event and/or Leadership Council), or a proposal to share outcomes for Fall is proposed. Feedback on the process and its value will be requested; stipends are paid to participants.
May I be part of more than one learning inquiry group?

Yes!  However, the stipend for this pilot program is limited to $500 per faculty, regardless of the number of inquiry groups a faculty participates in.  As the purpose of the program is to maximize faculty participation and provide an honorarium for our commitment to improving teaching and learning at EMCC.