Focus Indiana Foundational Studies Mini-Grant

The Center for Community Engagement, Foundational Studies Program, and College of Arts and Sciences are pleased to announce a mini-grant program to support development of foundational studies curriculum that helps students develop the soft skills commonly sought by employers. The purpose of this mini-grant program is to develop and expand high-impact practices that help students connect their liberal arts education with the demands of the 21st century workplace. This program provides financial assistance to regular faculty who are prepared to develop and implement such a project into a foundational studies course.

The guiding framework for this program is Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), an initiative of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. LEAP is a national initiative focused on championing the importance of a liberal education for the economic and democratic vitality of the nation. For additional information about LEAP go to:

This mini-grant program is part of Focus Indiana, a project funded by the Lilly Endowment with the goal of increasing economic opportunities for college graduates in Indiana.

Purpose of Grants

A wide variety of projects are funded. Priority will be given to projects that require students to demonstrate mastery of one of the following intellectual or soft skills targeted by the LEAP program:

  • Analytic inquiry
  • Information literacy
  • Engaging diverse perspectives
  • Quantitative fluency
  • Communication fluency

Faculty members are encouraged to be creative in developing projects and assignments that require students to demonstrate mastery of these skills. Following are examples of the types of activities that might be required of students:

  • Author and revise various forms of writing for different audiences.
  • Describe and execute the process for accessing information using the most effective search strategies and most appropriate information sources.
  • Comprehensively analyze, synthesize, and present information from a variety of sources. Utilize presentation formats, including visual representation, that enhance understanding.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use language appropriate for a variety of audiences.
  • Convert relevant information into mathematical portrayal.
  • Accurately explain and apply information provided in a mathematical form.
  • Develop a logical plan to solve a problem and articulate the consequences of the proposed solution.

In addition, projects funded through this grant should require students to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and receive specific feedback about their professional behavior. Examples of how students are required to demonstrate professionalism include the following:

  • Evaluation of oral presentations includes focus on delivery techniques, such as positive eye contact, posture, vocal expressiveness, and professional dress.
  • Grading rubrics include a focus on completing tasks by established deadlines.
  • Written communication is virtually error free. Writing assignments are revised until this standard is met.
  • Feedback is received, accepted, and applied to revisions of student work.
  • Professional demeanor is required in all class activities, including course-related E-mail, on-line and in-class discussions, and group work.


Instructors of foundational studies courses are eligible to apply. Departments may submit proposals for multiple sections of one foundational studies course or multiple foundational studies courses.

Grant Awards

Awards up to $1500 are available for individual courses. Departments may request up to $4500 for projects that enhance multiple sections of a course or multiple courses.

Use of Funds

Funds may be used to:

  • Support student involvement in required course activities.
  • Support acquisition of related teaching materials.
  • Prepare curricular materials.
  • Provide training and technical assistance to faculty and students.

Summer stipends for faculty are allowable up to $2000 for departmental grants and $1000 for individual grants.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Faculty research projects.
  • Faculty travel, unless accompanying students.
  • Faculty professional development activities.

Review of Project Proposals

The Focus Indiana Mini-Grant Application will be reviewed by a committee including representatives of the Center for Community Engagement and Foundational Studies Program;

Proposal Submission and Notification of Awards

Applications should be submitted online at

Project Management

All ISU supported projects are administered in accordance with established University fiscal procedures and research policies. These include all travel regulations, policies relating to the protection of human subjects, and policies related to intellectual property rights.

All support for projects under the current announcement is awarded for the current fiscal year. Funds must be expended by June 30, 2014.

A final report describing the project outcomes must be submitted to the Center for Community Engagement within 30 days of conclusion of the project.

All publications and presentations based upon the funded project must acknowledge the assistance of the Indiana State University Center for Community Engagement and Lilly Endowment.


Applications for these mini-grants are accepted throughout the year and are due by the 15th of each month. Applications will be reviewed within four weeks of submission.


Center for Community Engagement

Indiana State University
Tirey Hall 136A
Terre Haute, Indiana 47809

Phone: (812) 237-2334
Fax: (812) 237-2525

Facebook LogoTwitter Logo