BLACKSBURG, Va., May 7, 2007 – Fourteen Virginia Tech faculty have been awarded $5,000 grants to deliver individual courses in the 2007 summer sessions. Grants totaling $75,000 were awarded through the Provost Office Summer Sessions Grant Program.
Established in fall 2006, the grant program was created as an incentive to help promote summer session as an integral component of a student's learning, discovery, and engagement experience.
Course delivery grants were awarded to departments to offer new courses in the 2007 summer session. In addition, cross-college program development grants were awarded to participating colleges. These cross-college grants are designed for faculty to develop multi-course programs of study which are expected to be offered during the summer session.
For grant recipient Stevan Jackson, professor of interdisciplinary studies, the grant program has provided the opportunity to develop his "dream course." Jackson submitted a proposal to teach an online course titled "Jazz and Society," which examines jazz and its cultural impact on America society.
"Music affects us all and appeals to a variety of students, such as music students, sociologists, and historians," said Jackson. The course, which will be featured in Summer I Session, incorporates real-time elements such as video clips and other reading materials from the "beat generation."
Jean Kampe, associate professor in engineering education, saw the grant program as an opportunity to offer a face-to-face summer course that would move new engineering transfer students to their degree-granting departments in their first fall enrollment. "This, in turn, will hasten the connectedness to their departments for these students, improve their overall success rate and retention, and ultimately shorten their time to graduation by one year," Kampe said.
The single course environment also fosters a sense of community among enrolled students. "In order to make the most of this community-building opportunity, we will also run the peer mentoring program NETS (Network for Engineering Transfer Students) concurrently with the course," Kampe said, "and formally link the mentoring program to the course for the enrolled students." The 2007 Summer II Session run of EngE/NETS will be a summer bridge program for engineering transfer students.
The University Summer Sessions Advisory Committee received a total of 35 applications, and based on their applications, awarded grants to the following faculty:
Laurie Hillstock, director of the Office of University Summer Sessions, said the grant-funded courses have good enrollment, and 12 of those not funded are still being offered this summer. "The incentive program was a great idea. It has helped to add new energy to summer sessions," Hillstock said.
For more information on the Summer Session Grant Program and other summer-related efforts, visit the Summer Sessions website or contact the Office of University Summer Sessions at (540) 231-8192.